Help with Meghalaya itinerary - 11 day trip in February 2018

#1 Sep 14th, 2017, 11:44
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#1
Hi,

My first post at India Mike and from where I got tremendous information on Meghalaya. I am planning a trip to the state from 17 Feb to 27 Feb. Thanks to Kairkor and James Perry who helped me fine tune the plan. I welcome your thoughts on the plan, places listed for visit, shortlisted hotels/homestays. Also, any recommendations for cab/taxi would also be helpful.

Day 1 - 17 Feb (Saturday): Land at Guwahati (flight lands at 7:55 AM)/ transfer to Shillong (3 hr)
Hotel: Hotel Center Point/The Habitat Shillong / Blueberry Inn
On the way visit Umiam Lake. Visit Don Bosco (must visit as closed on Sunday). Explore Ward’s Lake and police Bazaar.

Day 2 – 18 Feb (Sunday): Shillong sightseeing
Laitlum Grand Canyon, Elephant Falls, Ever Living Museum, Golf Course, Lady Hydari Park, Bara Bazaar (lewduh). In the evening before sunset can go to Umiam Lake.

Day 3 - 19 Feb (Monday): Shillong to Mawphanlur (3 hr)
Hotel: Traveller’s nest. For reservations: Call Trancis Syiemlieh at 8974318450; 9615 043 847
Address: Mawphanlur Traveller’s Nest, Markasa, West Khasi Hill (“Both rooms are good, but choose first one from gate for better views”)
See if you can visit Kyllang Rock. Trek to Mawthadraishan peak. Enjoy mud pools, there are pedal boats and kayaks, explore the place.

Day 4 – 20 Feb (Tuesday): Visit Nongkhum Island and then travel to Mawphlang
Hotel: Mapple pine Farm in Mawphlang (http://www.culturalpursuits.com/directions)
Leave early from Mawphanlur around 9.30 AM. Visit Nongkhum Island (1 hr 45 min), take boat ride to Nongkhum Island; half an hour walk to Weinnia Falls
Travel to Mapple pine Farm in Mawphlang and explore the area

Day 5 – 21 Feb (Wednesday): Day trip to Mawsynram (approx. 1 hr) and Mawlyngbna and return to Mawphlang
Leave early from Mawphlang around 9 AM. Visit Mawjyngbuin Cave, Khreng Khreng (Cracked rock), Rit Mawksir (view point).
Reach Traveller’s Nest in Mawlyngbna. Trek to see Sea-Urchin fossils (40 minute trek). On the way drink from Pitcher plant, visit Ksaid Umdingkain waterfalls. After fossils, trek for 20 min to Khasi Folktales, called the Iew Luri Lura. Also visit Krem Pomskei (a cave). Come back and visit Umkhakoi Small Multipurpose Reservoirs where one can do kayaking. Go to Artesian Well/Mih-um-spring Lawbah
Return to Mapple Pine Farm

Day 6 – 22 Feb (Thursday): Travel to Cherrapunjee by trekking through David Scott Trail
Visit Mawphlang Sacred Groves (one needs to take guide; full trek takes estimated 2 hours; Time: 10AM to 5 PM), Khasi Heritage Village. Take David Scott trail (~5 hours) and ask the driver to pick from Lad Mawphlang.
Hotel: Jiva Resort

Day 7 – 23 Feb (Friday): Sightseeing in Cherrapunjee
Dainthlen falls, Mawkdok Dympep Valley view point; Arwah Cave; Nohkalikai Falls; Nohsngithiang Falls; Seven sister falls; Eco-park; Cave walk inside the Mawsmai Cave; Thankarang Park; Koh Ramhah; Kynrem Falls

Day 8 – 24 Feb (Saturday): Trekking to Double Decker Root Bridge
Start early for trek from Tyrna village. After some time take a 10 min diversion to Jingkieng Ri-Tymmen (longest single decker root bridge). Then trek to double decker root bridge. Further trek to Rainbow Falls (1 hr from double decker bridge). The entire trip could take around 8 hours.
(one place read advise to trek to No-Khali-Kai falls from Rainbow falls and then board taxi from there. Check if this is feasible?)

Day 9 – 25 Feb (Sunday): Travel to Mawlynnog, Dawki and stay in Shnongpdeng
In Mawlynnog, visit sky view Bangladesh viewpoint, balancing rock, living root bridge, Nohwet view point and Niriang falls. You can have food at kyntiew shaphrang bites & taste restaurant/Kiew Shaphrang.
Travel to Dawki. On the way visit Byrdaw falls, then Borhil falls. Reach Dawki river, bridge and see Bophil Falls.
Then go to Shnongpdeng and stay at Shatsngi Homestay and Outdoor (9612090328, 8132011420) or Halatong Tourist Home Stay (9615762788)
For activities, contact Pioneer Adventures. http://www.pioneeradventuretour.com/; 9856006437/+91 9049442647/+91 8414089699

Day 10 – 26 Feb (Monday): Shnongpdeng to Jowai (2 hrs)
Explore Shnongpdeng in the morning if needed. Then go to Krang Shuri falls (1 hr), Jarain Pitcher Plant, Thlumuwi stone bridge and falls, Syntu ksiar, Tyrshi Falls, Ialong park, Thadlaskein Lake.
Hotel: Highwinds Lakeside/Ialong Park Traveller’s Nest

Day 11 – 27 Feb (Tuesday): Jowai to Guwahati Airport (flight time 8.30 PM) via Shillong bypass road (4 hours)
On the way visit Nartiang Durga Temple, Nartiang Monoliths (if time permits). Then onward journey to airport.
#2 Sep 15th, 2017, 13:41
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#2
I like your itinerary. Covers all the basic places but in a very relaxed manner. Great that you are keeping 11 days to soak up what the trip has to offer.
#3 Sep 15th, 2017, 13:45
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But in February don't expect much water in the falls. Feb is best time for camping, water sports, trekking, caving etc.
#4 Sep 15th, 2017, 18:00
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#4
Thank you Karikor.
1) Any changes you would like to suggest to incorporate the above activities more in the plan. We are already doing 2 treks (David Scott and Double decker), we will staying in Shnongpdeng and doing some water activities there. Anything else?
2) any comments on the hotel selection?
3) Do we really need guides for David Scott Trail and Double Decker treks?

Might have some more questions as we approach Feb
Thank you once again
#5 Sep 15th, 2017, 23:31
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What is your budget like for hotels?
#6 Sep 18th, 2017, 10:56
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Ideally around 4-5K on an average per night
#7 Sep 19th, 2017, 09:48
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1) Any changes you would like to suggest to incorporate the above activities more in the plan. We are already doing 2 treks (David Scott and Double decker), we will staying in Shnongpdeng and doing some water activities there. Anything else?

You can check out the Sohliya farm, they have some activities as well. If time permits you can even do the actual caving at Mawmluh cave in Sohra also. You can also add the Garden of caves at Laitmawsiang after David Scot trek.


2) any comments on the hotel selection?

Hotel Centre point is located in a very crowded place. The other two are good. You can even check out the Club Heritage at Tripura Castle

3) Do we really need guides for David Scott Trail and Double Decker treks?

If you are experienced trekkers, may not be required. But I suggest you do. These are the initial stages of trying to promote tourism as a means of livelihood to the educated unemployed youth of the state. Lack of such avenues in the past have led the youth to frustration and taken up arms. Also most tourist do day trips from Guwahati to Meghalaya which only benefits the tourist taxis from Assam.
So your 500-1000 bucks will go a long way for the larger interest of the nation as a whole.
#8 Sep 22nd, 2017, 14:05
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#8
Thanks for your inputs Karikor.

How long will it take to complete Mawmluh cave? And would we need a guide for this?

Also, I am thinking of making the following change on Day 4 and Day 5. Please suggest if this feasible and makes sense.

Day 4: After checking out from Mawphanlur and visiting Nongkhum Island, instead of going to Mawphlang and staying at Mapple Pine, I am thinking of travelling straight to Mawlyngbna and staying at Traveller's Nest. Google maps is showing the route from Nongkhum to Mawlynbna via Nongstoiń-Mawkyrwat Road (crossing Mawthawppdah, Jakrem, etc.).
Day 5: After completing all activities in Mawlyngbna, we will travel to Mawphlang and stay at Maple Pine Farms.

Rest of the itinerary remains the same

My questions are:
1. Does this change make sense?
2. Would it be ok to stay at Traveller's Nest in Mawlyngbna compared with Mapple Pine farm? I am talking in terms of location, quality of room or cottage and food, etc.
3. Is the route suggested by Google Maps feasible in terms of road conditions, etc.? Google maps is showing the travel time from Nongkhum to Mawlyngbna as 3hr40 min.
4. I believe it will be late evening by the time we reach Mawlyngbna. Is there anything to do in the evening there? I mean sitting outside and enjoying the beauty, etc.?
#9 Sep 22nd, 2017, 14:25
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How long will it take to complete Mawmluh cave? And would we need a guide for this?

It usually takes around 4 hours. Yes a guide who can provide all safety suits and tools is required.


My questions are:
1. Does this change make sense?

Yes it does. Beautiful scenery.

2. Would it be ok to stay at Traveller's Nest in Mawlyngbna compared with Mapple Pine farm? I am talking in terms of location, quality of room or cottage and food, etc.
There are two cottages with capacity for 3 people in each cottage. The cottage has a Bedroom, a toilet and a dressing room. As for food, the villagers have a village cook to prepare normal khana.

3. Is the route suggested by Google Maps feasible in terms of road conditions, etc.? Google maps is showing the travel time from Nongkhum to Mawlyngbna as 3hr40 min.
It will be about 4 hours or so. Since Feb is not rainy season, it may not be such a big problem.

4. I believe it will be late evening by the time we reach Mawlyngbna. Is there anything to do in the evening there? I mean sitting outside and enjoying the beauty, etc.?
You can take a stroll in the village centre and enjoy the forest where your cottages are located in.
#10 Sep 22nd, 2017, 14:30
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Thank you Karikor for the prompt response.

Sorry one more question. Can you please tell me how much time should we budget at Nongkhum. My research shows that there is boat ride to Nongkhum Island; half an hour walk to Weinnia Falls. Anything else?
#11 Sep 22nd, 2017, 14:35
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Recently a road has been made which takes you straight to the island. So if you want to explore more, I think 2 hours should be okay.
#12 Oct 4th, 2017, 11:25
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by karikor View Post But in February don't expect much water in the falls. Feb is best time for camping, water sports, trekking, caving etc.
Hello thanks for the information. I am planning to visit cherrapunjee and Shillong by 5th to 11th February'18 for honeymoon. Would the falls at cherrapunjee be totally dry? What do you suggest for alternative activity? I am planning to visit kaziranga instead of cherrapunjee in case the waterfalls are dry. Can you please suggest?
#13 Oct 4th, 2017, 14:30
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Some main falls will still have some water, but February is best time for Caving in Sohra, trekking to Double Decker root bridges in Nongriat, Watersports in SHnongpdeng, trekking the David Scot Trail, seeing the marine sea-urchin fossils in Mawlyngbna, etc etc.
#14 Oct 4th, 2017, 15:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karikor View Post Some main falls will still have some water, but February is best time for Caving in Sohra, trekking to Double Decker root bridges in Nongriat, Watersports in SHnongpdeng, trekking the David Scot Trail, seeing the marine sea-urchin fossils in Mawlyngbna, etc etc.
Thanks for your kind reply. Can you please mention which waterfalls might have water? did you mean seven sister waterfall, Nohkalikai Falls,Dain-Thlen Falls? Trekking to double decker bridge and rainbow falls is indeed very interesting, including in the package. Would we get water at rainbow falls? What about security in the trekking ? Thanks in advance.
#15 Oct 4th, 2017, 23:29
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Yes those are basically the major falls. Yes there will still be some water in rainbow falls, but it is best to confirm with the locals at Nongriat. No security issues at all. People are friendly but shy at first sight.

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