Discussion in 'Travelogues from East and North-East India' started by Secretariat, Mar 28, 2015.
Thank you for the tips.
Wow! Every once in a while comes a travelogue which opens your eyes and tells you so much about an unexplored world and beckons you to go and see it. Thank you for the log and the information shared. I find myself visiting the East and North-East India section of BCMT too often these days
Maybe it is time to visit that part of India as well.
"When you go home tell them of us and say
For your tomorrow, we gave our today"
I am glad i joined this forum and am reading your TR. I was contemplating doing this, now i am sure. Thank you. Am savouring your report, as one should a nicely aged wine.
Great story. riveted.
What are the issues getting a permit/visa?
"It was my fond wish on this trip to drive down on the "Road to Mandalay". How wonderful would it have been. I tried hard to get the permits but was vigorously blocked by bureaucracy. It would have cost a complete fortune to have got them and I finally gave up"
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost could not have said a truer word. Describes what i am feeling reading your story.
It would be a great help if you could include a map showing the route and these destinations.
Ok Just finished your travelogue. There was one by a Dutch couple who took a Toyota 4x4 from Zambia across DRC, a trip lasting just over a month, i believe. It was a riveting narration, but yours is better.
Just joined today and i am glad i did and got an opportunity to see your post. Some questions, if i may, since i want to do this. (I stay at Ahmedabad)
Can we cross to Burma through Bangla Desh? ( i saw your post regarding the customs issue, but any way to overcome this?
As asked earlier, could you please make a map of the route taken?
We are vegetarians too, and diehard coffee drinkers (only peaberry, Saar) It would help if you mentioned the places where we could get sustenance.
You mentioned about the Hyundai service stations. Dis you check in one at Guwahati? A list would be welcome.
Could you also mark (in a Map) where it is NOT advisable to travel.
I know i am asking for a lot, but look forward to some advise.
I can explain your very 1st query...
Noway you can Cross into Myanmar from Bangladesh..
Illegally it might be possible from Teknaf.. you have to ride into smuggling boat to cross the Teknaf river and land in Myanmar.. but but.. if you get caught Myanmar army will simply shoot you... i am talking this as that part of Myanmar used to be very disturbed... That part is Buddhist part and they dont want Muslims to live there ...so many of the muslims used to cross using that route and almost regularly all those killing by myanmarese army used to happen...
Simply Superb ! NE is so beautiful & tempting ! Thanks for sharing!!
Thanks very much for your kind messages. Delighted to hear of your interest in one of the most beautiful parts of India. Some answers to your queries
If you take your own vehicle (car or motorbike), traveling through either Bangladesh or entering Myanmar is very expensive and not worth it. In both cases you need to get the Carnet from the Automobile Association of India for which you have to give a bank guarantee of 2 times the cost of your vehicle. They are not giving Carnets for Bangladesh because the customs at Bangladesh is demanding a further deposit of the value of the car at the border and your getting the money back when you come back is highly doubtful. Going through Bangladesh into the North East is a virtual impossibility with a vehicle. Going by public transport is a breeze.
As for getting a vehicle into Myanmar, there is a big procedure of obtaining the permits in advance from the Myanarese government. (in addition to the expensive Carnet). The cheapest quote I could get was some Rs 3 Lakhs just for the permit. Two government minders and your own travel agent have to travel with you at all times in the car and you have to pay for them too. I have the detailed procedure with me which I can share, but you can really do it only if you are a millonaire. Again, travelling by public transport, instead of taking your vehicle is quite doable.
As for crossing from Bangladesh to Myanmar - just forget it. As sanuroxz mentioned its an extremely dangerous place because of the Rohingya conflict.
Vegetarians no problem even in the remotest parts of the North East. We are still in India, the most vegetarian friendly country in the world !!! As for coffee, that's much more difficult - the best you can hope for is instant coffee and that too not everywhere
Hyundai service stations are plentiful in the North East. Every state capital has one. Assam has it in most major towns - in addition to Guwahati, there are stations in Tezpur, Dibrugarh, Silchar and a number of other towns too. I even found a service station in Along in Arunachal. If your ride is a Hyundai or Maruti, then you don't have to worry. Any other manufacturer and there's almost nothing outside of Guwahati.
In general you can travel to almost every part of the North East without fear, but local disturbances do flare up now and then. My own experience is that its often just a flash bandh and after a few days everything returns back to normal. When I travelled, parts of Manipur and the Garo districts of Meghalaya were troubled. But even there, I could have gone if I had wanted to. You simply have to enquire locally when you travel and you should be safe anywhere. People are wonderfully warm and hospitable. The North East has a completely unwarranted reputation of being unsafe . Its a false picture. Its as safe as anywhere else in India.
As for the map, will try and do one in a short while.
Hope this helps. Do drive to the North East. Its one of the most exhilarating of experiences.
Separate names with a comma.