Situated in the northern district of Sikkim, Lachen is one of the most beautiful towns of Sikkim and is an attractive tourist spot which is well known for its Lachung monastery.‘_Its natural beauty and serene vegetation is worth commending and it is believed to be one of the most noteworthy and popular places for Buddhist pilgrims and tourists. Lachen is a less-populated beautiful holiday destination, also famous as the gateway to the sacred Guru Dongmar and Tso Lhamu lakes.‘_Lachen is a small quiet town which is the home to Bhutia tribes and Tibetans and there are about only 150 houses there.‘_
Lachen, is a lovely hill station in the northern district of Sikkim near the Indo-Tibetan Border, on the North Sikkim Highway. The most prevailing area in Lachen is the Nyingma order of Himalayan Buddhism and the Lachen Monastery, positioned atop the village providing a great sight of the village, Lachen Chu and the alpine covers. Lachen is known for its lush vegetation that contains mainly grasslands and shrubs along with apple orchards that are the major tourist attraction here. The pine covered valleys and black cliffs of snowy-white hills of the Eastern Himalayas start from Lachen which makes it the base station for many trekking areas in the North Sikkim region including the famous Green Lake and Kunchenjunga National Park treks. Lachen provides expeditions to Chopta Valley, Green Lake, Cho-lamu, Guru Dongmar Lake and Singhba Rhododendron Sanctuary.
The best time to visit Lachen is between the months of November and June, given the pleasant weather that marks these months. Summers are moderate and quite pleasant in Lachen. An annual yak race called Thangu takes place at Lachen every summer. During winter, Lachen will get quite cold and the famous Gurdongmar Lake freezes completely which is a sight to behold.
Air: The nearest Domestic Airport is Bagdogra Airport which is around four and half hour drive from Lachen. You will have to hire a taxi from the airport to reach Lachen.
Rail: The nearest Railway Station to Lachen is Darjeeling Railway Station which is connected to most of the cities of Sikkim and is at a distance of 171 Kms from Lachen. Siliguri, Sukna, Tindharia, Mahanadi, Dilaram, Sonada, Jorebungalow and Ghum are the cities it is well connected with.
Road: Lachen is connected through Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) and some private travel services to all the major cities of Sikkim. Regular buses ply from Lachen to these states.
You can hire taxis to go around the place. Do hire a guide to show you around.
LachenŽ_has several deluxe and medium to budget accommodation choices.Ž_Ž_Some of the exotic and comfy hotels include Apple Orchard the (Lachen), Himalayan Residency (Lachen), Sonam Palgey Lachen (Lachen), Hiden Hill Lodge (Lachen) and Blue Pine Hotel (Lachen).
The two main tourist attractions in LachenŽ_areŽ_ThanguŽ_and Gurdongmar Lake. This one inŽ_LachenŽ_is a lake not to be missed on your trip to Lachen. A fresh water lake, it is one of the highest water bodies in the world as it is situated at an altitude of 5,210 m. The lake is positioned towards the North East of Kunchenjunga range. The lake freezes completely during winters. About 5 km ahead of this lake is the Tso Lhsmo Lake. With prior permission from the army, you can trek from the Gurdongmar Lake to Tso Lhsmo Lake. Thangu is an old and beautiful town in the North of Lachen. Thagu is a place where most tourists prefer to stop at, before travelling to sight-seeing places like theŽ_Gurdongmar LakeŽ_and Cho Lhamu. The place is becoming a tourist hotspot.
You can also go for trekking here as it is the base station for several treks.
Lachen may not be a shopper's paradise in its true sense but the hill town offers an enriching shopping experience to tourists. You can buy fabulous handicrafts and handloom products from here. You can fill your shopping bags with carpet, handbags, shawls, blankets made from Sheep and Yak wool along with amazing wooden articles. Go to The Handicraft Centre and The Angora Rabbit Farm (Rabom) to shop for fantastic woolen clothes and unique handicrafts.
In Lachen, a traditional administrative system is in practice to follow rules and regulation and is known as Dzumsa. In summers, the interesting annual Yak Race called the Thangu takes place at Lachen. The population of Lachen is very less. It comes up to just about a 1000 people altogether.
The place does not have much of a nightlife as there are hardly any clubs in this town.
The local cuisine of Sikkim is popular in this area. Other cuisines such as Indian, Chinese, etc. are available too at nearby restaurants.
The Fortuna, Apple Orchard Resort, etc. are some resorts which have great restaurants. Several fast food joints can be tried too in Lachen.
Reach Lachen via any mode of transport and the places of interest on the way are Tashi View Point, the historic Kabi Lungtsok, Phodong Monastery. Check into a hotel in Lachen and after an early breakfast, drive to Gurudongmar Lake via Chopta Valley. Have a quick lunch at Lachen and don't miss the Lachen Monastery, while here. Follow it with a visit to Lachung the next day and enjoy that beautiful town. From there, you can go to Gangtok.
It is best to always travel with a guide. Since the vegetation is fragile, it is best to walk on designated trails. Do not littering and deposit garbage at selected places. Keep all kinds of pollutants away from streams and lakes. It is customary to leave a donation at a monastery and to circle shrines in clockwise direction. Avoid smoking, drinking and talking loudly near sacred places.