Hello friends, hope you are doing well and I am also sure by now you must have read both my posts on my Roadtrip To Tawang In Arunachal Pradesh. If you haven’t yet then what are you waiting for sharing, check out for the links in the ending, just go ahead! The word Roadtrip is enough to give us thrills and Northeast India is a storehouse of some spectacular destinations and combinations of enchanting forests, rivers, tea gardens, mountains and valleys.
Also, you may have to face many hurdles during those trips and that is what that makes the journey memorable and adventurous, isn’t it? But still, you need to go safely and prepared specially on an unpredictable road in a unpredictable weather you are travelling. If you are a person who loves road trips either on a bike or a car and you are planning to visit Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh then you will find these ten tips very helpful.
10 Things to Know if you are planning for a road trip to Tawang
Here I have listed down 10 interesting tips to check before you go on your road trip to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh based on my personal experience. Well, it shall not only make your travelling hassle free but also make you prepared for any kind of hurdles you face on your road trip. So remember, before any road trip, make sure you are checking out some road trip tips online so you are fully prepared before you go.
Get your Inner Line Permit Done.
Indian citizens are required to get the Inner Line Permit to enter Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram since these are protected states and entry are allowed only for a limited period. Almost in all these states permit is valid for 15 days and can be extended. Before you start on your road trip to Arunachal Pradesh its mandatory to get your ILP done and in case you couldn’t get your ILP done you can apply for one at Bhalukpung check post, its the entry point to Arunachal. All you need is two copies of your latest passport size photos and valid identity proof. It takes one to two hours there but I suggest get it done from your nearest Office. Once you reach Tawang, you need to get your Inner Line Permit done for visiting Bumla Pass. So carry some extra passport size photos and photostat copies of your identity card. Check this link HERE.
2. Pack dry food items and sufficient quantity of water
Once you enter Arunachal Pradesh and cross Bhalukpung, the roads are in pitiable condition except in some places near the army camps. And you may not know when you will be stuck in a landslide or road blockade while on a road trip. Just Like we were stuck for twelve hours on the road due to landslide and had to sleep in our car. Don’t expect highway dhabas and shops on the hills and even if its there most of the shops get closed by 6 pm in the evening. In such situations, your dry food stock and water will help you go a long way. We also spent that night eating biscuits and cakes. There are workers who help in cleaning the roads only if the landslide has stopped otherwise it’s too dangerous for them. Also, carry a flashlight and first aid kit for an emergency.
3. Vehicle Check
When you are travelling in the mountainous terrain you must be very careful about your selection of car. When we were planning our trip we thought of taking our own car which is Honda Amaze but some of our friends who have been to Tawang suggested us not to take our car rather go for a hired one. Since we were travelling via an agent they sent their car for our journey. They sent Swift Dezire since we were just two people but for more than two passengers and preferably for these kinds of the road trip the best car is an SUV. Regarding Bikers, you know it better than me all about your requirements.
4. Fuel Check
Make sure your fuel tank is filled as you won’t find much petrol pumps there high up on the highs. You will find one in Bomdila and I also noticed one fuel station just before you enter Dirang Town. Even if you are going on a hired car or shared taxi make sure your driver has fueled the car.
Read more about my journey in Arunachal Pradesh – Roadtrip to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh- Part I
5. Know the best time to travel
While planning your trip to make sure you know the best time to travel. Get some information about current road condition either from cab drivers or travel bloggers who have just paid a visit. Sometimes due to heavy rainfalls and landslides roads get closed for a couple of days and it would be difficult to continue your journey especially if there are kids or senior citizens travelling with you. Avoid a road trip during the monsoon, the best time is from October to April though during November end to January end sometimes the road may remain closed due to heavy snowfall.
6. Pack warm clothes
You will require layers of warm clothes, its very cold in Tawang, Mufflers, caps, hand gloves, jackets you need them all. There are army canteens in case you forgot to pack your socks or any other piece of warm clothes, you need not worry as you can buy it from there. The shops in Tawang gets opened very early in the morning so you can also buy it from the local market. But the price is comparatively higher in the local markets than army canteens.
7. Avoid driving at night
The road leading to Tawang from Dirang is very narrow, broken here and there and very dangerous. If you are driving your own car I would suggest you to avoid driving at night. There are no street lights, thick fog and sometimes the roads get blocked either due to landslides or heavy snowfall. Take a break either at Bomdila or Dirang and you can also explore the places and interact with local people. The roads are unpredictable, miles and miles you won’t find any help and even the phone network won’t work.
8. Pre- Book your hotels
Make sure you pre-book your hotels. Do some research and read hotel reviews for that. Sometimes when you are planning to book your hotel via online hotel booking portals, some of the hotels may show as no rooms available, but make sure you take the phone number and ensure it over the phone. You can also ask them to arrange your tour and help you with getting passes. If you are visiting in the off-season getting a hotel room is no problem but other times you will find most of the hotels booked. So I suggest pre-booking your hotel rooms. I book most of my hotels via https://www.makemytrip.com/ They also have the option for booking Homestays, I personally prefer staying in a homestay as you can interact with the local people know about their culture and way of life. The homestay I booked was North Hill Homestay, people were very hospitable there.
9. Carry your cash
On the hills don’t even think of an atm or your mobile banking for transferring money or making payments. There will be no network at most places and not much ATM. You may find a few in the town areas but there is no guarantee that you will find cash available for you on the machines. So to avoid irritation and save your time carry sufficient cash and also spare changes.
10. Know your routes well
It is also very important for you to know that the routes you are following are the right ones, well in this route you need not worry, Our Indian Army has made navigation easier here, there are lots of milestones, directions signboards, along with distance mentioned are available to guide you through the proper route. Even without any GPS, you can track the right direction. Just a one-way route through the mountains.
One point that I haven’t included above is to avoid drunk driving. Throughout the whole way, there are messages given by the BRO (Border Roads Organisation) people to alarm you against drunk driving and to let you know how dangerous it can be to drive under intoxication in these routes. If you see your driver is drunk immediately be alarmed and ask him to stop. Don’t forget to take your charge. So that was all if you have any other points feel free to drop them in the comment section below. Also, read my travel tips if you are planning a trip to North Sikkim, Check HERE. Thanks and stay tuned for the next post.
Here is something more for backpackers planning to visit Northeast India. Do visit this helpful post on “How to Backpack Northeast India‘ for more noteworthy tips on how to backpack Northeast India. There are lots of wonderful tips that will come handy if you are planning to visit Northeast.