We did not spend a moment in Gangtok and headed straight for Lachen. Our train was late by 4 hours and that had put the whole plan of covering Gurudongmar Lake (through Lachen) and Yumthang Valley (through Lachung) in jeopardy. But u need not worry when you have a local friend like Sonam Sangpo. He drove us in the dark of the night (not recommended) to ensure that we spend the night at Lachen and out trip goes on as planned. We reached Lachen at around 10 pm and food and accomodation was arranged by Sonam. Lachen is a very small and sleepy hamlet where travellers spend the night to acclimatize before leaving for Gurudongmar Lake. At night the only sound that comes to your ears are that of a small waterfall few kms away. Lachen is nothing less than a fairy tale village where the princess would take shelter after running from the beast (read everyday work life) and the people would shower her with all kinds of help and support.
Since it was off season, the entire stretch looked deserted and when i went to the terrace of our motel, i could feel an eerie silence all around while looking at the snow capped mountain tops bathed in the snow white moonlight . I wondered if this is so surreal then it would be beyond my imagination the beauty at 17500 feet on gurudogmar lake. For information, lachen is at around 9000 feet . We all had an early dinner, since the road was pretty rough in patches and we were really exhausted. But we just couldnt sleep. U must be wondering, what the hell. Well, already bundled in 4 layers of clothing, we accessorize ouselves with gloves , 2 pairs of socks and not one 1 , 2 but 4 blankets , though we could have managed with a dozen more, we were finally at peace with the cold .
Do you love races? Have you ever witnessed a Yak race? If not, Lachen is the place to be during summer. Also, the Gurudongmar Lake situated at a towering 17,000 ft above the sea-level attracts tourists on a regular basis. The Lake remains frozen for almost six months from November to May and is a delight to watch. But it can be a little difficult for travelers as the oxygen level in the air is on the lower side. Barring this slight glitch, Lachen remains a popular tourist destination.