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NE explorers planned an amazing trip to meghalaya. There was a rough itinerary, but we were able to see whatever we wanted on a day-to-day basis. Rajiv and our driver... read more Apu recommended spots based on the weather and our interests. Rajiv was in touch with us throughout the trip, making sure that we were comfortable and happy. The home stays were cute and comfy. Apu was an outstanding driver, guide, photographer and entertainer, and we felt super safe with him. Don’t hesitate to trust NE Explorers for your NE travels.
July 3, 2022
Northeast as a destination was very high on our agenda for a very long time however we did not know how to go about it. Many of... read more my friend suggested to make arrangements ourselves but having been through tour operators in the past I knew it was better to go through them. I read about Northeast explorers when I was browsing through the website and read very good reviews about them. I particularly liked the focused packages being planned and executed by them. We finalise the itinerary after many interactions over mail and WhatsApp and Rajiv was quite flexible to accommodate our specific demands and also suggest changes basis his experience of the region. The price was also quite reasonable too because I had checked with other tour operators also for the same trip.
Pre-trip - Just two days before the start of the trip I read adverse reviews about the weather conditions in Assam and Meghalaya. Family and friends advised us to cancel the trip however having made such elaborate arrangements we wanted to go for the trip. At the same time the family safety was a priority too and hence I directly contacted Rajiv and Jameer (who was the driver for the trip). Both Rajiv and Jameer gave a very good assessment of the actual situation on the ground and I was convinced that it was a safe trip to make. My wife and daughter were still not convinced and I asked them to talk to Rajiv which they did and after talking to Rajiv they were also assured that it was okay to travel. So, we headed out the next morning.
Actual trip -
Day 1 Jameer met us at the Gauhati airport from where we started for Dirang. Jameer turned out to be a talkative and fun guy. The trip from Gauhati to Tarang had a few surprises in store for us because on the way our car tyre got punctured and immediately after that within next 30 minutes another tyre got punctures again. We lost approximately two hours in the process which delayed our trip. By the time we cross the Assam-Arunachal border it has started to get dark and by 8 o’clock the weather also started deteriorating and it started to get foggy. As Dirang was still a few four hours away from there and because of the weather conditions we decided to take a halt in a small place called Tenga which was not planned as per our Itinerary. There also Rajeev helped us making the booking arrangements in the best hotel available in that small place and we were glad that we made the decision because it was proving to be quite difficult to drive in the foggy condition.
Day 2 We woke up to a beautiful morning and we started from Tenga to Dirang. Jameer had discussed with Rajiv and made some changes in the plan so that we first went to Bomdilla monastery and from there on to Dirang monastery. Both monasteries were simply breathtaking. We spent our night in a beautiful Homestay in Dirang which had a lovely Kiwi garden by its side.
Day 3 We started upwards for Tawang. On the way we saw Sela pass and Sela lake. Area was completely dominated by the Indian Army. We wanted to cover the Jang falls also the same day but it was getting darker and hence Jameer suggested to cover on the day of going back (again a right decision). We spent the night in a beautiful Homestay in Tawang.
Day 4 Relaxed day in Tawang spent on visiting the larger monetary in India and thereafter the Tawang war memorial. There are some good cafe for lunch. Day ended with light and sound show conducted by the Indian Army.
Day 5 We visited Bum la pass and Madhuri lake in a separate vehicle (only locals are allowed). This was a beautiful sunny day and the best day of the trip (literally breathtaking as there is oxygen shortage at 15000 feet above the Sea level). We ended the day with some local shopping and lunch in a local restaurant.
Day 6 We started our downward journey to Dirang. We covered the Jang falls which was again a beauty of the nature. Return journey was again through Sela pass and Sela Lake which we enjoyed again. We reached Dirang in the evening to be welcomed warmly by the host of the Homestay.
Day 7 We started from Dirang for Bhalukpong. There were some small landslides on the way. We stayed in the best hotel there with a nice river flowing by.
Day 8 We started for Guwahati and did some shopping in Guwahati.
Day 9 Went to a popular restaurant and enjoyed local delicacies. Day ended with us taking a flight back to Delhi.
We can’t thank Rahi and Jamir enough for giving us such memorable memories. Rajiv kept checking with us about our well being throughout and Jameer was the person who made this very comfortable. Excellent driving skills, good knowledge of the region and very flexible and accommodating.
The best part was that both Rajiv and Jamir were in constant touch and would make plans depending on the weather conditions (which is very important for this region). We had earlier planned 2 nights in Shergaon but had to cancel due to landslides and was a good decision to make. This flexibility was needed. There is only one Opportunity for improvement and which I have suggested to Rajiv also to consider a stopover in Tezpur or Bhalukpong on day1 otherwise everything else was perfect.
Me and my family thoroughly enjoyed this trip. North east and Arunanchal are anyway loaded with natural beauty and this was made even more beautiful with excellent trip planning. This made our nine day very comfortable and pleasant, which we will perhaps not forget for a long time.
July 3, 2022
It was well planned itinerary, within a short span of time, included major attractions, with good Homestays, very good guide cum chauffeur giving all nit bits of the place. We... read more couldn't ask for more. It was sightseeing cum small treks which was well spaced out to enjoy to the hilt. Lucky enough to see most of the waterfalls en route Sohra from Shillong, in spite of heavy rains and fog/ clouds. A very beautiful place to be.
June 26, 2022
We visited Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh (M&A) from May 14-23 and it was awesome. To make this memorable it was a combined effort of ours and Northe East Explorers (Rajiv).
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Planning: we planned our own itinerary and were looking for a local tour operator. We found Northeast Explorers and reached out. Rajiv was prompt and very helpful in further tailoring our itinerary as per the season of the visit. (Read: we chucked out Dawki as it won’t be crystal clear, added a day in Tawang for acclimatisation). We locked our dates, our places and of course our tour operator!
Booking: we booked the tour with Rajiv in two Instalments. During this he gathered documents and information from us to get Permits for Meghalaya (permit due to covid rising) and Arunachal (Inner Line Permit or ILP). Just a week before our trip we received our permits, driver details and assurance of a great trip ahead.
Trip: We landed and started our trip from Guwahati to Meghalaya; back to Guwahati and off to Arunachal and then return to Guwahati for our flights. Our driver Nagesh was experienced and very professional. He made additional stops on monasteries and view points not in itinerary but fell on our route. He agreed for our rest stops in exchange of early start of the day (the earlier you start in mountains the better).
All our stays in M&A were pretty homestays and super friendly hosts. The food, location and accommodation in all places were great. In Guwahati we stayed at the heart of the city writhing short drive of important places and markets.
During the entire trip, Rajiv kept asking about our experiences in homestays and drive (to check on weather and landslides).
Sign off: on our second last day back to Guwahati we met Rajiv and signed off the trip with shopping and traditional food in Guwahati.
Thank you NE Explorers for the wonderful trip and numerous memories. If we plan to visit NE, we will definitely reach out to you.
June 6, 2022
We had just the perfect trip with Northeast explorers to Meghalaya with the cosy homestays and beautifully located resort in Jowai. The entire trip was about appreciating and enjoying... read more the beauty, simplicity and culture of Meghalaya with each day filled with very nice walks/hikes and local food. A big thanks to Rajiv who understands your requirement and customises the trip accordingly. Could not have had such a great trip without Jamir our experienced driver. We are leaving with these new friendships. Hope to be back soon!
May 25, 2022
Review of the 6 day Tawang trip
My family and friends had a wonderful time on this very well planned tour. Rajiv and Jameer are excellent at their... read more jobs and we're very thankful to them.
We were visiting the Tawang memorial to see my grandfather's inscription for the first time so it was an emotional trip to begin with. (The Tawang memorial commemorates the heroes who died protecting the country in the India- China war of 1962).
I found north east explorers online and started communicating with Rajiv almost a year before the trip just to get his advice early on. He was responsive and very knowledgeable. The other positive reviews on the various sites were reassuring also.
He clearly knows the region very well and was able to guide us accordingly when we explained that the Tawang memorial would be the main highlight for us.
He advised on travel requirements and permit requirements ahead of time ( I would advise if you have any non- Indian passport holders in your group, that you need to get the ball rolling a few weeks if not months in advance to ensure to have everything required as there can be some unpredictable border control issues).
Our driver and guide Jameer was a really lovely chap. Always polite and considerate.He had done the trip multiple times before which was evident as some of the roads can be fairly challenging but he had a lot of experience. He knew the best scenic spots to stop at, suitable restaurants to stop at along the way ( nice food and reasonable toilets - just fyi a lot of the toilets along the route were the traditional squatting toilet types - the toilets in the homestays were the modern type though).
The homestays were lovely and well chosen. Very different from the run of the mill hotels. Charming and quaint with friendly staff.
We stayed at Gonpalok homestay in Dirang and Dondrub homestay in Tawang.
We travelled at the beginning of April. As the altitude increases the weather gets colder so make sure you have some warm clothes/layers/ slippers with you. In Tawang (where it was much colder) they had bed warmers at the homestay, which helped a lot.
Just be mindful of the food service timings at the homestays/ carry some healthy snacks with you if required.
If you have any special dietary requirements they are willing and happy to accommodate when they can.
I would say if you are vegan and like having oat or soya milk etc it's better to take your own non-dairy milk cartons or sachets as it just isn't readily available in the area. I would take some of your own healthy snacks/ fruits as well if required. Also inform them ahead of meal preparation if you want them to reduce the amount of oil etc.
Over the 6 days, we went from Guwahati to Dirang to Tawang and then returned back to Guwahati airport via a different route. Lots of beautiful scenery, waterfalls and monasteries to see. We were able to see the Indo-Bhutan border gate on the way back and take a few pictures there also.
Rajiv advised about the importance of acclimatisation to the altitude. For example you may feel a bit breathless/dizzy as you get used to the environment but on the whole most of us were fine.
(Including our cutie mum who is in her 70s)
Just as a precaution if you have anyone traveling with medical issues or using blood pressure medications it may be handy to travel with a blood pressure monitor /a pulse oximeter and thermometer just incase. Also just be mindful that malaria is endemic in Assam.
All in all it was an amazing trip!!! Highly recommend this great team!! Thank you so much Rajiv and Jameer!!!
We loved it!
April 22, 2022
Me and my wife were looking for a tour operator for our north east trip (tawang and kaziranga) this year. I had already been to Meghalaya with my friends but... read more as a couple this was our first trip. This was also our first mountain trip post the pandemic. My wife also has problems with motion sickness and altitude. So we were looking for a reliable amtour operator in the region. That is when we stumbled upon North East explorers. Rajiv was always available for any doubts and queries and he went out of his way to make our trip memorable. Even though we booked very last moment he was gracious to adjust things for us. He made sure we were enjoying the trip. Overall it was a well managed enjoyable experience.
April 22, 2022
Hello Rajiv Good evening ..
Yes back home and settled and still day dreaming about beautiful trip and places we saw.. those are just mind blowing...
The trip... read more was extremely superb with no issues faced at all.. we all have enjoyed a lot at all places ..
All stays and meals very super cool..
Never thought North East would be so so mesmerizing..
Great adventure at Cherapunji...never thought we are so skilled and capable to do so.much trek...this was a lifetime experience..
Have carried superb memories back home..
Looking forward to again plan the best of best places
April 18, 2022
Posting this in a while:
My husband and I generally take a vacation around our anniversary and he plans meticulously, reading up reviews, watching YouTube videos, etc. This year... read more around, both of us were insanely busy with work as well as a close friend's wedding preps, leaving us with no time to plan our vacation. We had finalised the destination but were struggling to plan it properly. He left the entire planning to me, saying this is payback time and I should take the initiative this time. That was a daunting task, specifically because I had to match his standards if not surpass them and there was hardly any time - 10 days to go before our planned leave began. That's when I found Northeast Explorers on Google - and I was really lucky I did! Northeast Explorers is a one-man army run by Rajiv Verma; he had some really great reviews on his website as well as TripAdvisor. He had set itineraries on the website - for every state in the North East. I picked up one that matched what I was looking for - Kaziranga & Meghalaya in 7 days - and dropped in an enquiry on the website, along with the customization that I was looking for. Rajiv replied within a few hours with a tentative plan for us, addressing my specific requirements. We mostly corresponded on email only given that I literally had no time to plan. 5 days before we left, we finalised the itinerary with Rajiv. We had a wonderful time, without the pain of having to plan anything at all - yet most of the trip felt like we had planned it ourselves!
The highlights of the trip:
• Rajiv knows Meghalaya like the back of his hand, hence suggested a few places that weren't on our list.
• A few treks and some adventures were what I had asked him for - and he ensured that our trip was action-packed!
• The Double Decker Living Root Bridge was on my bucket-list for the longest time and we had an awesome guide who made the trek memorable for us. Rajiv had suggested that we could take a dip in the lagoon during the trek and that was one of the highlights of our trip! After a gruelling trek, the ice cold water was exactly the therapy that our muscles needed - so that we could complete the rest of the trek strongly.
• The Bamboo Trek was another highlight. Not many folks know about it, nor had I heard about it before Rajiv suggested it. Again, a gem of a place. We were awestruck by the engineering marvels built by the locals here - bamboo ladders & bridges along a cliff. It wasn't too difficult but it is certainly not for the faint-hearted. We just had to trust the bamboo bridges at some places, take a leap of faith while soaking in the beautiful views all along!
• River-camping at Shnongpdeng: Again, I had only known about the boating at Dawki from my research. Rajiv suggested camping along the Umngot river further down at Shnongpdeng. That was the last leg of our journey and a thrilling one again. Camping in tents at night by the river, making new friends while soaking in the warmth around the bonfire, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and cliff jumping was all super fun!
• The itinerary also ensured that we covered the most beautiful waterfalls around Sohra, the wonderful Arwah and Mawsmayi Caves and a few other places on the way. Since it was a dry season, he had only prioritised the most beautiful waterfalls and ones that still had water for us!
• Rajiv had ensured that we had a cool driver Ricky all along with us. Ricky is a Khasi himself so language wasn't a problem anywhere. He has travelled along the length and breadth of Meghalaya so he knows the roads very well! He also knew some of the best places to explore fresh, local food - something we wanted to do.
• We had some of the best homestays all through the trip - a paddy shed at Kaziranga. A Khasi homestay tucked in at the highest locale in Shillong, which gave us a beautiful view of entire Shillong. A nice hotel along a small pond that leads to the Wei Shawdong & Dainthlen falls. And camping in tents at Shnongpdeng. Most places offered to set up bonfires for us in the evenings to keep us warm and enjoy our drinks. And all of them offered wholesome breakfast too.
• We didn't have to worry about getting the permits, etc. Rajiv just took all the documents and got the e-passes for us. The safaris at Kaziranga were also booked for us so we didn't have to bother about the bookings once we had paid the lumpsum amount to Northeast at the beginning of the trip.
So overall, we had a brilliant trip indeed - thanks to Northeast Explorers & Rajiv. And certainly one that matched my husband's standards Can't thank Rajiv enough for this trip!
March 26, 2022
We did a 11-day custom tour of Assam & Meghalaya through North East explorer. I came across their website during my initial search for Northeast tour for my family. What... read more got me interested was it's claim of giving a flavor of Northeast through their Home-stays and interaction of people. Normally, I have certain apprehension about home-stays especially over it's cleanliness and maintenance.
However, after few rounds of honest discussion and convincing by Rajiv, I decided to go-ahead. And I feel, that was one of my best decisions ever!!
Me & my Family had a flawless and most amazing trip. We did Guwahati-Kaziranga-Majauli-Shillong-Dwaki-Mawlynnlong-Cherapunjee-Shillong-Guwahati
Rajiv had planned it perfectly, all the routes, sightseeing's, Guides, Vehicle etc. Homestays & cottages were simple, scenic and absolutely neat and clean. He had also arranged for local cuisines whenever available. All accommodations had hot water geysers except Majajuli where hot water was provided in buckets but more than made up with their beautiful bamboo cottages. Accommodations were one of the highlights of this trip.
Rajiv was in constant touch daily to make sure that trip was comfortable.
For such a long journey on road, a good vehicle & driver becomes key to a good trip. Again, Rajiv provided us with Jameer Ali. Jammer, was very polite, friendly and knowledgeable. His knowledge of the region, roads and constant flow of information helped us to make journey interesting. He also ensured that our stays were comfortable.
All in all, this was one of the most memorable trip for my family and I am taking this opportunity to thank Northeast explorers, Rajiv and Jameer for thoroughly enjoyable trip. Thank You.
Definitely recommend Northeast Explorers!!
March 6, 2022