The North East
Trip Code: AITNEA
Price: from AU$6,985 per person twin share
Prices are valid until 30 September 2016, excluding the Christmas / New Year period.
To receive a detailed itinerary with prices and hotel information, please click here to use the inquiry form.
- 16 night’s accommodation
- All transfers and touring by air conditioned SUV with experienced driver
- All expenses related to the vehicle and driver such as fuel, tolls, parking charges, inter-state tax, driver accommodation and meals, etc
- Accompanying English speaking guide for the entire tour (including all of the guides expenses such as meals and accommodation)
- Activities as mentioned in the itinerary (such as elephant safari at Pakke, jeep safaris at Kaziranga, guided walks)
- Park entry fees, ferry charges, Restricted Area Permit (RAP)
- Assistance on arrival and departure at airports
- 24 hour support through our local representative offices
- All taxes
- Camera fees
- Meals other than those mentioned as included
- Tips, porterage and personal expenses
- Visa Fees
India’s North East is an ethnically and culturally diverse region that sees very few foreigners beyond Assam. This itinerary takes you into the heart of the region.
Travel in the North East takes effort, with mountainous terrain and numerous rivers to be crossed. However, the rewards for the curious and hardy traveller are many. With a backdrop of raw natural beauty, this itinerary takes you to the outer-reaches of the region where several different indigenous tribes continue to live a traditional lifestyle.
Basic accommodation in the midst of these communities gives you an opportunity to understand their traditional practices (hunting, farming, gathering, etc) and the way they have adjusted to the influence of the outside world in order to continue with a traditional lifestyle.
The trip winds down with a tea garden stay and visits to several important historical sites relating to World War II.
Day 1 Cherrapunjee
Arrive at Guwahati airport and transfer to Cherrapunjee (four to five hours) in Meghalaya. Known as the ‘abode of clouds’, Cherrapunjee receives the highest rainfall in the world.
Inhabited by the indigenous Khasi community, the diverse Cherrapunjee landscape is dominated by deep gorges, lush valleys, cascading waterfalls and natural springs, and dotted with tiny clusters of villages and limestone caves. As well as the stunning view of the Surma valley in the Sylhet district of Bangladesh, Cherrapunjee is well known for the historic Scot’s trail and for several sacred groves maintained and preserved by the Khasi community as a part of their spiritual tradition. [Image: Rishav999].
Day 2 Shillong
Today, visit local waterfalls, a tribal village and take a hike to the Living Root Bridge. This bridge epitomises the bioengineering skill and knowledge of the indigenous Khasi community.
Have an early lunch before the two-hour drive to Shillong, the bustling capital of Mehgalaya where there’s time for some sightseeing.
Day 3 Kaziranga
This morning make the seven-hour drive to Kaziranga National Park. This is one of the best-managed national parks in India and home to the largest single population of the endangered One Horned Rhinoceros and Asiatic Water Buffalo.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaziranga is one of the last strongholds of Asia’s ‘big five’ – Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, One Horned Rhinoceros, Asiatic Wild Water Buffalo and Swamp Deer. The park boasts of a remarkable diversity of endangered species including birds, mammals and reptiles.
Day 4 Kaziranga
Take both morning and afternoon game drives in 4×4 open-top jeeps through Kaziranga. An experienced and passionate guide and park ranger accompany each game drive.
Day 5 Pakke
Rise early for an elephant-back safari. After breakfast drive three-hours to Pakke Tiger Reserve in western Arunachal Pradesh.
A pristine ecosystem inhabited by the colourful Nyishi tribe, known for their strong culture and customs, Pakke is true Hornbill country where four species of Hornbills are found. The Nyishis, who used to kill the Hornbills for bush meat and to decorate their traditional headgears, have now completely banned hunting near the protected area.
Take an afternoon trek with a hunter guide. [Image: Lip Kee Yap].
Day 6 Pakke
The day presents further opportunities to observe the flora and fauna with both a jeep safari and guided walk.
In the evening enjoy a cultural dance performance by local Nyishi folk artists.
Day 7 Ziro
Today is another long drive of around seven hours, to Ziro in the great Apatani plateau. Apatanis are perhaps the best settled of the indigenous tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. They continued with their old traditions and customs even after the British came and eventually left their land. However they have moved from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a more settled agricultural economy, making use of the River Subansiri.
Apatanis live in harmony with nature; for every tree they fell, five fresh saplings are planted. They are known for their conservationist ethic, which extends to preserving traditional crafts such as their weaving techniques.
Apatani valley has been short-listed to be included in the future UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (Apatani women have a distinct appearance, with nose plugs and tattooed faces.)
Day 8 Ziro
Explore the Apatani villages with a guide, including local markets, fish and paddy farms and a bamboo plantation.
Day 9 Daporijo
Drive to Daporijo (six hours), the land of the Tagin and Hill Miri tribes. Here you will stay amongst the Adi Gallong, Hill Miri and Tagin tribes in Rigu village, observing their cultures first-hand.
Day 10 Along
Today takes you to Along (five hours) and then travel further to Wakh village. Here you’ll mingle with the Adi Gallong tribal community and enjoy their local food and wine.
Day 11 Along
Experience the local village and its cultures. You can either spend the night at Along, or there’s an optional drive to Panging village followed by a three-hour hike to Komsing village, which is inhabited by the aboriginal Adi Myniong tribe. The hike also involves the crossing of the mighty Siang River via a 110 metre-long cane bridge made by the indigenous tribesmen.
Day 12 Dibrugarh
Drive to Dibrugarh (seven hours), with lovely heritage tea plantation bungalows to welcome you at the end of the long day. These are often referred to as ‘Chaang bungalows’ meaning bungalows on stilts or raised wooden platforms. The tea bungalows of Assam, known for their opulence, were constructed by British planters to keep safe from wild elephant herds and to stay cool in the tropical heat.
Day 13 Majuli Island
Today you’ll visit Majuli Island, which is three hours by car and one and a half hours by ferry.
Majuli is the second largest river island in the world, and is threatened by continuous erosion from the great Brahmaputra River. It is the epicentre of Assam’s culture, tradition and spiritualism. The spiritual guru of Assam, Sankardeva, introduced the monastic order of Vaishnovite religion on the island. A very distinct form of dance and music evolved out of the day-to-day spiritual activities of the monks in the monasteries.
The area is inhabited by the indigenous Mishing community who live on the bank of the river and fish for a living. Visit a Mishing village and Vaishnovite satras (monasteries). Each Mishing home has a handloom for weaving clothes. If there’s time, visit the villages of mask painters and potters. [Image: Kalai Sukanta].
Day 14 Kohima
Proceed to Kohima in Nagaland, which is a one and a half hour journey by public ferry and four hours by car.
The Battle of Kohima was one of the turning points in World War II in the Far East. Kohima, about 50 kilometres from the border of Burma, had to be taken by the Japanese if their 1944 ‘March on Delhi’ was to succeed. However, British and Commonwealth forces held them off at Kohima. This, coupled with the Japanese failure to take Imphal, ended the offensive.
In the afternoon visit the local market.
Day 15 Khonoma
This morning visit the World War II Cemetery and Tuophema heritage village.
After lunch transfer to Khonoma, the traditional Angami Naga village known for its green initiatives and total ban on wildlife hunting, including the state bird, Blyth’s Tragopan.
Day 16 Dimapur
Explore the Angami village before the two-hour drive to Dimapur where you’ll visit the Dimapur cemetery and zoo.
Day 17 Dimapur
Transfer to Dimapur airport for your flight to Kolkata and onward travel.
[Images for days 6, 8 to 12, 14, 16 and 17: Help Tourism].
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