As I sat at my desk one fine day, searching for the best places to visit in Sikkim, Yumthang valley of flowers, popped up as one of the options that immediately caught my eye.
Alas! The flower booming season is from March – June and my tickets were booked for November end.
Lucky for me, I never paid much heed to seasons and ‘best times to visit XYZ place’. For me, its all about the destination and what it has to offer.
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Why Visit Yumthang Valley?
Yumthang valley ticked all the boxes for my usual ‘not-determined-by-season’ criteria – Birding opportunities – Check!, Stunning views – Check!, Instagram-worthy shots – Check! Check! Check!
I also saw some beautiful photos of wild yaks in the valley, online – Those had me sold! I had never seen a wild yak in my life and as an avid wildlife enthusiast, this was a fast add on to my bucket list.
These things had me convinced and Yumthang was jotted down as a “must-visit” on my tentative Sikkim itinerary.
How to Go from Gangtok to Yumthang
Let me warn you – its a long, backbreaking ride. Due to the winding roads it can take upto 6 hours to reach Lachung.
So, staying at Lachung overnight is the only way to do it.
Hence, you must keep two days at hand for visiting Yumthang.
We hired a private car for rs 4000 per day (So ended up paying double for two days). This is the best and most convenient way to reach Yumthang from Gangtok.
You can stop at one of the many lovely food joints and enjoy the delicious soups, Maggie noodles or simple rice with Daal or chicken curry.
Tip – Be sure to eat before you reach Yumthang as due to the height, they cannot “cook” anything at the valley. You can get eggs, toast and Maggie ONLY!
Lachung to Yumthang – Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
Lachung to Yumthang is just around 25 kms which takes an hour on the hilly terrain. Of course with our photo stops it took more than 2.5 hours to reach Yumthang so making a day trip of it, is ideal.
Some of the most stunning scenery was after you enter the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary.
The stretch from the sanctuary right up to Yumthang valley is “Instagram worthy” from every single angle. THESE are the kinds of absolute pristine scenic views you can expect here –
Doesn’t it make you wanna go right away?
Tip – THIS is where all the action was – lovely views, wild yaks, barren landscapes – it was prettier than the designated ‘Yumthang valley’ spot itself.
I clicked maximum pictures here are only a few in Yumthang.
Yumthang Valley Photo Diary – Snow and Barren Landscape
The lovely icy cold waters flowing through the valley with snow capped mountains in the backdrop are what make Yumthang valley a crowd favorite.
Apart from enjoying the scenery, there is not much to do. You can sip warm tea/ coffee, grab a small bite, buy small souvenirs or simply head to zero point further north.
I was traveling with seniors so we skipped zero but I do believe if you made it till Yumthang, you should go to zero – its just 25 kms but you do need to pay a separate fee (same permit applies).
Hope these pictures make you yearn for a trip to Yumthang in Sikkim.