ChaloHoppo to Meghalaya before ZFM 2019
If you grew up in these villages of Meghalaya, you would never need an amusement park in your life. From serene spots in the jungle to exciting river activities and picturesque lakes, they have it all. Go find a pair of swimming trunks! This will be a perfect warm-up before you gear up for the enticing Ziro Festival of Music 2019 in Arunachal.
Reviews 4 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Medium Group
With abundant activities like river canyoning, kayaking, zip lining and lots of swimming, this trip is meant for those with an adventurous spirit. A trek that takes you right to the heart of the living root bridges where you live amidst nature’s wonder and then move to challenge the waterfalls of a Khasi village as you trek along its course while jumping, sliding and scrambling. There will be more relaxed times like when you kayak over still waters and enjoy nature walks and camp around a bonfire. Once the adventurous soul in you gets its kick move on the city of Shillong where you can chill in cafes and shop to your heart’s desire if you wish.
Here’s a video that our friends captured the first time we explored Mawlyngbna. It’s around 3 minutes but give you an idea of what to expect: bit.ly/RiverCanyoning
- Stay in comfortable, clean and hygienic accommodation(triple sharing)
- Transport to and from Guwahati airport in Swift Dzire/Innova/ Force Traveller
- Breakfast and dinner on all days
- One ChaloHoppo guy as a tour leader
- English Speaking guide in Mawlyngbna and Nongriat
- Parking and toll charges
- Driver allowance, food and accommodation
- River canyoning, kayaking in Mawlyngbna
- Airfare charges
- All food & beverages cost apart from the ones mentioned above
- Trekking shoes and clothing ( Any personal equipment)
- Any camera fees
- Hotel & driver tips if any, since the locals earn low wages, your tips can show your appreciation)
- Any personal expenditure (Toiletries, medicines, etc.)
- Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
- Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Inclusions”.
Day 1 (21st September 2019)
Drive to Cherapunjee
Your real journey begins when you drive on NH 40 to be lead you away from the bustling capital city of Assam to a cooler and greener Meghalaya. Enroute stop to pick up some juicy and delicious pineapples from the little town of Nongpoh. If you like pickles, then pick those as well. Once in Cherapunjee, we visit a few selected waterfalls and maybe even a cave.
The itinerary requires you to land in Guwahati airport on or before 7:30 am. If you don’t have a flight that reaches this early then you can take a flight the night before.
Overnight in Sai Mika resort.
Day 2 (22nd September 2019)
A trek to remember -walking over living root bridges
This is a big day. We need to wake up early. After breakfast drive to Tyrna village, the start of the famous Double Decker living root bridges trek. On the way, the guide will try and let you pluck some local fruits that grow during that season if you wish(we take permission from the villagers before plucking anything and even compensate them for it).
This trek is nothing like a typical trek as you need to climb down a staircase, similar to walking from the top floor of a 100 storey building. Your knees will start to give in and you may find your thighs shaking and you will be drenched in your sweat but you will recover every drop of that sweat when you reach your destination. After you reach the end of the stairs and finally see the Double Decker living root bridge, take a dip and freshen up. Because there is another trek to go! The trek to ”Rainbow falls”. This trek is more akin to a trek on a rugged stony trail.
It takes about an hour and a half from the homestay(which is near the Double Decker living root bridges). Come back in time for a swim in the pool in front of the Double Decker bridge before heading back to the homestay. Trust us, if you need to hit the gym right away because you think you can’t handle this. Do that. You don’t want to miss this.
P.S. We will be only carrying a small backpack for the 2 days that we will be staying down in the village below. Specific instruction regarding the same will be given once you sign up for the trip.
Overnight at a homestay in Nongriat village.
Day 3 (23rd September 2019)
Head to Mawlyngbna
Waking up early (6 am) will ensure that you get to spend quality time near the Double Decker living root bridges before day trekkers start pouring in while getting a natural fish pedicure at the pool in front of the bridges. By 9 am, we should be starting our trek back up to Cherrapunjee and from there it is time to drive to Mawlyngbna village crossing Mawsynram, the wettest place on earth. The drive is one with a lot of promising views!
The village is filled with serene spots in the jungle and some interesting waterfalls.
Overnight stay at Mawlyngbna Camp/ Cottages
Day 4 (24th September 2019)
River canyoning at Mawlyngbna
Mawlyngbna is our favourite place for a summer/ monsoon retreat. River canyoning your way to the ‘Um Kha koi reservoir would have been the highlight today. Jumping off rocks, crawling, scrambling, sliding over others, basically trekking over the river’s route is what river is canyoning is all about.
Today you wake up in the morning and head out to finally experience the thrill of river canyoning!
This will be followed by river canyoning.
Plan of the day:
- Wake up call at 7 am.
- Breakfast at 8 am.
- A short drive and a short walk through a forested patch begins at 9 am and it will take roughly an hour and a half to complete the activity
- Follow it up with some kayaking!
- Head back to the cottage for lunch.
- If you have energy and depending on weather conditions, visit the split rock.
P.S. One doesn’t have to be a swimmer to participate in this activity.
Unless someone has a phobia of water the activity can be enjoyed by everyone.
Overnight in cottages/ tents in Mawlyngbna
Day 5 (25th September 2019)
Drive to Guwahati for a train to Ziro
Today, we will take this easy. Yes, feel free to wake up a little late, read that book you wanted to, take a stroll in the morning and just look back at what went and look forward to what’s coming! Eventually, have your breakfast between 8 30 am to 9 am. Then we head to the Umdingkain waterfall for a little swim under the fall. A great way to start the day. If we didn’t get the time to visit the split rock yesterday, then we can go here today as well! After lunch, we start our journey back to Guwahati and conserve some energies, since now, the Ziro festival of music awaits! We will board the overnight train to Naharlagun station, the closest railhead to Ziro and take it from there! You can check the Ziro plan here.
30 Days prior to arrival: 50% refund
15 Days prior to arrival: 25% refund
Less than 15 Days prior to arrival : 0% refund
What type of bag to carry?
Carry a small bag(10 to 15 litres) for your trek down to Nongriat village that can fit essential toiletries and change of clothes for 1 night to reduce the weight on your shoulders and make the trek easier.
Basic toiletries and allergy medications and tissue rolls (if you need)
head lamps/ Torches with batteries
quick dry towels
ID Proof – Voters card/ Pan Card/ Passport/ Drivers license/ Aadhar card (to be sent on mail upon confirming the trip to [email protected])
Other things that you may bring along :
Sun tan lotion
Playing cards and small board games,in case you don’t feel sleepy at night
Any sort of alcoholic beverages
Go pro for under water shots
We will have pick up and drop facility to and from the Guwahati airport once you share the arrival time of your flight.
Campsite: Please avoid carrying plastic bottles or even buying sealed bottles while at the venue as want to have a litter free zone as much as possible.
Swimming: You have to be careful as it’s deep and sometimes the current could pull you in. If you aren’t a swimmer, please mention that specifically and put a request for renting a life jacket on email.
Avoid plastic: Please avoid buying mineral water, specifically while in Nongriat(Double decker living root bridges village) since it is a major cause of pollution in the delicate eco system of Nongriat. Remember to take up whatever you bring down.
Service: Though we will try our best to give you great service, please understand we won’t be able to give you hot towels, bed tea and the like.
Entry to the states of Meghalaya does not require a permit.
A most definite yes, as long as you are okay travelling in a mixed group of other solo travellers or small group of friends.
Not all travellers who sign up for a tour with ChaloHoppo are swimmers so the experience doesn’t get hampered due to lack of that skill. It is certainly an advantage for those can swim but life jackets can be rented along with a guide to ensure safety of the travellers.
- Winter jacket
- balaclava/ beanie (something that covers your ears and your head)
- Sports socks and Swimwear for the Nongriat trek, you can also get swimming goggles or snorkelling masks, and swimming cap
- Raincoat (just in case, since you are travelling in ‘abode of clouds’)
- Trekking shoes (basic ones will do)
- quick dry towels (plastic bag/ ziplock to carry your wet clothes)
- Allergy medications and other medicines, since these are very remote places with very little access to most basic things.
- A non-disposable water bottle to fill water and AVOID BUYING MINERAL WATER
- ID Proof – Voters card/ Pan Card/ Passport/ Drivers license/ Aadhar cardYou can always buy these things from the Decathlon (1 km away from the airport) in Guwahati, if you wish.
Other things that you may bring along :
headlamps/ Torches with batteries
Playing cards and small board games, in case you don’t feel sleepy at night
Go pro for underwater shots
Ideally a 60-litre backpack should be convenient, however, there is no real hiking or trekking with the bags, so a suitcase or trolley is also fine.
Do carry a separate smaller bag(10 to 15 litres) for your trek down to Nongriat village that can fit essential toiletries and change of clothes for 1 night only to reduce the weight on your shoulders and make the trek easier.
The cultural diversity of northeast India is so vast that we can’t blame outsiders for not being aware of communities in the region who are purely vegetarians, so much so that they avoid eating onions( they are indigenous to the region, in case you are thinking about communities from mainland India who have settled here). Having said that, we must admit that the region’s food habits especially in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya are predominantly non vegetarian with a whole lot of red meat based preparations. But the states have warmed up to tourists recently and almost every place you visit will provide the Indian staple diet of rice, dal and sabji, even chapatis if you are lucky. As far as Tripura, Assam, Manipur and Sikkim are concerned vegetarians have decent number of options. Your craving for butter paneer may not be satisfied, but you will do just fine as far as maintaining your health and strength is concerned.