TRAVEL TIPS FOR NORTH EAST TOUR
Highlights of your trip
- Amazing encounters
- Magnificent sceneries and landscapes
- Travel conventional to unconventional route i.e. lesser known places.
A little compromise
- Fundamental tourism infrastructure
- Road conditions
As a core destination management company for North East we always advice our guest that before you start your journey please read the TRAVEL TIPS OF NORTH EAST so that you can be able to acquaint with the rules and regulations, climatic conditions (best time to visit), road conditions, communication system, food, health care, the basic travelling norms of North East and the locals. Find below we have tried to sum up the most important basic information which will be helpful for every visitors of North Eastern States.
In Northeast still tourism materializing, it is not developed like tourist places. The hotels we find are having basic amenities like neat & clean room, telephone services, basic food (Indian & Chinese) and good customer service. But most of the hotels are nestled in the lap of nature which makes the tourist comfortable & natural stay, thus giving a warm and memorable welcome. In the entire North East there are very few luxury hotels in selected places like Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, Jorhat, Kohima, Kaziranga, Agartala, Imphal and Aizawl. Those are looking for luxury tour this is not the place to visit but those who loves nature, those who want to know more about the tribes of India than Northeast is place to visit for a life time experience. The landscapes of North East is exceptionally different and no where you find contract with the other hill stations of Darjeeling, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand.
Since Northeast tourism is not developed to that scale and due to rough topography and average road conditions, the cost of tours are higher by 20%-25% comparing to the tours of other places in India. Even accommodation cost is higher if we compare with destinations of India. So it is always advised to travel in a group of 4-6 so that per person cost of tour will be economical.
Northeast is still under developed, unexplored so it is said to be remote. Except in the state of Assam where you will find 4 lane asphalt highways, the other states like Arunachal, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura road conditions are not so much good. The maximum average speed of these places is 30 km/h so it takes longer time than expected. But scenic beauty and amazing landscape of these places are so enchanting and charming that all the inconvenience can be compromised without any doubt and worth to visit these places. So far safety of the tourist is concerned, it is found that even though if there is any local or political issues, the tourist are not targeted and taken care of by the locals and political parties. It is just a rumour which makes the place unsafe for the tourist. Also as a responsible destination management company we always take additional care on the security and safety of our guests.
In some areas like Dibang Valley, Namdhapha the telephone / internet networks are non-existent. Only VSNL landline is the source of telecommunication. So it is advised to carry with you VSNL Sim card so that where ever possible you can get the network. Recently places like Tawang and Dirang you will get Vodafone, Airtel network because they have reached those areas.
In most of the hotels, shops and restaurant credit cards / travellers checks are not freely accepted. ATM you can get at a distance time to time. But recommended to carry cash also as a back expenditure.
If you require some extra luggage (extra cost applies) then let us know. As of now the domestic airlines allows 15 kg in the main luggage and 7 kg for the hand luggage, anything extra, and it is chargeable.
When we issue the voucher which contains the itinerary (tour plan), we make every effort to maintain the original itinerary. But due to events which are beyond our control (landslides, Earth Quake, Local strikes, Natural calamities etc.), tour plan and itinerary is subject to changes and all additional costs will be have to be borne by the customers on direct payment basis. As a responsible destination management company we always give priority to safety first, irrespective of the fact that our tourist gets annoyed sometimes because some of them cannot understand their own safety while they are on a tour.
Besides Arunachal Pradesh foreigners do not require permits to visit any other North East States. PAP (Protected Area Permit is required for foreign nationals which costs US$ 100 for 2 people and is granted for duration of 30 days. At least 15 days before arrival, a scan copy of the passport + visa to issue a permit for Arunachal Pradesh is required. Last minutes visa done before you travel to India, a permit for Arunachal Pradesh is really not being possible.
Throughout the year the climate of Northeast is pleasant in everywhere, even in Guwahati. The approximate temperatures found between 15 to 24 degrees Celsius during the day and 10 to 15 degrees Celsius at night. So northeast is region which can be travelled throughout the year except hills of Arunachal in rainy season we normally say to avoid i.e. July and mid August.
Food is always a very major part of any vacation. The bizarre cuisine of Northeast we make sure to be a part of your journey. In this region the food are moderately spiced unless you ask for non spicy food. We always request our guest to mention the preference of their food in advance at the time of confirmation of your tour with us. Normally you will get Indian and Chinese food available. If you are looking for continental than only few options are available in few places only.
A traveller must educate himself or herself before travelling to national parks or remote places of India. We must advocate ecotourism and responsible tourism and discourage human safari. We must also preserve the privacy of original tribes and local people. Taking photo is always a part of every travel but maintain the protocol of photography. Take permission of the local or tribes whom you would like to click, never take photos of restricted areas if mentioned and don’t force the locals, tribes or government officials. It is found that during festival the tribes and local ask for a fee for posing so fulfil the contract before taking the photographs. In the past many travellers have just exploited the locals so we always try to make a balance that neither the traveller nor the locals to be exploited. If you would like to visit traditional houses, like to interact with the villagers than it is advised to request us for a local guide who will bridge the gap between you and the locals. Since the locals are very simple people once you had a cup of tea or a glass of local wine you can be able to get their photographs, known about their cultures and many things from them. So always try to become friendly with them with your simple and polite attitude.
SEASON IN THE NORTHEAST
The best time to visit the Northeast is October to June, but depending on the kind of trip and places you would like to visit. Some months more favourable places and some other months for others North East places. For example during rainy season Meghalaya is the best to visit but Tawang is not advised to visit in July and August.
Hardly will you get an opportunity for shopping in these remote and rural places except handicrafts home made products. The people who sell the products are directly involved in making or manufacturing the product you will purchase. We have a strict code of conduct not to take any commission on your purchase by us or by our guides.
You have your own budget for drinks, shopping and tipping so it is suggested to plan in advance those things and if you need any guidance we are here to guide you. For any unforeseen circumstances, for any optional activities, for your meals which are not a part of our itinerary, shopping and for any emergencies it is advised to keep money aside. And also carry your debit card.
It is advisable to carry basic medicines for stomach aches, headaches, insect bites...
Normally Indian tourist don’t bother to get travel insurance done in any domestic tour but it is recommended to get your travel insurance done if you are travelling to places like North East, North Sikkim, Andaman Island, Jammu & Kashmir etc. which can cover your illness and accidents.
But you need not to worry about your health if you take simple precautions:
- Carry out all the important requirements and OTC drugs. Do not forget to have brand names and generic names of drugs.
- Wear a hat / cap under the sun.
- Don’t drink the tap water and stay hydrated. Use only bottled or packaged drinking water.
- Carry with you a personal medical kit and insect repellent.
- Don’t walk bare foot which might cause fungal and parasitic infections. Keep your feet clean and dry.
- Always avoid street food in order.
- Beverages with ice not recommended while you are travelling.
- Pasteurized dairy products only recommended to eat else don’t take.
- Always keep safe distance from animals and don’t annoy them for your time pass (especially monkeys, dogs and cats).
In the entire Eastern India and Northeast rice is the staple diet. There are many kinds of leafy vegetable, beans and other vegetables mainly boiled or lightly spiced being cooked in Northeast. The non-vegetarians are more in Northeast and most of the tribes eat meat in all their meals. . There are numerous kinds of preparations of meat like roast, boiled, barbeque; pork is the favourite but chicken and fish is equally consumed. Oak, goat meat is also consumed a lot in the places. In their daily menu they keep blend of chutney and local herbs. If you are a vegetarian, go for local fruit salvers which will not only pleasure you but also bring in you to new fruits which are only available locally in these areas.
Alcohol is well combined with all the local meat dishes. Local beer is almost every state in the northeast of its own. If you want sample to taste the local beer speak with your local guide.
(Prepared by Catholiday)