Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley

In far North Sikkim, six hours from Gangtok and 9,000 feet above sea level near the Tibetan/Chinese border, Lachung and the Yumthang Valley dazzle visitors with dramatic pristine scenery. Lachung served as a trading post between Sikkim and Tibet before Tibet was annexed by China. Now, it's the base camp for the renowned Rhododendron Valley Trek from Yumthang Valley to Lachen Valley. Other attractions in the area are Lachung monastery, Yumesamdong (Zero Point), and the astonishing high-altitude Gurudongmar Lake (it's one of the world's highest lakes, at more than 17,000 feet above sea level).

North Sikkim is a restricted area and it's necessary to obtain a special permit to visit it. You'll need to make your travel arrangements through a registered tour company, which will also organize the permit for you. This can be done in Gangtok. Note that the Yumthang Valley is closed from December and March due to heavy snow, and foreigners are only permitted as far as the Chopta Valley (they cannot visit Gurudongmar Lake).