After resting for a couple of hours I was finally back on my feet after the mammoth journey to Gurudongmar Lake. Suraj our driver had asked us to be ready by 1 PM for our journey from Lachen to Lachung so that we could reach Lachung before nightfall and that we could look around the village. We had light lunch and packed our luggage for our next leg of the journey.
Driving towards Lachung would mean going back to Chungthang and then taking a left towards Lachung. This stretch of the road is much more damaged than the road towards Lachen but its picturesque beauty outshines this. Suraj informed us that the road was good but these were damaged during the Sikkim earthquake in 2011.
There were pockets of road blocks due to bad roads and within minutes there will be a pile up with many vehicles packed back to back. We got stuck in one such for nearly half an hour but I don’t get worried about these since I have started loving these unplanned breaks as these give me an opportunity to explore the surroundings on foot.
After driving a couple of minutes towards Lachung you will see a waterfall locally known as Amitabh Bachchan Falls but this is not the real name its actual name is Bhim Nala Waterfalls. The reason why it’s called Amitabh Bachchan is because of its massive height which people relate to the tall Bollywood hero.
Tourists usually halt here for a tea break but be warned that the price of things are extremely pricey here, a cup of tea would cost you 20 Rs. and the same will be charged if you the washroom. However, since there is no alternative you have to avail their service.
I would like to add a small tip for potential tourists: If you are open to try any kind of non-veg then do inform your driver he will take you to shops that sell the best local delicacy. Most of the time the drivers unsure of the food preference take the tourists to the generic shops.
Lachung is quite a green village when compared with Lachen, it’s much bigger also. We checked into Apple Valley Inn which is quite a beautiful small hotel with log houses. These feel much more romantic than staying in concrete buildings. The hotel is owned and managed by a Bengali gentleman and thus the food availability out here is quite comfortable if you are from the Bengal plains. The food, however, is not what I am finicky about and always prefer to have the local delicacy.
The window from our room opened up towards the main road but funnily the window in the toilet had a fantastic view of the mountains and trust me I enjoyed spending quite a good time inside the toilet.
Here also I wanted to go for a short walk around the village and I was in for a treat. Just a couple of meters from the main gate the roads had beautiful wildflowers lining up on both the sides. Lachung comparatively is much greener and the walk felt quite refreshing. Even my wife and daughter was accompanying me in this walk and they just loved it.
Unfortunately, there was no mobile network working at Lachung. Due to an OFC (Optical Fibre Cable) cut down the valley all the telephonic connections were down and remained that way for a couple of days even after we left thus it’s better to inform your near and dear ones about the possibility of not being in touch in certain pockets of North Sikkim.
Lachung was less cold than Lachen and thus the stay in the log house was a fantastic experience so was the food which we could customize according to our preference. It was a quick night out since we had a long journey planned for the next day. We planned to visit Zero Point & Yumthang Valley and then return back to Gangtok the same day. There is also another option which some tourists take that is to visit Katao instead of Zero Point but when we were there a huge army movement was taking place thus permit was not being provided.
Hope you have enjoyed travelling with me to North Sikkim, see you soon in my next blog to Zero Point & Yumthang Valley which will be last in the North Sikkim series.
Destinations covered on this trip:-
Other locations around Sikkim covered in my blog:-
Nathula Pass Day Trip: https://indianvagabond.com/2016/07/19/nathula-pass-day-trip/
Lachen – Lachung Driver: Suraj Lama – 94749 81411
Bagdorgra / New Jalpai Guri to Gangtok Driver: Glorious Minj – 96792 77580
Kolkata tour operator: Endeavour Tours (Mr. S. K. Bhaumik) 98303 06159, 84204 96704
Gangtok tour operator (for Lachen / Lachung local coordination): Mystic Himalayan World Travels 94347 22166
Gangtok Hotel: Hotel Norbu Gang 99330 04494
Approximate Cost: – (as on October 2014)
Bagdogra to Gangtok = Rs. 2,200* (Toyota Innova) * Return will also be the same
Lachen & Lachung Tour Package = Rs. 18,000* (2 nights and 3 days inclusive of food / transportation / lodging) * Rs. 2,500 will be charged additionally for Zero Point or Katao (this needs to be paid directly to the driver)