North Sikkim Tour – A Trip to Paradise of Nature
If you are planning to visit Sikkim, do not miss the adventurous journey to north Sikkim. With many places of interest, Sikkim is very rich with natural wealth of scenic beauty in northern part of the state. This part of Sikkim is very different from other regions of Sikkim. The mountains of north are very rough and located at very high altitude. North Sikkim must be visited in winter to enjoy the chilling temperature with snowfall and in April-May-June period of time to enjoy the colorful view of the hills with Rhododendrons all around. North Sikkim is far away from the capital city of Gangtok and known for the serenity and tranquility. The raw beauty of nature in north Sikkim is as good as east Sikkim. If you are looking forward to spend 2 or 3 nights in peace with nature beauty all around, I would highly suggest you a trip to north Sikkim. In a word north Sikkim is really a paradise of nature. If you are making a trip plan to Sikkim, make sure you keep north Sikkim in your itinerary…!
Best Time to Visit North Sikkim
October to December: If you are looking forward to enjoy the chilling temperature and cold weather, you should visit north Sikkim in the period between October and December. In this period of time the sky remains clear with a perfect view of the mountains and scenic beauty all around. The snow capped peaks of the high mountains in northern Sikkim remain clear and the sight of the nature is an awesome experience which is remembered all through life. Snowfall starts from January and the roads get inaccessible though first and second week of January remains okay but then onwards the region gets blocked and restricted. This part of the country is the border area and you will find the Army Jawans there and military trucks plying frequently. The roads are maintained by the BRO and Indian Army. I really salute them to make the roads clear at such an altitude and make the roads accessible for us to visit the nature’s paradise.
April – May: If you wish to visit colorful valleys and mountains, you are supposed to visit north Sikkim in April-May period. This is the time when the northern region of Sikkim remains colorful with Rhododendrons. April-May is the time when the Rhododendrons blossom at full. The temperature remains moderate and enjoyable.
Places to Visit in North Sikkim:
It is a small hamlet a few kilometers away from Chungthang on way to Thangu. Lachen is really a very beautiful place with raw nature all around. The scenic view all around is magnificent and the temperature remains very cold at such a high altitude. Very few people leave there in Lachen who are so simple and friendly. Sikkim Govt. uses the village people in eco and organic tourism. Lachen is the place where tourists are taken directly from Gangtok to spend the night there. People availing 2 nights – 3 days package trip to north Sikkim have to spend the first night in Lachen. If you are visiting in winter, make sure to arrange camp fire with dinner. The driver or the house stay owner will help you in regard to this. I enjoy the camp fire with roasted chicken.
When the night is over, one needs to get ready for a day excursion to Thangu, Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake. One needs to get up and set off early in the morning to make sure you spend good time at the places of interest and make sure you reach Lachung before it is dark. The first destination to visit in morning is Thangu. It is a beautiful landscape on way toward Gurudongmar Lake. You will surely love to spend some time here. Each time I visit North Sikkim, I ask my driver to make a halt at Thangu. There are some eateries serving hot Momo. I hope you will surely love to have momo with a cup of hiot tea or coffee and stare at the magnificent view all around. Thangu is the crossing that leads a way to Gurudongmar Lake and another way to Chopta Valley.
It is one of the best valleys in north Sikkim. The Chopta Valley is a few kilometers from Thangu. The scenic view will make you feel like you stay there forever with the nature. Each time I visit Chopta Valley, I plan for the next trip being there. In April-May, the region remains so colorful with Rhododendrons and in winter people shiver.
When all the places of interest are visited, one needs to reach Lachung before it is dark. The roads are dangerous at such a high altitude and it is better to reach Lachung before the day lights are off. Lachung is another beautiful hamlet in northern region of Sikkim. The second night in 2 nights – 3 days package trip to north Sikkim one is supposed to spend the second night in Lachung. It is another scope where you can enjoy the camp fire. The temperature is always cold here and a perfect place to enjoy camp fire. If you step out, it is pitch dark all around and the continuous noise of the Lachung River adds more thrill to the moment.
On the 3rd day when you wake up early in the morning, you have set out to visit Yumthang Valley and Zero Point on a day excursion. I consider Yumthang to be the best valley in north Sikkim. The landscape of Yumthang is nature’s gift to us. The river and the greenery all around remains white covered with snow in winter and the April-May period, the colors of yellow, red, blue, green, violet, purple etc. make the valley so colorful.
If you move ahead beyond Yumthang, you can reach Zero Point but one needs to pay some extra to visit Zero Point – the ultimate point can be visited by general citizens. There is no road beyond this point. This point remains frozen most time of the year.
How to Visit North Sikkim:
If one wishes to visit north Sikkim, he is supposed to make the trip through a local tour operator authorized to Sikkim Tourism. If the hotel manager or any other tour operator arranges this package for you, know that they would arrange the trip through any local authorized operator only as I have already mentioned. Mainly there are 2 packages to north Sikkim, i.e. 1 night – 2 days package and 2 nights – 3 days package. The package cost includes transportation, food, lodging and sightseeing.
Itinerary for 1 night – 2 days package trip to North Sikkim:
Day 1: Transfer from Gangtok to Lachung, O/ N stay
Day 2: Visit Yumthang Valley and Zero Point, transfer to Gangtok
Itinerary for 2 nights – 3 days package trip to North Sikkim:
Day 1: Transfer from Gangtok to Lachen, O/N stay
Day 2: Day trip to Thangu, Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake, transfer to Lachung, O/N stay
Day 3: Day trip to Yumthang Valley and Zero Point, transfer to Gangtok