Nongstoin is where you should go if you want to take a closer look at Meghalaya
There's only one hotel in the entire town at Nongstoin, the headquarters of West Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya. If not a red carpet, you will get to walk on an orange doormat while entering Hotel River View.
Nongstoin is some 90 kilometres from state capital Shillong; the road is quite good, and it takes a little over two hours from either direction. If Meghalaya has some of the most beautiful hills in India's north-east, Nongstoin has some hidden gems -- there are forest walks and scenic villages which are not part of the tourist circuit that is usually confined to Cherrapunji and Shillong, which unfortunately has lost some of its sheen due to runaway pollution. There's little decent space left for pedestrians at the hill town as the narrow roads have all been occupied by automobiles.
Here's your itinerary template:
- Land at Guwahati airport. It's connected with most big cities in India.
- Stay for a day in Guwahati. Take a walk by the banks of the Brahmaputra river.
- Take a cab or bus to Shillong from Guwahati. Takes about three-four hours. Try local food on the way. Meghalaya is know for its pork dishes.
- Explore Shillong. The cafes are nice.
- Take a cab to Cherrapunji from Shillong. Spend a day or two there. Lots of interesting sights at Cherrapunji.
- On the way back to Shillong, take a brief detour toward Nongstoin. It's on the way, and will take about three hours.
- While entering Nongstoin, you will see nice rolling hills. Stop there, get out and take in some air. Chill.