Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. We reached Dawki at 6 pm last evening. This place is 80kms away from Shillong. If you want to come here direct from Shillong, it will take you at least 2 to 2.5 hours. We spent last night at this guest house here, Lamin Guest House. In fact, I am standing right outside the room right now. And I am looking down at the road from here. The road is almost deserted at this time. The time is 7.45 am. I can see a dhaba right there. We will go there and have some breakfast. Let me tell you about the room tariff. The tariff of this room, in which we stayed, is Rs. 3000. They charged us Rs. 2500 for this room. They do have rooms at tariff Rs. 1500 as well but this is their top-end room. Now, we will have breakfast and then go for sightseeing. There is matar-aloo (peas & potatoes) curry with poori (deep fried flatbread). And suji halwa (semolina pudding). This is a famous combination at this place. Overall a simple taste! And a decent combination! After breakfast, we will have a cup of tea. After that, boating! Black tea is called Red tea here! So, you can see it for yourself. I am having red tea right now. Let us finish the tea now. Locals prefer to drink Red Tea in comparison to the milky tea. I forgot to tell you one thing. Last night, a very cold breeze was blowing around here. When you will come here, make sure to keep the window of your room open. You will enjoy a good night’s sleep once you do so. Okay! Bye, bye! Nice meeting you! Khub Lei! We’ve reached the starting point of boating. Your name is Well? So, we will do the boating with Mr. Well. The charge is Rs. 700 for a 45-minute ride. Boating has started. Let me tell you an interesting thing. Do you see those rocks behind me? Those rocks and on this side also you can see some more rocks. This is the border with Bangladesh. We saw these rocks last evening as well, at around 6 or 8 pm. A lot of people were standing at this place. All those were tourists on the Bangladesh side. They cannot come here for boating. And the Indian tourists cannot go for boating on that side either. So, this is the borderline! Not line exactly, but border area. So, this is the land side of border and that is the water side of border. Wow! The water is very clear. I can see stones on the river bed at least 2 to 2.5 feet below the surface. Super! This is Umngot River. So many people had praised the crystal-clear water of this river to us. I am sure, going further,…. …I will get to see even clearer river water. Wow! So clear water! So many small stones on the river bed. Well, what would be the depth of this river? 4 feet? Magnificent! I’ve never seen such clear river water. Especially such clear river! Absolutely crystal clear! We’ve travelled more than half a kilometre from the point where we started our boating. And the water just keeps getting clearer. Wow! Absolutely crystal clear! We’ve stopped the boat here near the land, for about 10 minutes. It is rainy season these days. If you come here during winters – November, December, January months,…. ….my boatman told me that the water would be even more clear then, beyond what it is right now. Just look at the current of water there, how fast it is flowing! That is from where this river is flowing down here. So, the river flows fast there because of huge rocks and then slows down on reaching here. It feels good to stand in the water barefeet. Since the rocks are slippery, avoid going into the middle. Just enjoy on the side, like we are doing. Come, let us go back now! The bottles like these can be seen over the surface of water at many places. These have been placed like these by the locals for fishing purposes. It has already been 1.5 hours since we left the starting point. We are running on extra time. Look at this exclusive moment! See, there is water trickling down from there. The bridge looks stunning! This is an exclusive moment! You can enjoy this view only once you come here yourself. I really enjoyed! So, we’ve reached India-Bangladesh Dawki Riverside Border. I already told you that on that side of the rocks is Bangladesh and this side is India. The boat charges, Rs. 75 for a 45-minute ride, apply to four passengers at a time. After land border, we will be going to Shnongpdeng. Did I pronounce it right? Shnongpdeng! Shnongpdeng! That is 11kms from here. I was pronouncing the name of this river wrong so far. So, you tell me how can we pronounce Umngot? Umnot! Umnot! Umnott! Okay! Great! Let us leave now! Thank you! Nice to meet you! Khub Lei! Khub Lei! Bye! Bye! The place where we did boating is 2kms from the India-Bangladesh border, where we are heading right now. The name of this place is Tamabil border. All these trucks that you see here are carrying limestone. So, I asked around and came to know that during a day, about 600-700 trucks pass through this point. This is just one border. There are other border points through which trucks carry limestone…. …into Bangladesh because limestone is highly required for the construction activities there. The way we have our Border Security Force (BSF), they have Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB). So, if you want to come visit this border post….. …you can come to Dawki and then travel the short distance to this place and…. …go back after spending some time, to see how India-Bangladesh border looks like. We are leaving here now for our next destination, which is Shnongpdeng, 11kms away. It will take us 10 minutes more to reach Shnongpdeng. We saw this Betel Nut restaurant on the way. They have a seating area inside but we have seated ourselves outside. Look at the beautiful view in front of me. I can see, at least, 25-30 betel nut trees right in front of me. So, we have in front of eyes such a nice view! We’ve placed our order and our order, Chinese chowmein, has been served to us. Let us start eating now. They’ve poured a lot of gravy over the chowmein. This has lot of green vegetables, along with chicken. This gravy-based preparation is good. And I don’t need any accompaniment with it. Chicken is soft! And tender! We found a good place to have lunch today. So, we will finish this and then move on. Thanks! Till now, we were travelling in the Khasi Hills region. Now we are in the West Jaintia Hills. This place is called Shnongpdeng. Now let me tell you what the travellers can do here. The first and foremost activity that travellers do here is there on this board of adventure activities. Scuba, snorkelling, kayaking…. …and camping, these are the activities. I just called on the phone numbers provided on this board. They told me that due to the rainy season right now, none of the activities were being organized except for… ..ziplining. However, today is their weekly off day, so even ziplining is not available. Rest of the activities will begin from October and by December, January, it is the peak time. A large number of travellers come here to do scuba and other water sports activities. Apart from that, if you want to come and live here on the river bank, there is a camp here. You can go camping there. You will see a bridge here, on which you can go for a walk. We will also go there for a walk. From here, I can see that water is flowing at a high speed. We will go down, though not for boating, but to find out the charges for boating. This is because we’ve already done boating this morning. Otherwise, this place is quite a popular tourist spot. A large number of travellers come here for an overnight stay and next day, continue their journey. These are the camps put up on the riverside. We could also see these from up there. I found out here that Rs. 1000 is the cost of stay in one tent. I was told 2 or 3 persons can put up in one tent. Though this tent would be comfortable for 2 persons, but a little congested for 3. Toilet and bath facility is available here on sharing basis. We walked down from up there right upto the river bed. This place is beautiful, no doubt! You can see, on this side, big and small rocks, in huge numbers lying by the riverside. And this river, as I told you in Dawki, is known as Umngot river. It may be that I am unable to pronounce the name of this river correctly. The pronunciation of this name is a bit typical. I can also see kids playing around in water here. And boating is on. Brother, what is the cost of boating here? Rs. 500 for? For how much time? 50 minutes of boating at Rs. 500. Great! So you can go for boating here. Since we did boating in the morning, we won’t do it again now. Camping, as I told you already, is the main attraction of this place. Travellers spend time camping by the riverside and next day indulge in adventure activities here. Let us go a bit closer to the water. We will spend 30 minutes here, take a walk on that bridge and then move on from here. We are going back from here now, to take a walk on that bridge right there. In Meghalaya, you will get to see such foot bridges at several places. The moment that we are enjoying right now…. …I cannot express the extent of this ultimate moment! I looked 10 minutes in this direction. The boats parked on the river bank down below look like arranged in a beautiful design. There are mountains on either side of this river and rocks strewn over the riverside. There is a similar view in this direction as well. Look at the water current down there. The river flows from here in to the direction of Dawki. Quite an exclusive moment! When you come here, do spend some time on this foot bridge. You will definitely enjoy here. We are leaving here now. The time is 3.15 in the afternoon. Our next destination is Krang Suri Waterfall. That is 30kms from here and it should take us about an hour and 10-15 minutes to reach there. It looks like it is going to rain. By the way, a light drizzle has already begun to fall. As I told you already, we are travelling in the Jaintia Hills region now. We have reached the Krang Suri Waterfall. As soon as we parked our car, I saw there are a few dhabas (eateries) here. You get maggi, tea here! You can also buy packaged food like potato chips, if you want. I could also see some accommodation facilities coming up here because tourists are interested….. ….in coming and staying here. I asked around and came to know of a homestay right there. Let us go and find out more about that facility. Then we will go to the waterfall from that path. I was told that this homestay facility is under construction right now. You can see the rooms right in front of you. If you hire a 3-bed room, it will cost you Rs. 2000. For a two-bed room, the charge is Rs. 1600. All the facilities are basic-level. Toilet and bath facilities are on sharing basis. We will go for a cup of tea and then walk towards the waterfall. Because the time is already 4.15 pm and we don’t want to be late. This is an amazing waterfall, we saw that while coming here. We had to walk for 20 minutes from the parking space and ticket price is Rs. 50 per person. And if you want to go for swimming under the waterfall, life jackets are also available. So, we are going to rent life jackets and then go into the waterfall to enjoy. It is a magnificent waterfall. We had absolute fun in the water. Whenever you decide to come here, come in the afternoon, by 1 or 2 pm. We reached here by 4.40 pm. And since the sun sets early here, it is going to be dark soon. Therefore didn’t get much time to spend here. And we were cautioned against going into the deeper end of this waterfall for safety reasons. So, we avoided the deep end and stayed on the side. We had the first glimpse of this waterfall from a distance and then we went down and got into the water. Now, we are up here and watching the waterfall from the top. So, we had 3 different views of the same waterfall from 3 different spots. Great experience to be at this place! After getting into dry clothes, we are planning to go to Jowai, which is 30kms from here. It is a large town and we will be spending our night there. From where we are standing right now, it will take us 20-25 minutes to climb to the parking space. After that, we would be on our way to Jowai. After travelling for 1.15 hours from the Krang Suri waterfalls, we have reached West Jaintia Hills. We’ve booked ourselves a room at the CTC Orchid, 2kms from Jowai. We paid Rs. 2600 tariff on double occupancy basis. This room is quite big in size. I found out that they don’t have many rooms, just 10 rooms are available to stay. There is no online booking facility available. You can book rooms through the hotel website only. We came in person and booked this accommodation for ourselves. Let me tell you something about today’s journey. Whenever you travel on this route, travel during the day. We made a mistake….. ….of travelling here in the night. We had to miss a waterfall because of that. There is one more waterfall on this route. There are a lot of beautiful scenic views too on the way. We had to miss those as well. The time is 8.30 pm now. We will have some food and then end today’s journey here. We’ve ordered two dishes for dinner. Dal makhni and Navratan Korma. With tawa chapati! This dal makhni doesn’t taste like the usual one that we eat throughout North India. But it is still enjoyable. Adding Makhanas (Fox nut) to dal is a good value addition. Good source of calcium! Navratan Korma is made of potatoes, beans, peas and lots of other vegetables. Taste-wise, it was just okay! I liked dal better. Overall decent food! Now, we shall meet in the next episode. In that episode, you will see us doing local sightseeing in Jowai. We came back to Shillong for night stay. We will meet soon. Till then goodbye! Thanks for your time!