Holiday Scout posted on 28 May 2017Mizoram is a place for those looking to spend time alone with nature. Covered by 70% forest, the verdant velvet hills here roll on as far as the eye can see.
Tourism in Mizoram is only in a budding stage. Despite huge potential for angling, wildlife spotting, trekking and more, noteworthy steps to develop these activities have yet to be taken. What visitors here will find magnetically attractive is nature’s bounty itself. Majestic waterfalls wait to be found in secluded jungle clearings, and walking paths in the hills around the state capital Aizawl reward seekers with amazing panoramic views.
Many Mizos still earn their living as small-scale farmers, working the extremely steep terrain by hand without machinery. In contrast, Aizawl is a modern city where virtually no remnants of Mizoram’s tribal heritage remain visible. One exception is the Thakthing Bazaar where, every Saturday morning, narrow lanes fill with farmers from the countryside who come to sell their organically grown produce while fisher-folk ply their catches of river snails, crabs and prawns along with smoked fish and frogs.
Spices are almost unheard of in Mizo cooking. Instead roots, leaves and herbs give contemporary Mizo dishes their distinctive smoky, earthy taste. And not to forget Sa-Um, the salty fermented pork fat which features prominently as a flavor enhancer.
Visitors to Mizoram will be hard pressed to find a restaurant that serves great Mizo food. For now, the unique farm-to-table culinary experience is best enjoyed as part of a home stay. Fortunately we had a local guide who arranged this for us and so we got to try such Mizo specialties as Bekang Bai (marinated soya bean with eggplant) and Vawksa Rep (steamed, smoked pork with mustard leaves).
Located in Chanmari in central Aizawl, the Grand Hotel has rooms that are clean and secure, with hot water available around the clock. Rooms on the top floor offer a spectacular view from the balcony. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, satellite TV and breakfast. The hotel houses a restaurant with a wide choice of mainland Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes. The staff is friendly, courteous and helpful. We recommend this hotel particularly to first-time travelers to Mizoram. Here you will receive assistance on planning your stay and you will always return to a tidy room in a calm location.
For those keen on tasting traditional Mizo food, engage the service of a local guide and ask him/her to arrange a meal at a local residence. Otherwise, try David’s Kitchen and Cozy Den, both in Chanmari, for mainland Indian and Chinese dishes.
SEE & DO
1) Reiek Mountain Trek – located 12 kilometers from Aizawl at 1548 meters elevation, this 90 minute walk requires medium fitness and good footwear. The unpaved footpath leads through forest. After clearing it, the way is cobbled and there are stunning panoramic views to behold of Aizawl and the surrounding hills and valleys.
2) Vantawang Waterfalls – located in Thenzawl, Serchhip district, around 3 hours drive from Aizawl, this majestic waterfall is located at the end of a canyon. There is a small observation platform from which to take photos and admire the impressive scenery.
3) Thakthing Farmer’s Market – Saturday mornings in Aizawl
GETTING THERE & AWAY
Aizawl airport (AJL) is serviced regularly by air from Kolkata and Guwahati. The roads in Mizoram are in relatively good condition. The drive to Aizawl from Silchar, Assam takes around 5 hours.
Tags: Travel, North East India, Outdoor, Explore India, Mizoram, Aizawl, Nature, Reiek Mountain, Vantawang Falls
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