Lungwa village on the Indo-Myanmar border is 2 hours from Mon and what’s fascinating here is:
- Our conventional wisdom about “International Borders” and everything that comes with it – fencing, border patrol, visa, immigration – flies in the face of it. Myanmar is just across the road – a mere 5 steps and you are at a school – the locals here call it the “Burmese School” because it is on the Myanmar side. Kids of Lungwa study here. At one of the intersections, a dirt track takes you to the Saigagng division of Myanmar and the village of Khamoi and beyond that Lahe (and beyond that Khampti and Homalin – just in case you want to google) and unless you are told you will never realise it.
- The village of Khamoi on the Myanmar side with its 200 families doesn’t have a single shop for their daily needs. So they have to shop for everything in Lungwa. This is what the villagers of Khamoi do – they pay these boys from their village to run errands. They come with their Chinese bikes and the shopping list. They shop in Lungwa on the Indian side and return to Khamoi on the Myanmar side. Every single day there are bikes zipping in and out of India and Myanmar. And who is running a shop in Lungwa who has clients both on the Indian and Myanmar side – a certain gentleman from Churu, Rajasthan.
- The boundary between India and Myanmar runs through his house of the village chief of Lungwa. His kitchen falls in India and his bedroom is on the Myanmar side. So he dines in India and sleeps in Myanmar. How cool is that.
13 nights/ 14 days – Kolkata – Guwahati-Kaziranga –Jorhat-Mon – Kolkata
KOLKATA (3 nights) (including Full day excursion to Chandanagore, Bandel, Bansberia, Chinsurah etc ex Kolkata for an insight into the mad scramble for power between the Europeans – French, Portuguese, Dutch, English et al) – fly to GUWAHATI (2 nights @ Prabhakar Homestay, including day trip to Sualkuchi – home of Endi- the non-violent silk ) – drive to KAZIRANGA (2 nights/3 nights if staying at the Diphlu River Lodge. 1 night at leisure to enjoy the lovely property) – drive to JORHAT (3 nights @ Puroni Bheti Lodge, day trip to Majuli, Asia’s largest freshwater river island and the hub of Assamese culture ex Puroni Bheti Lodge + 1 night at leisure to enjoy the property – walk around the estate, cycle around, fishing in the pond, visit the tea factory, make use of the free Wi-Fi, go to Members only Gymkhana Club for drinks and dinner etc) – drive to MON, NAGALAND (3 nights @ The Konyak Tea Retreat amidst the rolling hills of Sayeang Tea Estate. Get to know about the tattoo and headhunting traditions of the Konyaks from your host, visit the Lungwa Village on the Indo-Myanmar border or/and the Chan Village known for its fascinating traditional Konyak woodwork, spend time at the Sayeang Tea Estate and the Orange orchard of your host, meet her family in the nearby Shiyong village over a cup of tea) – Drive to DIBRUGARH airport via Moran … fly Dibrugarh – Kolkata nonstop in the afternoon OUT ….. OR… During the HORNBILL FESTIVAL (first week of December every year)- Drive to DIBRUGARH airport via Moran …fly Dibrugarh – Dimapur nonstop (3 days a week) – continue to Kohima for the Hornbill Festival (3 nights) – Fly Dimapur- Kolkata nonstop (daily flight) OUT.