Shillong packs a punch for one of the smallest cities in the country. Ranging from decadent food to bustling markets and from abundant greenery to melodious music, this city has loads to offer to its visitors. Here’s how you can spend 24 hours in the Scotland of the East.
START YOUR DAY WITH A SCRUMPTIOUS BREAKFAST
Start your day with a scrumptious breakfast at Dylan’s café. This Bob Dylan themed café is known for its rustic and hipster interiors as well as its delicious menu of all day breakfast. For a touch of local flavour head over to the cosy ML 05 café which serves delectable north eastern cuisine. If you are looking for some place with a scenic view to have breakfast, with the authentic flavour of Shillong then head over to the Dopwai restaurant. Located at the rooftop of Hotel Poinisuk, this restaurant offers the bird’s eye view of Shillong and a promising menu of food.
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NATURE LOVER’S PARADISE
Abundant in natural diversity and flora and fauna, if you are looking to reconnect with nature then Shillong will not disappoint. Multiple tiers of gorgeous waterfalls and fresh spring waters make for a refreshing change from the bustling city life. Head over to the Elephant falls, the much coveted tourist destination in Shillong. Tourists flock to these falls to admire the multi tired nature’s marvel. If you are looking for places away from the common tourist eye then you can visit the Spread Eagle Falls, the Bishop Falls and Sweet Falls, each more majestic than the other. However, beware of the Sweet Falls, legend has it that these Falls are haunted. Shillong is also known for its Living roots bridges. Handmade from the aerial roots of rubber fig trees by the Khasi and Jaintia people, these bridges are an excellent example of traditional architecture. Nature enthusiasts can also visit the Mawphlang Sacred Grove, although visitors might have to travel a little outside of town for this attraction, but it’s definitely worth it. If you are looking for something closer to Shillong, then the city is replete with many hiking and trekking trails, including the famous David Scott Trail.
Shillong is famous for its meats and markets. Combine the two and head over to the Bara Bazaar. Lined with shops, restaurants and street food stalls, this is probably the perfect place to experience the truest essence of food in Shillong. Try Tungtab which is a preparation of fermented dry fish, Tarumbai, which are fermented beans and the very popular Dohneiong, a preparation of pork using local spices or Kyat a beverage prepared from rice. The Bara Bazaar is the busiest market in Shillong and one can buy a variety of exotic spices, vegetables as well as handicrafts from here. Police bazaar is another market teeming with shops selling street food, handicrafts and exotic foods.
OF FESTIVALS AND ROAD TRIPS
Shillong is known for its musical and cultural heritage. At any given point in time Shillong hosts a variety of different festivals ranging from food and wine to music and culture. Some of the festivals include the India International Cherry Blossom festival, the wine festival, the autumn festival and the NH7 Weekender among others, these fanfares attract tourists from all over the globe. Visitors can also make a short trip to Cherrapunji, the wettest place on the planet which is just a 2 hour drive from Shillong and is a nature lover’s paradise. While you are there you can visit the limestone Mawsmai caves or the Mawjymbuin Caves a little closer to Shillong.
TOAST TO A DAY WELL SPENT
A perfect end to a perfect day, wine and dine at some of the most reputed restaurants in Shillong, known for their delicious local flavours and wonderful ambience. Head over to Trattoria which known for its pig dishes. Café Shillong Heritage is another café that gives you the option of dining under the starlit sky of Shillong. Or try Neolith restaurant for some earthy Khasi flavours at reasonable prices.