Lachen, nestled amidst the majestic Himalayan mountains, is a small town of Sikkim. It is the sister village of Lachung and also serves as the base for tours to Gurudongmar Lake and Chopta Valley. Lachen is a great place for travellers looking for a relaxing getaway with loved ones and who want to escape reality for a while. Situated at an altitude of 8838 feet, this town is located 8 hours away from the capital, Gangtok and offers scenic views on your way here.
To keep the travellers captivated, Lachen offers some of the most exciting treks and rafting options, which are definitely not for the faint-hearted. Moreover, Lachen is the base camp for two main trekking camps of Sikkim - Chopta Valley and Muguthang. While on your Lachen tour, some of the famous attractions you must cover are Chopta Valley, the Gurudongmar Lake, and the yak race, Thangu. Also, Lachen town has about 250 houses you can stroll around and talk to locals for a better and memorable holiday experience. So, if you want to know more about Lachen, how to reach, the best time to visit, where to eat and stay, and some useful travel tips.
Here is our comprehensively curated Lachen travel guide.
Why visit Lachen?
Lachen is the perfect place to visit especially if you are looking to escape the monotonous routine of your life and relax with stunning landscapes around. For honeymoon couples, Lachen is a must-visit as they can spend quality time in peace and rekindle their love. A trip to Lachen is a must for nature lovers as you will be treated to breathtaking views of gorgeous peaks. If you love adventure, then you can opt for trekking and rafting.
Apart from this, places including Gurudongmar Lake is perfect for Hinduism and Buddhism followers, and Chopra Valley is a great place for shutterbugs.
How to reach Lachen
Being located in the famous destination Sikkim, Lachen is connected by air, rail, and road. The closest airport to Lachen is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal. You can take a taxi to reach Gangtok and take a taxi to Lachen. New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station to Lachen and is well-connected to the rest of India. First, visit Gangtok from the station and then drive to Lachen. Lachen is well-connected by road and can be reached from any part of Sikkim. Drive to Gangtok first, stay overnight, take your permit for Lachen, and drive to Lachen with scenic views on the way.
How to get around Lachen
Private taxis are the best option to travel around Lachen. It is the most convenient option to explore and witness the best attractions and views of Lachen.
Best time to visit Lachen
Lachen‘s weather is pleasant in summer with temperatures hovering between 10°C to 28°C. It is the perfect time to visit as Thangu, an annual yak race is organized in the summers. During the monsoon, Lachen receives heavy rainfall and must be avoided. If you love snow, then winter is the best time to visit Lachen. The temperature during this time remains between 5°C to 15°C. The weather gets too chilly, so make sure to cover yourself properly to avoid getting cold.
Places to visit in Lachen
With wooden homes, stunning views of the mountains, and alpine pastures, Lachen makes one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sikkim. It is blessed and dotted with some amazing attractions, which offers rich culture, striking beauty, and magnificent views. Here are some of the best places to visit in Lachen on your trip -
- Lachen Monastery
- Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
- Gurudongmar Lake
- Thangu Valley
- Tso Lhamo Lake
- Chopta Valley
- Lhonak Valley
Things to do in Lachen
Lachen is a haven for nature lovers, adrenaline junkies, shopaholics, and peace seekers. It also serves as the unofficial base camp for trekking. Thus, there are a variety of things you can be a part of and enjoy your time in this town. For the best experience, here are some of the best things to do in Lachen -
- Admire the breathtaking beauty of Gurudongmar Lake.
- Explore Kanchenjunga National Park.
- Trek to valleys and hills in Lachen.
- Seek blessings at the monasteries.
- Witness beautiful birds and abundant fauna.
- Tour the rhododendron sanctuary.
- Shop for souvenirs.
- Savour the authentic Sikkimese cuisine.
How many days are enough to visit Lachen?
2 to 3 days are enough to explore the best of Lachen.
Average Lachen Trip Cost
The cost of travelling to Lachen will be INR 15,000 to INR 20,000 per person. It depends on the flight/train tickets, the type of accommodation, etc.
Accommodation in Lachen
Most of Lachen is converted into hotels and resorts and with a single road passing through the town, you will find hotels of different sizes and budgets. And for an unforgettable stay, here are some of the best places to stay in Lachen -
- The Apple Orchard Resort
- Himalayan Residency
- The Fortuna
- Delight Royal Lachen
- Klifton Crown Lachen
Where to eat in Lachen
Get your hands on mouth-watering Sikkimese cuisine along with others at the top restaurants in Lachen. There are Thai restaurants, Mediterranean restaurants, Italian restaurants along with others. There are many roadside vendors too who will serve you the best and authentic Tibetan food and it is sure to die! For a delightful food experience, here are some of the best places to eat in Lachen - The Steakhouse
- Oliveiras Restaurant
- OX Asian Cuisine
- Thai Kitchen
- Restaurant Quellenhof
Shopping in Lachen
Lachen is not the ideal place for shopping but has some interesting things that you can bring back home. You can buy woollen items made by the local people. Some other things to buy in Lachen Market are rugs, satchels, caps, sacks, wooden articles, and assembled covers.
Useful Tips for Lachen Trip
- Get an Inner Line Permit (ILP) from Gangtok itself with the help of a travel agent before visiting Lachen.
- Respect the local culture.
- Do not wear revealing clothing especially at religious sites.
- Avoid visiting Lachen in the monsoon as there will be heavy rainfall and it will hinder your trip experience.
- Keep yourself warm in winters and wear woollens properly.