Reasons not to buy Northeast tour packages

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If someone tries to sell you ‘Northeast tour package’, please say ‘No’.

An acquaintance recently bought one such ‘tour packages to the Northeast’ and ended up paying a hefty amount for a promised 2-days relaxing northeast trip.

He narrated how he came back more tired from the trip, which was far from relaxing. “I was in the car most of the times. It was more of a drive then a retreat.” he said. As it turns out, he was taken to a whirlwind tour of Guwahati-Shillong-Cherrapunjee round-trip in 2 days, with the promise of a relaxing Northeast trip. I asked, what advise he has for others planning a trip to the unexplored Northeast. Here’s are some tips.

Never trust the Google Maps time

Mountain roads are always curvy and take unpredictably long time to travel. The Google map distance is for the smooth rides of the city and doesn’t calculate the dizzying turns along the road. Do not be surprised if a 100 km distance takes about three/four hours to travel.

‘Northeast’ is not one entity

Most people in the mainland think that those beyond the chicken-neck are somehow one entity and similar to each other. However, there are Nine different states (including areas of North Bengal) beyond the chicken-neck corridor. There are more than 1000 different communities, speaking more than 500 different languages beyond the chicken-neck region.

Enjoy the Diversity

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t feel comfortable around different culture, language, people, food habits, then perhaps you should avoid Northeast. People will look different, talk different, dress differently, and behave different than what you normally are accustomed to. Courtesy and respect in one common thread that runs along all the mountain dwelling people of the Himalayan ranges beyond the chicken-neck.

Accept the food habits

For many visitors – specially the strict vegetarians who cannot share tables with non-vegetarians, may end up hungry here. Sure, there are varieties of greens, leafs, and exotic vegetables on the table, but you also need to understand that meat is an essential part of the people’s food habits here. For the ‘food conservatives’ there could be some challenges, but you will feel better to accept the diversity.

Enjoy the experience

Throughout history, the Northeast region had largely remained hidden with very less people crossing beyond the chicken-neck passage, until the British ventured deeper into the mountains. With over 1000 different ethnic communities living here, speaking as many languages, following their own unique cultures and traditions.

If you are looking for 2-days tour plans, it is advisable that you keep your engagement for long and target visiting one new destination during each visit. Never make long travel plans and learn to live the experience of the places.

Unlike the big cities, there will be very limited activities you can do in one place, but if you love long nature walks, you are in for a life-changing experience.

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