First Impressions of Meghalaya – Scotland of the East | India

After spending two days in the Assamese city of Guwahati and an extraordinary day in Manas National Park, I got up super early in the morning to begin my two-and-a-half-hour journey to the city of Shillong in Meghalaya.  Meghalaya is the wettest state in India and is known as the Scotland of the East, so I couldn’t wait to get there and start exploring.

I grabbed all my bags and went down to get my taxi. My driver and I loaded all my stuff into the trunk and then we were off to Shillong. The trip cost me 3,000 rupees, or about $43.37. The trip costs half that, but because the driver then has to drive back to Guwahati, I was charged double. It’s on the pricier side, but I loved that I could take a taxi between states here. It made the journey a lot easier! Later in my trip, I would take a six-hour taxi ride from Shillong to Tezpur, which I figured would cost me about 5,000 rupees.

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Check out the Top 10 Things to See and Do in Guwahati, India

As we entered Meghalaya, I noticed there were a lot more mountains. Assam is pretty flat, but Meghalaya is mountainous. There was also a lot of fog. The greenery and roads cutting through the mountains reminded me a lot of Costa Rica in Central America, which is half a world away, but equally as beautiful. It was also reminiscent of Malawi in Africa because of the mix of green and brown and the way the towns were situated and Malaysia because of all the hills.

Meghalaya is bordered by Assam and Bangladesh. Its name translates to “Abode of Clouds.” In addition to its mountains, Meghalaya is also known for its valleys, highland plateaus, and lush forests.

The state is home to lots of mammals, birds, and plants. It became an autonomous state after splitting from Assam in 1972. One of the wettest places in the world is the area of Cherrapunjee, which I’d visit later in my trip. When the British arrived here, they nicknamed the state “the Scotland of the East” due to its highlands, fog, and gorgeous scenery.

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I couldn’t wait to eat the food in Meghalaya! There are a lot of delicious-looking pork dishes that are native to the area that I was looking forward to trying.

Check out the Top 10 Things to See and Do in Shillong, India

We were on a super winding road going through hills. There were lots of trucks on the road with us. Because we were traveling through hills, we kept going up and down and curving around hills. I noticed lots of lumber and huts and dhabas along the side of the road.

As the morning wore on, the fog began to burn off as the sun got higher in the sky. We stopped at a lookout point with a gorgeous view of a massive lake with a green peninsula jutting out into it. It was beautiful with the fog above it. Absolutely amazing! I could see why the British called this “the Scotland of the East!”

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After a slight accident with a short pole sticking out of the ground, we continued on. As we did, I explain why I love coming back to India again and again. This place is so diverse. Each state is so different from the last in terms of landscape, language, people, food, and culture, and there’s always something new to explore!

We finally arrived in Shillong. It’s so different from other capitals I’ve been to. I noticed that everyone here had more southeast Asian features than Indian ones. The people here are so diverse due to the mix of tribes here. English is the official language, but Khasi and other languages are also spoken.

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Check out the Top 5 Things to See and Do in Cherrapunjee, India

The weather was a little chilly and there were lots of old buildings, tons of cars. Then we arrived in the Police Bazar area in the center of the city, which is where my Airbnb was. It was right next to St. Anthony’s College. I got all my stuff out of the trunk, paid my driver, and thanked him for driving me. What a trip! And now it was time for me to spend the next 4 days exploring Shillong!

I hope you enjoyed coming along with me on my drive from Guwahati to Shillong! If you did, please give it a thumbs up and leave me a comment. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of my upcoming travel/food content!

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