The word Lachung means "small pass". Situated at an elevation of about 9,600 ft and very close to the border with Tibet, Lachung was an idyllic mountain village, but now, a small town in North Sikkim district.
Sprawled across the banks of the Lachung Chu [river] which slices the village in two, with snow-capped mountain peaks, breath-taking waterfalls, sparkling streams and apple, peaches and apricot orchards Lachung is a perfect holiday destination.
The town is approximately 125 km from the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok. Most of Lachung's inhabitants are of Lepcha and Tibetan descent. Languages spoken here are Nepali, Lepcha and Bhutia. During winter the town is usually covered in snow. The Indian Army has a forward base in the town. Before the annexation of Tibet in 1950, Lachung was a trading post between Sikkim and Tibet. However, it was closed down after the annexation of Tibet.
The town's economy has been boosted by tourism in recent years as the region has been opened up by the Indian government. Tourists from all over the world visit the town between October and May, mostly on their way to the Yumthang Valley and the Lachung Monastery.
Lachung is also the base camp for Rhododendron Valley Trek which starts from Yumthang Valley and ends at Lachen Valley.
Lachung has been described as the "most picturesque village of Sikkim" by British explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker in his definitive, The Himalayan Journal (1855). One can also visit the Shingba Rhododendron sanctuary through which flows the Yumthang Chu. This sanctuary is known for its abundance of Rhododendron trees and shrubs.
Lachung is perfect for an overnight halt before one visit the spectacular Yumthang valley and the stretches beyond it.