16 TOP TRAVEL TIPS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE VISITING LONGWA IN NAGALAND

16 TOP TRAVEL TIPS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE VISITING LONGWA IN NAGALAND

So, you want to visit Longwa in Nagaland huh? We’ll be prepared for a real adventure and you have to have a little bit of faith, trust and pixie dust.

Personally, looking back I loved Longwa. I loved the remoteness of it, the adrenalin it gave me by giving me a real travel adventure. Meeting fearless head hunter warriors and being offered opium by a Chief Konyak king is certainly going to be a hard travel story to beat!

But, I stress, that there are quite a few things you need to read up on and prepare for before your visit. So, buckle up, It’s a wild ride but I’ve got you covered. Here’s my 16 top tips I wish I knew before I visited Longwa.

For context make sure you read some of my articles on Longwa too:

travel tips longwa

1. You can only reach Longwa by road

There are no flights to Mon or to Longwa. You’ll be travelling over the bumpy, dusty, rocky roads of Nagaland! Although this is an adventure, don’t expect the journey to be pretty.

If you’re travelling by public buses and jeeps, you’ll be sharing with 10 others plus their luggage, shopping and sometimes their pets (dinner).

The roads in Nagaland were some of the worst I’ve experienced in India and I’ve travelled around!

Plan your journey in advance as the transport in Nagaland is challenging.

travel tips longwa

travel tips longwa

2. The public transport in Mon and Longwa is limited

I got a night bus from Kohima to Mon from Hornbill festival. Which was a cold and bumpy 15 hour ride. I was exhausted and when I got to Mon, I found out most of the jeeps were sold out for that morning.

I was on a time limit and needed to get up to Longwa that day. There’s only 2 guest houses in Mon and all were closed and expensive.

guide longwa nagaland head hunters

This sunrise in Mon ALMOST made the whole thing worth it

Luckily there was an extra sumo jeep put on that day as a few extras wanted to head up to the Arunachal Pradesh border. It cost 100 rupees more and the ticket was 250 rupees. A steal!

Sumo Jeeps only run up until around 11am with one going each hour or so. So, book in advance or go to the counter early in the morning around sunrise.

This goes for your return journey too. This is the only way locals can get around and they fill up in no time, so make sure you book up early.

The sumo counter in Mon spoke no English so I had to ask a local to help and translate! Kindly the sumo counter kept my heavy backpack with them so I could find some breakfast- I had time to kill !

It takes two hours from Mon to reach Longwa, high up on top of the Naga hills.

guide longwa nagaland head hunters

3. Longwa is mostly a car free village

The sumo jeeps can only reach a certain drop off point and after that, you’re left to your own devices. So, if you have heavy luggage prepare to be lugging it around.

Luckily for me, my guest house owner knew I was coming and so met me at the sumo counter and helped me with my giant backpack.

travel tips longwa

The sumo drop off point is the road below where I’m sat!

4. It’s extremely remote…like really remote

Picture no telephones wires, tv’s, traffic (there are no cars in Longwa) or restaurants. Just tribal huts, green valleys and peace and quiet.

Although for people like me this is paradise, for some, going off grid is their version of hell!

You’ll have limited phone service, zero wifi, no hospitals nearby or police. It’s literally in the middle of nowhere. So come prepared for it.

travel tips longwa

5. There’s only 2 guest houses – stay at Traveller’s inn

Tourism isn’t massive over this side of Nagaland and, as such, there’s hardly any guest houses. You won’t find them online before you visit either.

There’s 2 in Longwa. One is Traveller’s inn and the other is Auntys guest house.

travel tips longwa

The barbed wire fence looks totally intimidating – but it’s locked and keeps you safe!

Travellers in is more of a cemented building with electricity, private bathroom, beds and blankets and hot water on request.

travel tips longwa

From what I read up about Aunty’s guest house it’s a traditional hut with a typical cot type bed. I’m not sure if there’s electricity.

So, depending on what type of traveller you are there’s those options. Personally, I wanted a few comforts and it was recommended to me by holiday scout.

Traveller’s inn was a lovely place to stay and a comfort in amongst the remote village of Longwa. It was warm, prepared meals daily and even played music which made the who experience a little more comfortable. Read up on my full guide of Longwa to find out what I mean by Longwa being uncomfortable haha.

Rates are 1500 a night including breakfast. For availability contact +91 9856015152 or email travellerinn12@gmail.com.

travel tips longwa

6. There will be limited phone service as you’re on the border of Myanmar

As Longwa is off the beaten track and 50% of it is in Myanmar. You can expect limited phone service or no service at all.

There was no data or wifi, so I had to call my local friends to let my parents know I was okay. I was there 3 days and not being active on my social media or whatsapp would raise concerns back home.

But being on the border of Myanmar does have some benefits. I mean look at those views! I would totally recommend the hike up to the border point; it’s a beauty.

guide longwa nagaland head hunters

travel tips longwa

travel tips longwa

7. You will need a local guide who speaks Nagamese to show you around

The language barrier here was one of the hardest challenges to overcome. The language is Nagamese and it’s not an easy one to follow. Add that hardly any one spoke English and it can be difficult to get around. Not that I expect them to know it, that’s just plain ignorant, but it was definitely a task.

travel tips longwa

I would highly recommend a local guide that can speak the language for your visit. It can literally open doors for you.

People aren’t overly friendly in a Longwa and if you’re going to meet the Head Hunters here then you’ll be going into their homes.

Best to hire a guide from Longwa who knows the people, the language and the best spots.

A hired my guide from Traveller’s Inn and paid a daily fee of around 1200 rupees. But, that’s for 8 hours so you may want to spread that cost out.

travel tips longwa

travel tips longwa

8. It will be freezing, especially at night

Like Kohima, Longwa is on the top of the Nagaland Hills. That means you’re in a windy area! The temperatures at the peak time of year (October – Feb) are also pretty brisk at night. So, make sure you bring layers and something warm to sleep in. Or you’ll be shivering all night.

It’s really nice and warm during the day but it gets dark at around 4pm each day, so after that wrap up!

travel tips longwa

This huge jacket was a life saver

9. There’s no restaurants

There are no restaurants, cafés or Dhabas here in Longwa. But, the guest houses will put on meals for you from their kitchens.

Travellers inn put on a breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet for 350 rupees a meal. Breakfast was included so it was only 700 rupees a day for meals.

That included tea, water, Naga Dahl, rice, breads, veggies, potatoes and pork/chicken. It was so yummy and filling.

The hot food was needed on those cold winter nights.

travel tips longwa

travel tips longwa

Dinner is served!

10. Everyone is devout Christian

You’ll find a massive church in the middle of Longwa, Christian verse played in loud speaker which can be heard all over and every local worships the holy book.

You can attend a service while you’re here too. Just make sure you don’t insult the bible – people don’t take kindly to that.

travel tips longwa

11. On Sundays everything is closed

As Nagaland is a Christian state, Sundays are a day of rest by law. That means no buses, no ATMs, no shops, no one working. Nothing.

I came here on a Friday and found that out the hard way. As I didn’t want to leave so soon I had to factor in an extra night I wasn’t prepared for.

That also means Mondays are hectic and in Mon, expect massive delays for cash! I waited an hour.

travel tips longwa

This guy wasn’t meant to be open but would open the door when you knocked to serve pan. Secret shop service.

12. Opium is smoked on a daily basis and you’ll be offered it too

All visitors who visit Longwa are to visit the Chief Angh or King of Longwa in his residence. The visitors room is more like a drug den with opium fumes that fill the air.

Opium can be found everywhere here and although it’s not compulsory to try, you’ll be offered it. A lot.

travel tips longwa

travel tips longwa

I didn’t get involved, but the two Israeli guys who were staying in Traveller’s Inn did. Or else, our visit would be pretty short lol.

13. Getting away can be a challenge

Like the sumo jeep fiasco heading in, prepare for the same getting out. Not only do you have to head out of Longwa, it can be a challenge leaving Mon as well.

I would recommend booking your jeep out as soon as you arrive if you know how long you want your visit to last. As I was here over a Sunday, I booked mine Saturday morning.

Then trying to find a jeep to head out to Jorhat in Assam was another challenge. The first jeep that I bought a ticket for went off without my as there was no luggage rack.

Then almost all the jeeps were sold out. So, it was a mad rush and we had to fit 12 of us in a 10 person jeep. Cramped much?

Then I had to head to Shiva Sagar via local bus then from Shiva Sagar to Jorhat. It was a tough 12 hours but we got there in the end.

Although costly, if you have the funds I would recommend a private hire or to go with a tour.

travel tips longwa

At least I had another day to explore these amazing places in the village

14. Electricity is available once the sun goes down – charge up at night!

Longwa doesn’t keep the electricity on all day, so you’ll have to charge up your gadgets at night. I had electricity in my guest house but not all do. There was no wifi in my guest house either. So, find distractions!

travel tips longwa

travel tips longwa

15. Watch out for the local kids

Weird tip but they honestly terrified me at times. I mean, they look adorable but I had rocks thrown at me, a kid threaten me with a makeshift sword and was teased and pulled – all because of my camera!

In the end, I would use it to scare them off as they would run whenever I pulled it out.

The only thing that kept them happy was the Dapostar and Snapchat filters on our phones. So try these? Haha!

travel tips longwa

travel tips longwa

travel tips longwa

16. It’s totally and irrevocably beautiful

Often remote places come hand in hand with natural beauty and in Longwa, it was an emerald paradise. The rolling Naga hills, the serenity, meeting head hunters from decades past.

The whole thing was incredible which completely trumped a lot of the challenges I’ve faced. I’m not sure if I’ll come back any time soon but my head, heart and camera reel are full of the best travel memories of my trip to North East India.

Put Longwa on your bucket list! You won’t regret it if you decide to live the adventure. No matter how difficult, it’s always an amazing travel story.

travel tips longwa

travel tips longwa

travel tips longwa

Like it? Pin it!

travel tips longwa
travel tips longwa

Did you like this post or have any feedback? Please let me know in the comments section below! Or, if you have any further questions, feel free to ask. Be sure to subscribe to my mailing list by popping your email in the form below and follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin’!

Follow:
Sophie Pearce

Sophie Pearce is the founder of Third Eye Traveller. Always having itchy feet and a restless soul seeking adventure, she has now travelled to over 30+ countries, many of them solo. Leaving her heart in India, which gifted her a “Third Eye”, she felt inspired to share her travel stories in the hope of encouraging others to explore this big beautiful world of ours.

Find me on: Twitter | Facebook

Share:

8 Comments

  1. March 23, 2018 / 12:39 pm

    This is such a great post! I would never even think of visiting there but it’s good to know it’s possible (if a little difficult!)

    • March 23, 2018 / 4:03 pm

      Yes! It was incredible and so worth the adventure but it certainly had its challenges – that’s for sure! thanks for reading, Sophie x

  2. Suresh
    October 23, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    A really exhaustive and awesome post (Like most of your others). Initially I was planning to skip Longwa and Mon, but after reading your post it seems pretty tempting 🙂 Do you know if its easier to access from Jorhat or Dibrugarh? Any thoughts about cab fare ? Many thanks

    • November 12, 2018 / 5:04 pm

      Hi Suresh, I’m glad my post swayed you. It’s indeed an incredible place to go and you will love how different it is go anywhere else in india. From Jorhat, you will need to get a bus to shivsagar then from there you can access Tizit, then a Sumo to Mon! It’s quite cOmplicated so leave early to avoid missing a sumo! Thanks. Sophie x

  3. October 31, 2018 / 8:32 am

    Sophie Pierce thanks for your excellent simplified blog on travelling to Longwa and your personal experience.I myself have visited 76 Country’s across the Globe and entire India and now will be hopefully travelling to Longwa in December 2018 after the “Hornbill Festival” in Kohima. Hope to meet a few genuine “HEADHUNTERS” as most would be dead by now or in their 80’s.

    • November 12, 2018 / 4:59 pm

      Hey! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Wow that’s a lot of countries. Longwa is definitely like no other place and you will have an awesome time. Yes they are still alive and kicking :). Thanks, Sophie x

Did you like the article? Please leave a Reply