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Old 29th April 2019, 00:46   #1
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Default East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

A sparkling valley, we can still call our own, thanks to the sacrifices of our brave soldiers who gave their all for the nation's honour - Namti plains.
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_8176.jpg

Prologue:

A drive to the eastern frontier. This was in the planning stage for quite sometime now. Came close once or twice, we had almost finalised it in December 2017, but at the last moment we came to know that the entire Walong IB had been booked by some local MLA for a pre-Christmas party. We went through with our drive plan, but took the left turn after Parashuram kund towards Tezu and instead visited Tezu, Roing and Myodia, and even stayed a night in the supposedly haunted dak bunglow behind the Myodia coffee house, but that's a story for some other day.

After a few more road trips, over the next two years, the topic of Kibithu again came up and this time we were determined to go.

Season - Mid-April. Actually early April was better, but elections were due on 11th April and we wanted to wait till it was over. For any Arunachal Pradesh plans, it is always good to avoid the monsoons, when landslides are frequent and road blockage for days on end are not uncommon. BHPians wanderernomad and debanjan attempted this road scarcely 2 weeks after us in a Gurkha and even the Gurkha had to turn back from Hawaii due to landslides. Kibithu and Kaho falls in the Anjaw district and is one of the least populated places of India.

Participants - Me and my wife, Jinee and two of my childhood friends - Shyam and Atanu (some of you might know Atanu. He used to manage Sa-I-Mika park resort at Cherrapunjee for several years.

Vehicles - 2013 Thar CRDE (mine), ex army MM550 (Shyam's).

Permits - Applied for online ILP on Sunday (we were to start from Guwahati on Wednesday), but there was some confusion, for the next two and half days the check status part of the ILP application showed it as 'under processing'.
But on Wednesday, as we drove past Sivasagar at around 1 pm, I checked the status again and was shocked to see " rejected" !
Reason given was that I didn't upload both sides of my DL. (well, I could find space to upload only one pic).
Anyway now being too late to re-apply, I decided to get it on d border directly, a good decision actually, online one was Rs. 100 per person and onsite it was just Rs. 25 per person!!


Day 1: A 7 am start from Guwahati for the Thar with the two of us. Along with the luggage and
the food and water bags, were my trusty old tent and sleeping bags, (our IB stay was not confirmed) and there are no hotels or home stays in this part of the country. After an uneventful drive, we stopped at Moran at Shyam's in-laws place. Shyam was to join from here in his 550.


After a quick tea and snacks there continued our journey, I did a detour at Dibrugarh to see the newly opened Bogibeel road and rail bridge over the Brahmaputra.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-comp1.jpg
A drive over India's longest rail cum road bridge.

We reached Tinsukia at 6:30 PM (545 km).
Went to Shyam's rented house there and cooked some Maggi and eggs and then went out to buy some chicken and refreshments.
As the chicken was cooking, Atanu finally arrived (he had started from Dimapur in the morning by train, but disembarked at Jorhat and got on a bus and then somehow the bus stopped at Dibrugarh and then he came from there in a tuktuk!

It was a long day for us but now we could relax. We were all very close buddies since early primary school, when the three of us always used to get punished together for all kinds of mischief That was in the late '80s and early '90s. Lots of water has flown under the bridge since then, but some things do not change. Plenty of things to catch up on and we talked into the night and finally went to bed at around 1:30 AM with a planned start at 6 AM the next day.


Day 2: Tinsukia is in an eastern part of Assam and the sun rises quite early, it was bright by 4:30 AM.


After tea and biscuits, we did manage to start at around 6:45 AM. Drove on via Doomdooma, Rupai siding, through the rolling fields of Kakopathar.
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190429_153143.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190429_153230.jpg

Reached Dirak gate at around 8:30 AM.
A worry in the back of the mind was that the ILP officials might not arrive till 9 or 10 AM, but it was unfounded, they actually arrive at 6 AM.
The ILP booth was almost empty and it was done in quick time. We also had a good breakfast of hot rotis, puri, boiled eggs, etc. in the nearly stalls.
Tanked up at Namsai, crossed Golden Pagoda, onto the Alubari bridge (last time crossed this area with the Thar on a ferry), this time breezed across the new bridge.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190429_153424.jpg
On Alubari bridge, a nearly 3 km long bridge that connects Namsai to the Roing-Tezu road.

Reached Tezu at 10:20 AM.


Lovely roads before and after Tezu.
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East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190429_153652.jpg


Some 10 km past Tezu, it is time to bid farewell to the plains, the usual narrow hill roads starts, some bad stretches but overall ok roads. Reached the tri-junction where the right turn takes you down the hill to the Parashuram Kund bridge, and the left turn is towards Hayuliang. Tezu to this point takes about an hour.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_113618.jpg

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_115824.jpg
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East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_130052.jpg
The Parashuram Kund bridge can be seen far below

After this, the next town is Hayuliang and Khupa is a small township just before Hayuliang. This is important because there is a petrol pump here (no petrol pump beyond this). There is a check-post just before the left turn to Khupa, for the petrol pump you have to take this left turn and go on for 3-4 km. Tezu to Hayuliang is around 110kms but it took us nearly 4.5 hrs (including several stops for the views). After the tri-junctjon, we did not see the 550 any more, we moved on ahead knowing they will turn up slowly but surely. Roads were a mix of broken and muddy sections, but nothing too bad.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_152711.jpg
Dhatura flowers all around.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_150143.jpg
Some mud...


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_143159.jpg
some craters...


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_131710.jpg
some slush...
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_070342.jpg
..but lovely views


Since we were now in the eastern part of the country, dusk started to gather rather quickly. By 5 PM it was almost dark and we had reached only Hawai.
One thought was that, maybe we can cross the bridge, drive up the hill to Hawai and try to find accommodation there, having heard there are two guest houses there.
But the problem was that there was no mobile network and the 550 was at least an hour behind us by now. Waiting in the middle of the isolated road at dusk did not appeal to us and so out of necessity we decided to push on till Walong.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_160153.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_230154.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_181311.jpg

And then unexpectedly, the road condition improved a little and we pulled into Walong just before 7 PM. Tried to find something to eat - Maggi or anything at all but all shops were closed and most people there were about to turn in for the night. Reached the IB and thankfully the caretaker informed us that two rooms had been kept for us, although he didn't expect anybody to turn up (said he waited till 5 PM). But good fellow that he is, he allowed us into his kitchen and we made some Maggi for ourselves (the entire road from Tezu to Walong has very few places where you can eat a warm meal). We had snacks in our car but a warm meal is a warm meal after all), the 550 team reached around 9 PM. The caretaker fixed a simple but delicious dinner for us with rice, dal, papad, vegetables and egg curry.
By the time we went to eat, he had turned in for the night, but this furry guy here kept us company.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_205629.jpg
Staring match. Cat vs Jinee.

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190418_205634.jpg
Cat changed his strategy, he started giving us these cute looks, and he did get a good meal of eggs and rice after all.

The rooms were spacious and better than what we expected ... apart from one unwanted visitor, that is.
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190428_191615.jpg

Day 3: Had thought about trekking to Dong, but waking up at 3 AM for that didn't sound good at all, so dropped the idea. Consoled ourselves that a sunrise is a sunrise after all, and watching the first sunrise of the country made no sense. Woke up at a sane 6 AM and strolled around the small township of Walong.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_055922.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_055804.jpg


I talked to some other guys who were also staying at the IB. They were driving an Endy and were replacing its brake shoes by themselves. They were very unhappy with the vehicle saying that the brake shoes doesn't last beyond 3-4k km in that terrain and that they always have to carry spares, unlike their friend's Fortuner, which was 'unbreakable'.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_060811.jpg
View from the rooms.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_060437.jpg
The Inspection Bungalow.


East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_091249.jpg
A "weedy" place.

Last edited by pyrodrive : 24th May 2019 at 21:39. Reason: Post fixed - typos, reference to alcohol See note below thread.
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Old 22nd May 2019, 20:36   #2
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Default re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

After breakfast at the IB, we went to the Walong war memorial and here we met Mr. Yun. He was a local and was to guide us that day. Mr. Yun got on the 550 and we moved on.
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_091048.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_135012.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_092429.jpg
After a few kms, we came to the hot springs. I did not have any high expectations for hot springs,having seen a few that were big disappointments (Including the one at Panamic in Nubra valley), However this one was better, it was like a small hot water river with absolutely crystal clear water and surrounded by clean sands. Apart from two changing rooms nearby there was no man made structures, walls or anything to contain the water. A suggestion was made about ditching the IB stay for the night and camping out on the sandy banks of the springs, but was eventually vetoed.
The trek to Dong starts from here too. We did trek a bit, but not all the way.
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_133039.jpg
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After Dong we got to the Namti plains, a very scenic place , but I felt a bit solemn, having read about the struggles and sacrifices made by our brave soldiers during the Chinese aggression of '62. Hallowed ground Indeed. This place is so remote even in the present times, imagine what it was in 1962, for a Sikh soldier to come so far away from home and bite the dust here. True heroes have fallen here.
"Walong will never fall again" Jai Hind !

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_132552.jpg
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East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-namti1.jpg
From right to left- Atanu, Shyam and yours truely

We wanted to go to Kibithu first but Yun suggested we cross the river and drive towards Meshai and Kaho first, and anyway Kaho is the last village before the Mc Mahon line.
Road to Kaho, along the Lohit
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_132935.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_131508.jpg
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"Boiled egg break" for Shyam
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_8185.jpg

We reached Kaho and Yun took us to the village headman's house. The kind lady offered us tea but we declined, not wanting her to take the trouble. Yun even took us up the hill to the army bunkers n sentry posts. One army jawan asked me if we were the folks who came in those two jeeps, and he surprised us by saying that they had been watching us for quite sometime and even the Chinese were probably monitoring us !
He then very graciously let us use his binoculars and the telescope to have a look at the Chinese side, wow what powerful lenses, we could see the Chinese houses and even the doors and windows clearly. But he requested us not to take any pics here and we readily agreed.

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190429_155554.jpg
This is the actual edge of India, the cultivated field is of Kaho village, the woods beyond that is the no-man's land and the greenery beyond is China. Infact the Chinese houses and fields we could see through the binoculars are located in the patch of light green in the distance.
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_120339-1.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_132800.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_124237.jpg
The three musketeers with Mr.Yun, hunting for maggi (unsuccessfully, I should add !)

A panoramic view around Kaho :

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-pano_20190419_120202.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-pano_20190419_120220.jpg

After spending the good part of an hour here, we headed back to the Kibithu road
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East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_132721.jpg
"Drive through car wash"

Last edited by pyrodrive : 24th May 2019 at 22:07.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 19:06   #3
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Default re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

The road to Kibithu meanders along the west bank of the Lohit river. The road is being built now and is fairly decent with black top at most places.

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_134509.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_132419.jpg
The road to Kaho can be seen on the other bank.

Along the way, of course the mandatory poses with the easternmost road signboard.

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190421_202024.jpg
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East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_133130.jpg

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_132446.jpg
Nearing the destination !

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_132508.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_140201.jpg
Last turn into Kibithu

Kibithu is a very small place, apart from the army base there is a small village and a helipad.
The Assam rifles personnel requested us not to take pictures and we were happy to oblige. So no pictures of the helipad or the village. But Yun was adamant that we go to the village and try to get something to eat, and to his credit, he got it done. Over bowls of maggi we soaked in the sheer remoteness and isolation of the place. We could hear the sound of the wind and see the slow clad peaks around us from the small shed we were in.
On the way back from Kibithu to Walong there is a grassy hill, with awesome views all around, we halted here and had a small 'picnic' using the provisions in our food bags.
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_151436.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_8178.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_161736.jpg
The "picnic" spot, the trenches you can see were dug by the army.

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_155027.jpg

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-8b37164fc671485cade6023bcafac8f9.jpg
A moment to reflect.

East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_131036.jpg
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190419_164030.jpg

We returned to Walong at dusk and was lucky to catch one of the shops before closing time, and was even luckier to get some of their momos. There are only about 6-7 shops in Walong and 2-3 of these make tea, maggi, momos and aloo chops. The simplicity of the place was so refreshing and the community is very close knit, unlike in our cities now where we hardly know our neighbours. The clock seems to move a lot slower in places like these. We said goodbye to Yun and made our way up to the IB, the caretaker had made chicken and roti and it was wonderful.
Day 4: The return journey starts, the plan was to do Walong-Tinsukia that day and Tinsukia to Guwahati on the next day, But my wife had to travel to Delhi next day for some urgent work. Out of necessity, we decided that she will get on one of the better volvo night buses that do Tinsukia to Guwahati on that evening itself. So we did not waste any time on the return journey, a single stop at a makeshift restaurant which is at a distance of around 80kms from Walong where we had some fried rice along with baked beans etc (from the food bag) and some rotis which were very kindly packed for us by the Walong IB caretaker. After this, no major breaks and mostly non stop drive to the plains, we last saw the 550 somewhere near Khupa. By 5.45pm we were speeding past Rupai siding and we were headed to the famous NH37 dhaba where we had a big meal and freshened up. The volvo was due to depart at 8.15pm and we reached the bus stop just as the bus arrived. Said goodbye to Jinee and she continued the journey (It was a total of 24 hrs on the road for her, Walong to Guwahati) not to speak of going to Delhi and Faridabad on the same day). As for me, I had to wait a bit for the 550 to arrive and then the usual chit chat with the guys, cooked some food and finally turned in at nearly 2am.
DAY 5 : Nothing to write about, did Tinsukia to Guwahati with a single food stop at Sivasagar. Did not overspeed but managed to reach home in 9.5 hours. The 550 team stayed back in Tinsukia.

A parting shot of the machine who was fully relaxed and probably enjoyed the trip as much as we did.
East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho-img_20190510_131437.jpg

Points and tips for anyone planning a kibithu drive:

- Need a minimum of 5 days Guwahati to Guwahati. You can fly down to Guwahati, get a zoomcar or some other self drive and drive on. No issue with self drive or any other cars. The only thing checked is the ILP
- Places to stay : IB and guest houses are there in Khupa, Hawai and Walong. There is a guest house near the hot spring in Walong - Kibithu road, but there is no caretaker at present.
- Petrol pump: Fuel is cheaper in Arunachal than in Assam, so tank up at Namsai or Tezu, and keep in mind the Khupa pump in case you are running short of fuel.
- Carry food and water in the car. No good places to eat in the entire circuit after Tezu. A single so called restaurant is there about 25 kms further from Hayuliang, one can have lunch here, but dont expect too much variety or quality and you wont starve !
- Stay safe: A peaceful place and nothing to worry, but as it goes everywhere else too, please don't pick fights with locals, and be careful driving in Namsai. Problems with drug addiction is rising among the youth here and Arunachal locals have been known to be totally unreasonable in demands, if your car meets with an accident with one of their cars, to the point of demanding a new car for a small dent. But I have traveled a lot in this state and I have only good memories and many new friends, please respect the people and their culture.
Thanks for reading !

Last edited by pyrodrive : 24th May 2019 at 22:05.
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Old 25th May 2019, 11:31   #4
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Default re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th May 2019, 02:45   #5
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Default re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

Thanks for that amazing travelogue! Trip reports to remote places like this are hard to come by and serve as an inspiration for future travelers. I love traveling to the North East and Namdapha was in my short-listed places for the future. If that plan ever bears fruition I would now look to add Walong & Kibithu to it.

I did have the pleasure of meeting Atanu in Sa-i-mika a few years back! I still remember the amazing barbecue he had organized for us on a rainy evening.

Regarding the faulty brake shoes in the Endy, I do have a theory since I drive one myself. The first time I took my Endy up to the mountains, I had issues with the brakes overheating and smelling of burned rubber. The problem was I was yet to figure out proper engine braking using the AT box. So on downhill slopes I was entirely relying on my brakes and that was just burning up the shoes. Since then I have learned to better control the gear shifts for engine braking and have had no problems at all.
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Old 27th May 2019, 09:47   #6
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Default Re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

Brilliant snaps, makes one want to drop everything else, pick up a car & just drive there.
Mind sharing how you got the IB booking, any contact number or reference.
Having been on the Chinese border on the other side of the country (Ladakh), must say all of these places are truly scenic & few other places come close to it with respect to remoteness, peace & tranquility.
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Old 27th May 2019, 10:37   #7
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Default Re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

Excellent t-log and pics Hrishi. You guys had fun while me and Debanjan also had fun but lost the plot due to incessant rains. It has been now 3 times that I have been unable to make it to Walong, Kibitu and Kaho but seeing these places through your lens has been equally satisfying. Do you have any pictures of the water crossings at Pt zero and 21? If you don't mind we can club our t-log to yours itself with both me and Debanjan pitching in. That way the least explored destination shall also have the least number of t-logs on the forum.
Once again thank you mate for the fabulous narration and pictures. Deserves 5 stars.
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Old 27th May 2019, 11:41   #8
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Default Re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

There are so many things to love about your log Hrishi: beautiful locations, jeeps and doing it with close friends. I enjoyed going through your log and it made my Monday a little less miserable I missed going to Kibithu and Kaho and from the pics you have shared, I feel I need to go back and complete some unfinished business. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th May 2019, 12:49   #9
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Default Re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrodrive View Post
- Places to stay : IB and guest houses are there in Khupa, Hawai and Walong. There is a guest house near the hot spring in Walong - Kibithu road, but there is no caretaker at present.
- Carry food and water in the car. No good places to eat in the entire circuit after Tezu. A single so called restaurant is there about 25 kms further from Hayuliang, one can have lunch here, but dont expect too much variety or quality and you wont starve !
Sad to see that no development seems to have happened in 7 years there. Did Walong, Kibithu and Kaho in 2012 on bikes. My wife and I on one and a buddy on another. There was no place to stay back then either. We were on the verge of getting booted out of the Walong IB after one night there because of a 'VIP visitor' expected the next morning. To our good fortune, the VIP turned out to be a retired Colonel from the Indian Army. That amazing gentleman was looking into the possibilities of organizing adventure sports in that part of Arunachal and was very kicked to see the three of us from Bangalore there. He made sure the caretaker gave us a room for the next night as well. Another night we were getting ready to stay in a school building for the night, when one of the kind teachers gave us a couple of beds in his own quarters. There was also one Hotel Hayuliang where we spent one night, we were grateful that we found something, but the place was in very, very bad shape! All in all, a truly memorable ride.
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Old 27th May 2019, 15:34   #10
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Default Re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

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Mind sharing how you got the IB booking, any contact number or reference.
Having been on the Chinese border on the other side of the country (Ladakh), must say all of these places are truly scenic & few other places come close to it with respect to remoteness, peace & tranquility.
Thanks ! The IB booking was done by Shyam through a local contact. But now we have a new friend in the area, Mr Yun. He is a very helpful guy and will be able to do bookings etc. Just PM me if you want his contact.
Chinese borders are different in different areas of Arunachal pradesh itself. Only Bumla pass near Tawang bears some resemblance to the Ladakh ones.

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Excellent t-log and pics Hrishi. Do you have any pictures of the water crossings at Pt zero and 21? If you don't mind we can club our t-log to yours itself with both me and Debanjan pitching in. That way the least explored destination shall also have the least number of t-logs on the forum.
Once again thank you mate for the fabulous narration and pictures. Deserves 5 stars.
Thanks a lot Vikram ji. The water crossings that you mention were just small trickles of water when we were there, just about covering the Thar's tyre thickness. You and Debanjan da are welcome to post the water crossings and 'stuck in landslides' pictures here. You guys had the worst of roads to manoeuvre and will be a real interesting read. Bring it on !

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There are so many things to love about your log Hrishi: beautiful locations, jeeps and doing it with close friends. I missed going to Kibithu and Kaho and from the pics you have shared, I feel I need to go back and complete some unfinished business.
Thanks Gunin. That brain freeze of yours sure occured at a bad time !

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Thanks for that amazing travelogue! Trip reports to remote places like this are hard to come by and serve as an inspiration for future travelers. I love traveling to the North East and Namdapha was in my short-listed places for the future.
Thanks for the kind words. There are several hidden gems in Arunachal. Do consider Mechuka too in case you plan, just let me know and I will get you the local contacts you need.
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Old 27th May 2019, 16:20   #11
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Default Re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

Lovely travelogue with fantastic pictures. I have been to Kibithu in 2012. Your pictures sure refreshed some memories.

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- Need a minimum of 5 days Guwahati to Guwahati. You can fly down to Guwahati, get a zoomcar or some other self drive and drive on. No issue with self drive or any other cars. The only thing checked is the ILP
- Places to stay : IB and guest houses are there in Khupa, Hawai and Walong. There is a guest house near the hot spring in Walong - Kibithu road, but there is no caretaker at present.
- Petrol pump: Fuel is cheaper in Arunachal than in Assam, so tank up at Namsai or Tezu, and keep in mind the Khupa pump in case you are running short of fuel.
- Carry food and water in the car. No good places to eat in the entire circuit after Tezu. A single so called restaurant is there about 25 kms further from Hayuliang, one can have lunch here, but dont expect too much variety or quality and you wont starve !
- Stay safe: A peaceful place and nothing to worry, but as it goes everywhere else too, please don't pick fights with locals, and be careful driving in Namsai. Problems with drug addiction is rising among the youth here and Arunachal locals have been known to be totally unreasonable in demands, if your car meets with an accident with one of their cars, to the point of demanding a new car for a small dent. But I have traveled a lot in this state and I have only good memories and many new friends, please respect the people and their culture.
Great tips. I can relate with them. I remember having bread and butter outside a small shop for dinner as there was nothing else in the vicinity. Enjoyed it along with small chat with the locals. Yes, respecting the locals and their culture matters. Another thing. I drove a lot in the night. One has to watch out for gaur (wild cattle) wandering or sitting on the road. They are massive. Encountered many of these. Drive carefully.
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Old 27th May 2019, 17:54   #12
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Default Re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

Excellent travelogue and great scenery! The pictures are just drool maal. Thanks for showing us places that we rarely get to see.

We too are planning to do a North East driving trip. Being from Bengaluru, there is a lot more leave and planning required for this. A group of friends with spouses (spice? I'm always curious about this ) are contemplating this trip sometime in mid October. Do you think it will be a good time? What places do you suggest for a ten day tour (including to and fro flight to say Guwahati or Dibrugarh)? What "must see" places should we cover? Any help and tips in planning the route will be very welcome. We are planning to hire Zoom Cars at one of the entry points, are there any other options?
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Old 27th May 2019, 19:37   #13
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Default Re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

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Excellent travelogue and great scenery! The pictures are just drool maal. Thanks for showing us places that we rarely get to see.

We too are planning to do a North East driving trip. Being from Bengaluru, there is a lot more leave and planning required for this. A group of friends with spouses (spice? I'm always curious about this ) are contemplating this trip sometime in mid October. Do you think it will be a good time? What places do you suggest for a ten day tour (including to and fro flight to say Guwahati or Dibrugarh)? What "must see" places should we cover? Any help and tips in planning the route will be very welcome. We are planning to hire Zoom Cars at one of the entry points, are there any other options?
Thanks bro !
I have driven from Bangalore to Guwahati two years ago with halts in Vijaywada, Brahmapur, Burdwan and a final stop in Siliguri. But that will take up too much time and is not needed now. Zoomcar and a few other self drive rentals are there in Guwahati nowadays. Take an SUV from any of them and you are good to go.
Mid october will be a good time. If you start from Guwahati, you can include a few places of Meghalaya and Arunachal in your plans. Apart from the usual tourist circuit of Shillong/ Cherrapunjee/ Dawki along with Kaziranga and Tawang, that almost every other tourist does, you can consider Mechuka, Myodia and Anini and this circuit of Walong and Kaho, if you are looking for off the grid routes.
If you need any help or specific query, you can PM me anytime.
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Old 28th May 2019, 08:53   #14
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Default Re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

Excellent write up. Thanks for letting us know about the hidden gems in our own country. Already my brain is starting to come up with excuses to take leave from work and wander off into the road less travelled.
Thank you for sharing your experience with city folks.
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Old 28th May 2019, 17:34   #15
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Default Re: East of the Northeast - In a Thar & 550 to Kibithu and Kaho

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If you need any help or specific query, you can PM me anytime.
Thanks, I'll PM you when we start the planning, hopefully some time next month. I'm not sure if we looking for off the grid routes, some of us are too used to the creature comforts! Anyway, I'll keep the routes you have suggested in mind.
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