Meghalaya is divided into 3 regions - Khasi hills, Jaintia hills and Garo hills.The temperatures vary from place to place and the season one visits it in makes a difference. During winters ( November to March) temperatures vary from 0 degrees to 14 degrees but under normal circumstances there is no snowfall. Summers and monsoons go hand in hand, with the peak monsoon months being May - August. The temperatures from April to October revolve around the 23 degrees mark.
Though Meghalaya has an airport in Umroi (~ 35 kilometers from Shillong) and a helicopter service that drops people in the Shillong air force base, the nearest airport for all practical purposes is the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi airport in Guwahati, Assam. The distance of x km can be covered in a time span of 2.5 - 3 hours and the road conditions are excellent.
Alternatively daily helicopter service from Guwahati to Shillong can be accessed at Rs 1500 per seat with children below the age of 4 years prohibited from flying. Helicopter seat availability can only be confirmed upon enquiring at the Pawan Hans( the company that provides the helicopter service) counter in Guwahati airport.
Though we love animals, we don’t have enough provisions for your pet to have a comfortable trip and also keeping the comfort of other travellers in mind, we don’t allow pets on any of our pre scheduled trips. However, if you choose to customise your trip then please get in touch and you can even bring an elephant along.
The sources of such warnings should be checked and speaking from the perspective of locals living in the region(three of ChaloHoppo’s 4 member core team are from Tripura and Assam and the fourth one from Kerala) we can say that though some parts of northeast India do have cases of groups clashing against government forces from time to time, it doesn’t affect a tourist as long as the route is chosen wisely and hours of commute are decided smartly, much like traveling in any other part of the world.
If you have seen warnings in the advisory pages of governments, then we want to remind you that governments will always take precaution and not be in sync with the real situation. Northeast India is absolutely safe with warm and welcoming locals. You should have no issues even going to the most interior places. As with any other tribal dominated region respect the local culture and don't hurt their sentiments, and you will have a great time in a beautiful place.
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.
Since we are not a traditional tourism company or merely travel agents ,we don’t include Shillong in our pre scheduled itineraries purely because if you want to see Shillong you don’t need us or any other travel agent for that matter. Don’t get us wrong Shillong is beautiful and if you want us to help you with it, simply check out our custom trips page.
The pre scheduled trips are a no frills event and the journeys through tough terrains may not be suitable for young children. Though we only allow children above the age of 14 to be a part of our pre scheduled trips, we create awesome experiences for young children and families. Just check our custom trips section for the same.
It is absolutely fine if you don’t drink or smoke and we welcome teetotalers equally on our trips as we do those who love a drink or two. As far as our policy goes, we are in tune with the government’s policy on the matter. We would like to ensure you that no nuisance will be tolerated and any difficulty to a fellow traveller will be handled on the spot by the ChaloHoppo Guy (tour lead) taking strict action if required.
The pre scheduled trips are a no frills event and the journeys through tough terrains and may not be suitable for the average senior citizen or anyone with a physical disability. The treks undertaken as a part of this trip also require some levels of physical fitness like good knees and the ability to walk for 2 to 3 hours at a stretch including climbing up and down 3000 steps.
So we don’t recommend that elderly people take up this trip. However, we customise trips for all, irrespective of the age group they belong to or their preferences. Check out our custom trips section for the same.
Entry to the states of Assam, Manipur*, Tripura, Meghalaya and Sikkim* don’t require any kind of permits and possessing an id card bearing one’s address should serve the purpose and foreign national can carry their passports. However to enter Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram one needs to obtain an ILP or inner line permit which is very simple to get. Foreign nationals need to obtain a PAP or Protected Area Permit. Read our detailed blog on where the different ILPs can be obtained from and other related queries.
Though Manipur doesn’t require an ILP but if one enters Manipur via Nagaland then an ILP is required. People travelling to North Sikkim need to obtain a permit and foreign nationals need to carry a photocopy of their passport to enter Sikkim as the permit is made at the checkposts on producing the photocopy of the passport.
The geographical area of northeast India is 262,230 km2 (101,250 sq mi) which forms 8% of India’s land and it is not possible to cover all the states in 10 or even 15 days. If you are actually keen on at least setting foot in each state then we can arrange for a special trip details of which can be found in our custom trips section.
The minimum number of people required for the trip to happen is 5 and the maximum number is 8. We keep the groups small to ensure that it is easy to manage and everyone on the trip goes back home not just with beautiful pictures but having made meaningful connections to people from different walks of life.
The average age of people travelling with ChaloHoppo varies within the range of 24 to 30 years but having said that we have had 5 year olds to 65 year olds travel with us on our custom trips.
You can read more about how ChaloHoppo works and what exactly alternative accommodations mean on our blog. Most of our pre scheduled trips are a no frills event and we strongly believe in the therapeutic effects of camping in the outdoors with a bonfire to keep you warm.
Though you won’t be sleeping in tents every night of your journey, but accommodation in tents will be a significant part of the trip. So if you are somebody who wants bed tea, someone to rush to your service at the ring of a bell and offer clean towels then this may not be your tale to tell.
You need not worry about the bathrooms and toilets as they aren’t royal but definitely clean and hygienic. At some of the homestays/ guest houses water needs to be fetched from a nearby tap but cleanliness isn’t an issue.
You can pack a suitcase for most of our trips unless you are coming for one of our backpacking trips. At the end of the day it is a matter of your convenience and we would recommend carry bags that you don’t mind taking a beating. If you are travelling in the monsoons then backpacks with a rain cover are recommended.
ChaloHoppo campsites are made as comfortable as possible with the tents being equipped with inflatable mattresses,blankets and pillows. We create bonfires and ensure that the toilets are clean and there is a constant source running water in the vicinity. We also build chilling areas and luggage rooms for the convenience of the campers.
Oh! That is great isn't it. All you have to do is …...
Since all the hotels/ homestays/ guesthouses only confirm bookings upon 100% payment we need to take the same from our guests to confirm the stays. Also we are easy to find and locate in case you are dissatisfied and want to express your anger and dissatisfaction so refunds aren’t going to be an issue as long as it abides by our refund policy.
You can find us working hard on the next trip here : Chalo Hoppo PVT. LTD., Kedar road, near Rituraj Hotel, Guwahati - 781001, Assam or you can simply mail us at [email protected]
We understand that you want to spend time shopping local crafts, spices etc but we don’t have designated time for that on the trip. However, we will try and manage to squeeze some time if time permits.
Alternatively you can check out our ChaloHoppo shop section and it can be delivered to your doorsteps.
A most definite yes, as long as you are okay travelling in a mixed group of other solo travellers or small group of friends.
It would be ideal to start the trip on the assigned date but in scenarios where you are in the region and want to join the group 2 days or 3 days into the trip, we can arrange for that as long as logistics aren’t an issue and there is availability in the accommodations where the group is staying.
The cost of the trip in such cases will be dynamic and will be at the discretion of the ChaloHoppo guy (tour lead). You can contact him at +91 9819235749 or mail us at [email protected]
You can leave the trip early in case of emergency but no refund will be made.
Extra nights can be booked based on availability. You can also visit our Custom trip section to plan a different trip.
Not all travelers 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 will be provided along with a guide to ensure safety of the travellers.