Meghalaya solo backpacking in the last week of December

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#1 Dec 16th, 2016, 16:30
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#1
Hi All,

I am planning for a solo trip to Meghalaya during the last week of December. Having spent considerable number of hours scanning for other itineraries, travel experiences and valuable posts by other senior members especially Karikor, I have prepared a tentative high level itinerary. Please have a look and suggest modifications or additions to it --

Dec 25, Sunday: Reach Guwahati (from Bangalore) at 11 AM. Take a shared taxi to Shillong. Stroll the streets and soak in the Christmas spirits

Dec 26, Monday: Local sightseeing in Shillong

Dec 27, Tuesday: Visit Dawki, Mawlynnong and Shnongpdeng. Overnight stay at either Mawlynnong or Shnongpdeng

Dec 28, Wednesday: Dawki to Cherrapunji. Settle down at By the Way. Take a bicycle and explore the city

Dec 29, Thursday: Cherrapunji to Shillong to Guwahati

Dec 30, Friday: Kamakhya temple in the morning and boat ride in the evening

Dec 31, Saturday: Morning departure from Guwahati

Thanks,
AK
#2 Dec 17th, 2016, 00:26
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#2
No Double Decker Living Roots bridge trek to Nongriat.
#3 Dec 17th, 2016, 01:23
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#3
Thanks for the suggestion. I've now extended my trip by 3 more days and the updated plan is as follows --

Dec 22, Thursday: Reach Guwahati (from Bangalore) at 11 AM. Take a shared taxi to Shillong. Stroll the streets

Dec 23, Friday: Local sightseeing in Shillong

Dec 24, Saturday: Visit Mawlynnong, Dawki and Shnongpdeng. Overnight stay at either Mawlynnong or Shnongpdeng

Dec 25, Sunday: David Scott and hitchhike to Cherrapunji. Settle down at By the Way. Rest!

Dec 26, Monday: Cherrapunji local sight seeing

Dec 27, Tuesday: Double Decker Living Roots bridge trek to Nongriat

Dec 28, Wednesday: Buffer day

Dec 29, Thursday: Return to Guwahati by evening

Dec 30, Friday: Kamakhya temple in the morning and boat ride in the evening

Dec 31, Saturday: Early morning departure from Guwahati

#1 There's a disjoint between in plan between end of Dec 24 and beginning of Dec 25. How can I eliminate or reduce this confusion? Is coming back and staying in Shillong on Dec 24 the only option?

#2 Need suggestions for Dec 28

#3 I think there will be half a day in the morning on Dec 29 which can be used in conjunction with any of previous day's plan. How can I use this?

Thanks in anticipation
#4 Dec 17th, 2016, 14:34
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#4
This is what I would recommend for you since you have added another 3 more days to your trip.

Guwahati - Mawlongbna (halt) - Mawphanlur (halt)- Mairang - Mawphlang (halt)- Sacred Groves & David Scott Trek - Sohra(halt) - Nongriat (halt) - Mawlynnong - Shnongpdeng (halt) -Amlarem - Jowai/Ialong (halt) - Tyrchi Falls - Nartiang - Laitlum - Shillong (halt) - Marngar/Umden - Guwahati

But you should be doing your bookings asap since it is peak tourist season.

Regards,

Karikor
#5 Dec 17th, 2016, 23:49
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#5
Hi,

I too am going solo in the last week of December from 24th to 31st. I have not done any bookings, would it be advisable to carry a tent along so that I can pitch it in the compound of the hotel or some permitted area if there is no rooms available ?

Also I have just 7 days. Do you recommend any itinerary as the one you have given above may not be doable by me as I have less number of days

Thanks in advance !
Saurav
#6 Dec 18th, 2016, 00:05
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#6
I am not so sure of that, but you may be successful in a few places. So you can always try it out.

For a week I would just modify the above itinerary to suit the number of days in hand.
#7 Dec 18th, 2016, 11:53
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#7
Thanks karikor ! Which ones do you suggest that I leave out ? I have been following most of your helpful blogs and all seem very interesting. Would need some guidance from you for a 7 day itinerary.

Actually I have quite a heavy tent and would take it along only if it is useful in most places. Which places do you think it might be helpful.

Thanks in advance !
Saurav
#8 Dec 18th, 2016, 18:10
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#8
Hi Karikor,

Well wherever I see I get your insightful reviews on internet. Thanks for such a help !!
I've made up an itinirary sort of for a week from 24th Dec to 30th Night. I need to be in Guwahati by 31st noon.

Guwahati - Shillong (halt)-Mawlongbna (halt) -Mairang - Mawphlang (halt)- Sacred Groves & David Scott Trek (trek details , guides??) - Sohra(halt) - Nongriat (halt) - Mawlynnong - Shnongpdeng (halt) - Tyrchi Falls - Nartiang - Laitlum - Shillong (halt) - Guwahati


Please advise me if this looks fine ?

Thanks
Saurav
#9 Dec 18th, 2016, 18:58
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#9
This is what I would suggest

Guwahati - Shillong (halt)-Mawlongbna (halt) - Mawphlang (halt)- Sacred Groves & David Scott Trek - Sohra(halt) - Nongriat (halt) - Mawlynnong - Shnongpdeng (halt) - Tyrchi Falls - Laitlum - Shillong (halt) - Guwahati

Guides for Sacred Groves & David Scott you will get infront of the Sacred Groves or you can ask your accomodation people to help arrange one.

Personally I would not recommend carrying a tent, but you can get tent accommodation at Mawlongbna, Mawphlang & Shnongpdeng.
#10 Dec 18th, 2016, 19:32
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#10
Hi Karikor,

1) Since I'd be solo traveler and mostly relying on public transport or shared taxis, wouldn't Mawlongbna and Mawphanlur be difficult to cover? Also, I couldn't find much information in the Internet on attractions /activites to cover in these two places. Please help.

2) Since the flight ticket prices have now shot up, I too might end up downsizing my trip to the original plan of 7 days. I'll share my tentative itinerary for your review soon after I book the tickets (latest by) tonight. What I'm now worried after reading your last reply to my query is on the accommodation. I'm a little optimistic on finding a place on airbnb for my stay in Shillong, a bed to sleep at By the Way in Sohra. Can you please suggest on budget conscious options for my stay at Mawphlang and Shnongpdeng? Also, should I have to book them in advance?

Thanks,
AK
#11 Dec 18th, 2016, 21:31
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#11
Hi AK,

1. Mawphanlur is on the way to Nongstoin, Mawlongbna is 15km south of Mawsynram. As for what to do in these places, you can check out either mine or iamsomnaths trip report on these places.

2. However since its just 7 days now, you can skip them out.

Guwahati - Shillong - Mawphlang (halt)- Sacred Groves & David Scott Trek - Sohra(halt) - Nongriat (halt) - Mawlynnong - Shnongpdeng (halt) - Shillong (halt) - Kamakhya/Guwahati (halt)- Home

You can try the following budget places to stay.

Mawphlang - Tents at Maplepine Farms
Sohra - Dorms at By the Way
Nongriat - Serene homestay
Shnongpdeng - Tents at riverside
Shillong - Dorms at Youth Hostel.

You can Google for contacts or search here in this forum itself.
#12 Dec 19th, 2016, 00:02
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#12
Hi Karikor,

Thanks a ton for the itineraray and the very very useful piece of advise.
Life is easier without carrying tents !!! :-)
Do you recommend staying in Shillong for Christmas ? Are there special celebrations/rock concerts/fairs on the 25th of Dec ? As per what you suggested, after reaching Shillong on 24th, I would be heading out of Shillong to Mawlongbna on Sunday the 25th of Dec. DO you suggest that I stay put in Shillong for the Christmas ? Would there be transport since it an important festival day ? Also how do I go from Shillong to Mawlongbna cheaply (meaning no private cab booking).


Thanks another ton in advance !!!
Saurav
#13 Dec 19th, 2016, 01:02
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#13
Thanks again, Karikor.

#1
I've sent an email inquiry for,
a) Youth hostel (as a YHAI member) in Shillong
b) Tent accommodation at Maplepine

#2
After some research, I assume that there is no way to request for a booking at,
a) By the Way
b) Serene home-stay
Please validate if my above assumption is correct

#3
And for Shnongpdeng, I came across Pioneer adventure who offer tent based accommodation. I'll give them a call tomorrow. I also have a backup option which is Lakhmie home-stay close to Dawki, offered by an enthusiastic group that has partnered with Maplepine.

I'll keep this thread updated with any progress that I make.
#14 Dec 19th, 2016, 01:15
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#14
Hi Saurav,

--> Have you already figured out a way to travel between any other two places? Like availability of buses / shared taxis?

--> Have you considered any other options for accommodation other than what I listed above? If yes, I'll be thankful if you could share those for me to have them as plan B

Thanks,
AK
#15 Dec 19th, 2016, 12:00
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#15
Hi AK,

Nope....I think karikor is our best person. I am calling all the hotels in Shillong. Other places for accomodation..I don't know.
When are you reaching Shillong ? I have no idea about the transport, but found that there is a bus from Shillong to Mawlongba in the morning. I have been trying to contact Maplepine but their mail bounced and I do not have their number.


Regards,
Saurav
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