Moving around in Meghalaya isn’t very cheap if you ask me. Fixed rate cabs who charge you double (or atleast it feels like). I will list down the fares that you might have to pay in different scenarios.
Once you land at the airport in Guwahati, take a shared cab for Rs.500 from just outside the airport. If you need a personal ride, be ready to shell out Rs.2000. These will take you Police Bazar in Shillong which is the main hub of the city.
In Shillong, if you hire a taxi for sightseeing, chances are you are going to pay upwards of Rs. 3k. Advisable only if you have family or people to share the cost.
Conversely, for solo travellers it will only cost Rs. 600-700 per day for a scooty. Now it is not restricted to be used inside Shillong. You can use it to go to Dawki or visit Cherrapunji, although it can be very tiring but if you’re an enthusiast then who is to stop you? 🙃
From Shillong to Dawki or Schnongpdeng, you have to shell out Rs. 3500. The distance is around 110 kms roughly and takes north of 3 hrs.
A trip to Cherrapunji and Seven sisters costs Rs.2600. A cab ride is advisable since you might be severely fatigued after trekking to the Double decker bridge.
In city, cabs are rather expensive and prices are not regulated. So you might have to pay arbitrary rates. As an example, for 3-4 kms I had to pay Rs.200.
I found bargaining tough, but it’s upto your skill, if you can make it stick, more power to you. Read about how you can male your Meghalaya trip memorable here.
So my Meghalaya trip just ended few days back. What a memorable trip it was !!! Let me share with you guys few pointers which could make it a long lasting memory for you. So here we go.
1. Hire a scooty/bike for sight seeing, atleast in Shillong. Cherrapunji and Dawki might be far and tiring, but Shillong is more than doable. It is so much fun to drive on the highways. If it rains, so much the better. The landscape is absolutely astonishing and you can just park your bike and admire at length. What more? It is cheaper than booking a taxi and you have more control. Read my last post to know more about my goof up.
2. Choose your stay in Shillong. It has by far the best climate in Summers for a pleasant stay. Places like Cherrapunji can get very humid and sticky after rain. The temperature right now was between 19-24 degrees which is quite optimal.
3. Continuing on the above, if you’re planning to complete the Double decker root bridge trek in Cherrapunji up until the Nongriat Village, then it is advisable to stay there overnight. After that, you can return the next day. The trek is supremely difficult with humungous amount of steps to cover. Same day return can be very challenging as I found out. At some places, you look up and find that there is no end to the steps you have to climb and it might feel they go straight to heaven. The feeling can drain you even more. Stay hydrated, take some electrolyte solution with you. Of course, if you have trekking experience, then your experience will be different than mine. All said and done, you will really be proud of yourself once you complete the trek. Below are some of the challenges and rewards for covering this trek
4. Unless you are traveling in winters, be very casual with your dress choices. The weather can be humid and bordering on hot even during monsoon. During Double decker trek, don’t put too much stuff in your bag as it will take its toll on you and wear you down.
5. Don’t worry about covering all the places. For the most part, it will be the drive that you will enjoy the most. The lush green landscape and cloudy conditions have much greater appeal than the tourist points. Relax on you tour and take your time at places. Stop often and take a few deep breadths at the breath taking views, which are in plenty.
6. Stay close to Police Bazar, so you might be able to access food joints, local shops. It is also the main hub for shared cabs.
All of these points are from my experience and needless to say, some might disagree. Nevertheless, if you are my kind of traveller, who likes a mix of relax and travel, these points will help make your trip better.
Here’s something to inspire you.