Plan a Perfect Weekend Trip to Lachung With These 6 Insider Facts

Have you ever been on a bike trip before? Are you confused about selecting a suitable place for a weekend gateway? You have come to the right place if you are one of those. The plan for this short road trip began over a cup of tea in the evening. It was all about breaking the monotonous daily life, and an extended weekend catalysed our plan. This time, we planned a bike trip through the difficult terrain of North Sikkim. Excited Huh!! So fasten your seat belts and let’s take you on a virtual adventurous road trip to Lachung, Sikkim.

If you don’t know who we are…….

We call ourselves Travel Freaks……. MITKAU…..

In this blog, we will embark on a road trip through the curvy roads of Sikkim. It was an experience of a lifetime. Our journey from Gangtok to Lachung was magical, filled with breathtaking views, unexpected adventures, and a deep connection with nature. Before we begin anything, let’s tell you how to plan this trip…..

1. Reaching Gangtok and the best time for Sikkim

The first and the most important is to reach the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok. One can take the train from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and hire a cab for approximately 4000 INR per day (depending on your negotiation skills). There is also an option of taking a shared taxi with 500 INR per person. It generally takes around 5 hours to reach. On the way, the taxi drivers typically stop at a suitable location for quick refreshments and then continue the journey.

For travellers reaching by flight, they need to reach Bagdogra Airport and, from there, hire a taxi to reach Gangtok.

Returning to our story, we took a train and reached NJP Railway Station by 3:45 AM in early February. As we stepped out of the station complex, we heard the drivers shouting for passengers going to Gangtok. It was surprising as it was hardly 4 AM and four cars were already filled with Gangtok passengers. In no time, we adjusted ourselves in the already filled taxi and departed at 4:30 AM.

We were quite excited as we heard that Gangtok’s vibrant culture and bustling streets gave way to a lot a activities. Within two hours, we could glimpse the Teesta River Flowing.

We were hungry to have some snacks, and for a coffee break, the driver stopped at a local restaurant close to Rangpo. It was about 7:30 AM by that time. We could hear the sound of the flowing Teesta River from the restaurant. After half an hour’s break, the journey continued till we reached Gangtok by 10 AM.

Best Time: You can plan any time around the year, but please avoid the rainy season. Do check the local weather before planning. If you are planning for Gurudongmar Lake, you need to plan in the months of October-November.

Returning to our story, we would like to let you know about an important aspect now that we reached Gangtok.

2. Do Indians Require a Permit to Visit Lachung?

The answer is Yes. Indians must obtain an inner line permit (ILP) to visit Lachung, part of North Sikkim. Apart from North Sikkim, you will also need to obtain an ILP if you plan to visit Tsomgo Lake, Zuluk, Nathula Pass and regions close to the border areas. Be aware that the ILP is free of cost. You can either request your cab driver to get them for you before your arrival, or you can get them either at the Bagdogra Airport (Sikkim Tourism Counter) or the Rangpo Checkpost (from 8 AM to 8 PM).

Caution: A specific ILP can be used for that specific purpose only and cannot be interchanged. If you took an ILP for Lachung, you can not visit Zuluk with it.

Other than Indians, you need to obtain the ILP to enter Sikkim. It’s easy to get ILP; just present your passport with the Indian Visa, and there you go, and you are ready to enter Sikkim easily. Yes, we are there for any help. However, be aware that non-Indians are not allowed in the bordering regions due to security issues, plan accordingly.

Now that you got an idea of what is required to visit North Sikkim, let’s come back to our journey……

3. The Scenic Beauty En Route to Mangan

We were way too excited about reaching Gangtok. It was about 10 AM when we checked our phone after reaching Gangtok. We took a cab from the taxi drop point to the bike rental shop, where we took our bike after a bit of negotiation. You will not get App-based cabs like Ola or Uber in Sikkim.

When we reached the bike rental shop, we had to wait for over an hour as the bikes were being cleaned and oiled for our trip. We took a stroll in the nearby area, and by the time it was 11:30 AM, we returned and took our Royal Enfield Himalayan Bike. The bike rent was about 2000 INR per day, excluding the petrol price and taxes.

In no time, we packed our backpacks on the sides and started our journey. The road to Lachung is renowned for its picturesque landscapes. As we ascended, the scenery transformed dramatically. Dense forests and pine trees enveloped us in a sea of greenery. The Teesta River, flowing alongside, forced us to imagine the river of life. Irrespective of the outcome, we need to continue with all the good work that we have been doing,

We made several stops along the way to capture the beauty of nature. Each bend in the road revealed new vistas – terraced fields, calm villages, and distant snow-capped peaks. Most of the roadside viewpoints offered a glimpse of the towering mountains, which would be our destination in the coming days. Now everything turned out fine until……..

4. The Unexpected Adventure

As we continued our journey, the weather took an unexpected turn. Dark clouds gathered, and soon, we found ourselves in the midst of a heavy downpour. Despite being prepared with rain gear, the intensity of the rain took us by surprise. The narrow mountain roads became slippery, adding a challenge to our drive. Quite a few times we felt like slipping. However, we continued with our journey towards Mangan.

Yet, this unexpected downpour became one of the highlights of our trip. We embraced the adventure, pulling over at a small roadside café to warm ourselves with hot tea and momos.

We were completely drenched in the rain. It was 5:30 PM, when we reached the town of Mangan. We stopped at a homely lodge; the owner was a lady who welcomed us and showed us the room. The best part was that she had her own restaurant where we could have our meals. In the meantime, we were shivering in the cold weather.

The room rent was 1800 INR, and had all the necessary amenities you wish for. In the meantime we were served with hot Thukpa. We were in no mood to take a stroll outside as cold wind blew with the weather further turning sour. It was an early end to our day as we had our dinner by 8 PM and went to bed. The owner suggested us to leave early in the morning for North Sikkim as there was a short cut that gets closed after 10 AM.

Yes, it was an exciting first day, more such adventures awaited the next day.

5. Arrival in Lachung and its beauty

We woke up with the early morning sunshine. Our eyes glittered to see such beautiful weather after such horrible weather the previous day. Thankfully, the rain subsided, and we resumed our journey after a sumptuous breakfast at 9 AM. We cleared our food bills that we had been having since the previous day evening and continued with our quest to reach Zero Point.

Initially, the road was smooth enough; soon, the topography changed, and it became slippery with mud and water. It felt as if even a skilled biker could face difficulty driving through such a road. Yes, we skidded in a few locations; thankfully, the bike had little speed when such cases happened.

The best part was the weather, and at the same time, our excitement grew in leaps and bounds to see and experience snow. You know, the best part of a bike trip is that you can stop at your desired location for photo sessions or experience nature.

Finally, we reached the checkpost for Yumthang Valley. The personnel requested that we not use any action cameras. There was a small roadside stall beside the check post serving tea in bamboo cups. It was a unique experience for us.

Soon, we could spot the broken dam near Lachung, which had broken away due to flash floods the previous November. Since then, there have been issues with the electricity supply in North Sikkim.

The final stretch to Lachung was steep and winding, but the views were worth it. Lachung, perched at an altitude of 8,610 feet, greeted us with its pristine beauty. The village, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, and gurgling streams, looked like a scene from a postcard.

Finally, we crossed Lachung town and reached the checkpoint for Yumthang Valley. We were informed that we could only go for another 3 km ahead as it was covered with snow and only military vehicles were allowed. We stopped where numerous tourist vehicles were parked. It was a thrilling moment for us. We were over the moon.

After almost two hours of reaching there, we had soupy noodles, momos, and tea from one of the roadside stalls. Be aware that it was quite expensive to have food there, in fact, in the whole of North Sikkim, due to the electricity issues and difficulty in bringing all the food items from Siliguri.

We took help from one of the food stall owners concerning our night stay. We started back in Lachung town at 1 PM, and in an hour and a half, we reached the designated hotel for a night’s stay.

We checked into our cosy guesthouse, where the hosts treated us to traditional Sikkimese hospitality. The evening was spent exploring the village, interacting with the locals, and soaking in the tranquil ambience. We were informed that there would be no electricity for late evening and to be prepared accordingly. The room rent was about 1800 INR.

In the evening, we took a stroll for over 5 km in and around the village of Lachung. It felt so serene and calm that you can’t imagine. It was also freezing cold. By 6 PM, we had Thukpa and Coffee before heading to our stay, as it was getting dark and cold.

The next morning, we started our descent after breakfast at 9 AM. On the way back to Gangtok, we took a different route this time, and it was a long one—another fun-filled ride. Sometimes, the road seemed to look like hairpins.

We dropped our bikes at Gangtok at 1 PM. It was time for us to stroll in the famous MG Marg of Gangtok and start our return journey for NJP by 2:30 PM to catch our night train, ending a sudden, thrilling weekend trip.

Now you might be curious about…….

6. What to plan when you are in Sikkim?

See, this is only a weekend blog where we planned for a bike trip. However, if you have more time, then do plan the following destinations positively:

Apart for the ones mentioned, you might also be eager to know about the…….

7. Expenses for the Weekend Trip

We love to go backpacking, so backpackers might be interested in knowing the expense details. We are excluding the fare to reach NJP as that will depend from where you are arriving. We are mentioning the expenses, excluding the train fare.

The total expenditure comes out to be 8500 INR. As the bike rent was shared between the two, the total expense for us was about 7100 INR per person, including the train tickets.

Yeah you can let us know if you need any help or any suggestions, we are just a click away.

Hope it was a fun-filled blog reading as much as we enjoyed narrating it.

Wait! We are not going anywhere without this last question…….

8. What kind of help are we going to provide?

Let us inform you that we prepare itineraries not only for anywhere in India but also for Asia. We have been travelling since we were toddlers. So here in our blogs and stories, we will give you a glimpse of our journey and help you plan your trip.

Read about our Uzbekistan blogs.

Read about our Kazakhstan blogs.

Read about our Singapore blogs.

Read about our Vietnam blogs.

Read about our Cambodia blogs.

Read about our Bali blogs.

Read about our Kuala Lumpur blog series.

Read about our Sri Lanka blogs.

Read about our Nepal blogs.

Read about our Char Dham blogs.

Read about our Ladakh blogs.

Read about our day trip to Hyderabad.

Read about our Madhya Pradesh blogs.

Do follow our Instagram handle @mindfulllofvacations and watch for the next destination story of Kerala. For any query related to any trip, drop a mail at

by mitkau

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