Trivia: Myoko is a celebration of friendship and harmony between various Apatani villages
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Myoko Festival of Arunachal Pradesh is a new year celebration of the Aptani tribe, where traditions and animism have co-existed with recent conversions to Christianity and Hinduism. They still follow a lifestyle in close relationship with the natural elements in one of the last Asian paradises, between green mountains full of forests and bamboos, terraces of sun-kissed rice and the Himalayan tributaries. A large part of the tribe still  continue to follow an ancient religion known as Donyi Polo (sun & Moon) that worships nature.

The places have been chosen for you to experience the varied life in the North East of India. Over dinner at my aunt’s home in Guwahati interact with your fellow travellers and local residents to understand more about the region. Everyone associates Kaziranga with the one-horned rhino but a lesser-known fact is that it holds the record for having the largest number of tigers in a protected area the world over. River island Majuli is special for its beauty, the people who inhabit it (guests have said that the highlight of their trip was interacting with members of the Mishing tribe) and the probable fact that the island might cease to exist in our lifetime. Interact with Artists who have kept traditional performing arts alive in Assam and understand the life of a monk in a Vaisnavite monastery.

Ziro situated in Arunachal Pradesh is home to the Apatani tribe. Wearing of circular nose plugs and tattooing of faces is the most characteristic aspect of ornamentation of older Apatani women. The newer generation has stopped these practices since the early 1970s.

Myoko is their annual New Year festival where they offer sacrifices to show their gratitude and the shaman plays an important role in the month-long festivities. The festival venue rotates every year among their villages. During this trip you will get to experience the age-old lifestyles of the tribe and their transition to a more contemporary one. Meet the locals and interact over a meal. We can arrange for cooking classes for those interested as we had done for journalist Prachi Joshi featured in -http://www.natgeotraveller.in/tribal-tastes-in-arunachal-pradesh/

The drive from the plains to Ziro and back will be the longest – 7-8 hours through tropical forests and great views of the Eastern Himalayas. Please note that the sun sets here at 4.45pm so daylight hours are precious.

Accommodation has been arranged in good properties and on twin/ double bed sharing basis. Those interested in single occupancy please write to us and we will arrange for it at a supplementary cost. Most meet the standards you would expect in a 3-4 star hotel. The hotel at Majuli and Ziro, though charming and among the best properties there, provide only the basic comforts. So you will need to carry your own hair dryer and wifi hotspot.

Please note: The tour dates are fixed and the cost in March 2019 for a group of 9 Indian passport holders is Rs 82,000/- per person. Foreign passport holders are charged an incremental amount of Rs 6000/- for permits etc. For a current update on pricing please write to us.

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Itineraries

Day 1

Guwahati

Arrive at Guwahati LGB airport. Receive and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, explore the State Museum or relax in the hotel. Early evening visit a few retail stores followed by dinner at a private residence.

Day 2

Kaziranga

Check out after breakfast. Then proceed to Kaziranga (193 kms / 04hrs). En route, stop for a traditional Assamese thali lunch and catch your first glimpse of the rhino from the viewpoint along the highway. Stop and visit a local market or basket weavers. In the evening, relax at the hotel or catch a local cultural performance.

Day 3

Kaziranga

Early morning elephant ride (5.30-6.30 am/ 6.30-7.30 am) inside the park. Back to resort for breakfast and refreshment. Trips will be arranged for those interested in visiting the local shops and lunch at the Orchid Centre. After lunch, enjoy a jeep safari inside the park (2.30 pm onwards) on a separate route from the morning ride.

Day 4

Majuli

Early morning along with a packed breakfast check out by 7 am. Drive to Jorhat Nimati Ghat (126 kms / 03 hrs) to catch the public ferry to cross the Brahmaputra river. Here you can explore scenic Majuli, its Satras (monasteries) and the Mishing tribal villages. The women are skilled weavers and you can buy directly from them. Expect an invitation from the friendly villagers to their homes to taste rice beer. The sunsets here are gorgeous and those interested in bird-watching can accompany our local guide. You can rent bicycles and ride around one or two recommended routes. In the evening join the Mishing Bihu dancers around a bonfire.

Day 5

Ziro

Early morning, we embark on a long but scenic drive to Ziro (220km/ 07hrs) after breakfast at 7.30 - 7.45am. The headquarter of Lower Subansiri district in Arunachal Pradesh and located at an altitude of 1560 metres, the Ziro plateau is surrounded by Apatani tribal villages. On the way, feast your eyes on ferns in many different shapes and colours as well as a waterfall or two. Once we reach Ziro, check into the hotel and go for a walk to the local market.

Day 6

Ziro

After breakfast meet our local guide who will narrate a bit about the history and culture of the tribe and the Myoko festival. Later on, visit Hong and Hari basti, the larger of the Apatani villages. The museum and technical centre at Ziro is informative and it has a nice textile store attached to it. A local guide will be accompanying us. Visit a paddy field or two to see how the Apatani tribesmen rear fish in the paddy fields and how they have managed to sustain their rice cultivation for over century at this height by diverting streams from the forest. Late afternoon visit the village hosting the festival to witness the procession that commences the start of the festival. Visit a local home in the village. Over dinner at the hotel, interact with a few friends to understand more about the tribe and their ways.

Day 7

Ziro

Explore the countryside around Ziro – depending on the weather and how the day pans out, we can organise a small trek/ walk along the pine and bamboo grooves and a picnic lunch or drive up to a view point for our picnic lunch. In the evening, a visit to the local market is recommended as you may find some very exotic things for sale.

Day 8

Tezpur

In the morning, drive to Tezpur (261km / 08hrs) located in the plains of Assam. Three cultural icons of Assam – Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Bishnu Prasad Rabha and Dr. Bhupen Hazarika – grew up here. Hence, Tezpur is known as the cultural capital of Assam. En route take a break by a riverside. Lunch will be at Itanagar. Relax, unwind and bond with your fellow companions at the hotel property.

Day 9

Guwahati

Check out after breakfast and head towards the Guwahati airport (204 kms/04 hrs). Enroute, stop for lunch.
  1. Accommodation in double/ twin bed room.
  2. Meals on MAP (breakfast & dinner)
  3. All transfer by Innova (maximum 03 or 4 pax in one vehicle)
  4. Local guide at Ziro
  5. Public ferry service to and fro Majuli
  6. One Elephant ride and one jeep safari at Kaziranga
  7. One sunset boat cruise at Guwahati
  8. One performance at Module
  9. One tea plantation visit
  10. Inner line permit for Arunachal Pradesh
  11. Drinking water, a basic medical kit and light snacks will be provided for long journeys

Please note:

#Elephant safaris are subject to availability and permission granted by forest dept.

  • Road conditions are unpredictable in this region and could be under repair. Re-routing or itinerary changes can be made by the guide. Also, there will be short distances of dirt road between villages.
  • Itinerary changes are made to improve your overall experience
  • Price might change if there is a hike in fuel, hotel rate or taxes.
  • Clients must be insured to cover the costs of medical emergencies/ expenses incurred due to weather conditions, prevailing road conditions, political situations, natural calamities, change in flight schedule, mechanical malfunction, or any such unanticipated events or any events termed as ‘Acts of God’.
  1. Camera fee, accompanied guide fee, tips, porter, laundry, etc.
  2. Lunch, snacks, any kind of beverages, any personal expenses.
  3. Any other expenses not specified in the cost inclusion.
  1. :

    I had the opportunity to travel with Julie on this curated trip. It was well planned and executed. The itinerary was ever so interesting and varied. Introduction to the tribes of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were fascinating. The accommodation at Guwahati,Kaziranga,Ziro and Tezpur were good. The one in Majuli needs to be spruced up. Overall a great trip and I would recommend this trip and company to those desirous of venturing into the north east.

    Reply
    • :

      I loved your enthusiasm and how you got everyone to explore more. Hope we get to travel again. Warm regards

      Reply
  2. :

    Firstly, thanks so much Julie for throwing open the NE in such a splendid
    and curated fashion 🙂
    The tour provided an amazing experience and was a total eyeopener for me, it allowed me to experience all facets of the wonderful NE – the hospitality of the locals, the spectacular nature, the tangy cuisine, the range of awesome textiles and the incredible flora and fauna! Have exhausted all my adjectives right there 🙂
    Also, interacting with the tribe folk in Majuli and with the Apatamis in Ziro, seeing their simple, eco-friendly sustainable living first-hand, was truly humbling.
    I thoroughly enjoyed myself, it was serendipity and a total getaway! As an aside, in the process, peeled off a few layers and discovered a bit of the ‘real me’ too! How about that now?!!
    Signing off and wishing you all the very best in your upcoming tours, hope to be a part of one in the not-so-far future!

    Reply
    • :

      Thank you Harini. I am glad you enjoyed the trip and found a Mooga sari you liked. Look forward to traveling together again.

      Reply
  3. :

    The operative word in the itinerary that Julie had sent us before setting off on our North East sojourn was ‘curated’ – for indeed, Julie had carefully planned each day with sensitivity, offering us a vast array of experiences which none of us would have had as ordinary tourists.The pace was full but not exhausting, the accomodation the best available in each place, uniformly clean and comfortable……this is a journey each one has to experience and allow to seep into one’s being, no words can do it justice. I strongly recommend it to anyone of any age – there is another world waiting for you out there!
    March 2018

    Reply
    • :

      Looking forward to traveling again soon

      Reply

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Yes, we do. The additional cost includes expenditure incurred for permits, entry fees and other charges that Indian traveler does not require.

Since it is a limited number of travelers and we do have fixed costs, there is a cancellation charge.

If you cancel your booking 45 days prior to departure date, you will be charged 12% of your total booking amount.
If you cancel your booking 10 days prior to departure date, a 35% fee will be deducted from your advance payment.
Cancellation with less than 10 days from date of departure will be charged at 55% of your total booking amount.

Customized tours are not conducted along with our regular tours, and hence there is often no limits. We focus on tours to North East India, and hence the destinations will be from the area. In case you wish to explore other states in India, we do have trusted partners who can help you plan a custom itinerary as it suits you. Please fill up the form under "contact us" and let us know your interests.

The north east produces a lot of different green and regular vegetables. In Assam the choice is plentiful. In Arunachal Pradesh too you will get vegetarian options of regular Indian cuisine and a limited choice of the local food. Fresh fruits are available and salads can be arranged.

The roads in the plains are good though in small patches road repair work is going on. The mountain roads like the roads all over the Himalayans are prone to landslides during the monsoons hence not in good shape. Hence we only use Innovas and experienced drivers for these roads to provide comfort.
We factor in small stops and carry light snacks and juices for the journey.
As a policy we do not drive on the highway post sunset and make the most of day light hours.

The basic accommodation provides clean room with attached bathroom with mineral drinking water , fresh towels and bed linen. Hot water showers are available. Tea, coffee and snacks can be ordered from the menu. There are no television, wifi, complimentary shower gels etc.