ChaloHoppo to an Adventure in the Wet and Wild Meghalaya
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!
Reviews 5 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
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.
- Stay in comfortable, clean and hygienic accommodation(twin/triple sharing)
- Transport to and from Guwahati airport in Swift Dzire/Innova/ Force Traveller
- Breakfast and dinner on all days
- Lunch in Nongriat
- One ChaloHoppo guy as a tour leader
- Parking and toll charges
- Driver allowance, food and accommodation
- River canyoning, kayaking in Mawlyngbna
- Airfare charges
- All food & beverages costs apart from the ones mentioned above
- Any camera fees
- Hotel & driver tips (since the locals earn low wages, your tips will show your appreciation)
- Entry ticket fees to Museums, Parks, etc.
- 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”.
Welcome to an authentic Meghalayan village
Mawphanlur can be described as the most multi-dimensional place for leisure seekers. It just engulfs you in all its simplicity. The minimalism of the place with three simple cottages, one kitchen area and dining set up is a perfect example of letting nature do what it does best, mesmerise people. They have also thrown in a few kayaks and pedal boats in one of the many ponds where family, friends and even enemies can relax and chill over still waters. If you aren’t someone who enjoys water then just take a walk around the village guided by the faint sound of cattle bells. If you are into photography or have been waiting to try your hand at poetry and enjoy diving into nostalgia, you might want to stay back forever. Mawphanlur is one of those frames that you see hanging by people’s walls and you get to enter that frame.
The trip needs you to land in Guwahati at 7 30 am or earlier.
Lunching on Asia's second largest river island
If visiting a river beach only discovered as late as 1996 by a bunch of meandering school boys, sounds fun to you, then you are in for a real treat. This river island, ostensibly the second largest in Asia has much more to offer besides the aura of it being an island with barely 11 huts. It has three amazing waterfalls! We will be hiking to one of them.
We drive to this island after breakfast and head for a hike to Kshaid Weinia (waterfall). After lunch, we drive to a village(Mawlyngbna) where once dinosaurs walked. For today, you only need to know this much.
Hike duration: 45 minutes one way for slow walkers
Hike difficulty: Easy (it’s a walk across meadows)
Total drive time from Mawphanlur to Nongkhnum island will be 1 hour
Total drive time from Nongkhnum to Mawlyngbna will be 4 hours.
A day full of adventure- river canyoning
To describe this destination, we have come up with an analogy, see if it makes sense to you.
If you grew up in Mawlyngbna, you would never need an adventure park in your life and we say this because of the river canyoning activity that the river in Mawlyngbna offers!
Beyond canyoning, the village is filled with serene spots in the jungle and some interesting fossils.
Mawlyngbna is our favourite summer/ monsoon retreat. River canyoning your way to the ‘Um kha koi reservoir will be the highlight of the day. Jumping off rocks, crawling, scrambling, sliding over others, basically trekking over the river’s route is what river is canyoning is all about.
Once the canyoning is over, get your kayak and relax over the still waters, then go ziplining, and if you have energy left then dive into the waters of the Um kha koi.
A small trek to Lew Luri Lura will start the day.
According to local folklore, Lew Luri Lura was a marketplace for animals thousands of years back, during a time when animals could speak. The depressions are believed to be footprints of the large animals.
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 stay at Mawlyngbna Camp/ Cottages
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(the next day) to go! This one will lead us to the Rainbow Falls. 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.
A day spent in a tropical paradise
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. Ideally by 8 am, you should start the trek back to Rainbow Falls. This trek is more akin to a trek on a rugged stony trail.
This takes an hour 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.
A packed lunch will be had near Rainbow Falls.
Overnight at a homestay in Nongriat village.
The last trek and a musical evening in Cherrapunjee
Today we need to head back up to the top where our vehicle awaits to what would be now considered a luxury. Beds in a hand picked resort! yes! The ascend can take up to 2.5 hours.
Upon reaching your resort give yourself the well-deserved rest and sleep. Time to put on your rock concert clothes in the evening as our dear friends and talented musicians belt out
some classic rock!
Tonight you will be joined by the amazing talent of Tenny Gregory and Banpynshai Thabah. Tenny and Boi as we call them came into our lives on 31st December 2016, when we were welcoming the new year in Cherrapunji. A night of relentless jamming with these boys made us realise the dedication these folks have towards music. All they know is Music. Tenny and Boi aren’t well to do, in fact Tenny is a mason laying bricks and works in a construction site of sorts, but if you speak to him, you will find him no less intriguing than a learned philosopher. Boi is quite and the only language he speaks is music. Some of our guests have already met them, interacted with them and lauded their skills. They don’t like to be paid for music, but if people willingly give tips, then they use it to invest in small things like mics, guitars etc. In 2017, it was the first time ever they ever stepped out of Cherrapunji, and first time on a train when we took them along to be our camp band at the Ziro festival of music.
Please note a few things:
- They are not comfortable taking requests and no they can’t sing hindi songs.
- The music they cover mostly are from the 1970s to 1980s .
- They smoke and drink while they play.
Overnight in a handpicked resort in Cherrapunjee (Sohra).
Bidding Northeast India adieu
Drive to Guwahati post lunch and bid goodbye to the Northeast, but only until your next visit. For those who wish to visit Shillong and other places around can extend their stay by a day and we will assist them in arranging for the same.
You can book a flight anytime after 5 pm today for the return.
Simple cottages looking out into lush greenery and beautiful ponds in an authentic Khasi village.
They have a geyser in the cottage, in a remote village of Meghalaya, isn’t that reassuring? Choose between camping and cottages.
Nothing to describe the homestays in Nongriat apart from asking you to leave the conventional idea of stays and what they offer. Choose between rooms or camping on roofs.
A hand-picked resort in Cherrapunjee
Each cottage in this resort is differently designed. From the exteriors to the interiors, not a single cottage is identical. If room service isn’t your priority, this is the place to be.
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.
- Raincoats, umbrellas
- Sports socks and Swimwear for the Nongriat trek(if the waters are clean we may go for a swim), you can also get swimming goggles or snorkelling masks, and swimming cap
- 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 :
head lamps/ Torches with batteries
Playing cards and small board games,in case you don’t feel sleepy at night
Go pro for under water shots
Ideally a 60 litre backpack with a rain cover should be convenient.
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.
Homestay: Alcohol shall not be provided at the homestays, so those who enjoy their drinks are advised to carry it from before.
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.
Disposing Waste Properly: 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.
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.
Nongkhnum island in Meghalaya discovered by school children in 1996 shows that one really needs to leave the kids alone. Is it the second largest river island after Majuli, or not is still under speculation, but one thing that is sure is the island is magical, for the lack of a better word. Waterfalls, sandy beaches, abundant meadows, huge trees, playful cattle; you bring a checklist and you will run out of ink ticking boxes!
About the river island of Nongkhnum:
- Nongkhnum is one hour drive away from Nongstoin, approximately 13 kilometers from Nongstoin.
- The island claims to be the second largest in Asia.
- The island is formed as the river Kynshi, Meghalaya’s longest river bifurcates into two rivers – Phanliang and Naliang.
- Three waterfalls – Kshiad Thum, Kshiad Weina and Kshiad Langshiang surround the island.
- The village has no electricity.