Getting to Shillong

By Plane

Shillong Airport (IATASHL) is in Umroi, about 40km from Shillong (also known as Barapani Air Force Base or Umroi Airport). It is a small airport with flights via Alliance Air (operated by Indian Airlines) to/from Calcutta on certain days of the week. A bus operated by M.T.D.C runs from Airport to Shillong market.Taxis are also available. However, flights to Umroi are only from Calcutta and generally are cancelled at the last minute due to inclement weather. Guwahati Airport, which is 3 to 3.5 hours from Shillong, is a much better option.

Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (IATA: GAU) in Guwahati (104km from Shillong) is connected to rest of India with regular flights. Shared cabs (small cars from the airport, and larger Tata Sumos from Guwahati town centre) are available from outside airport connecting to Shillong. The rate (as of June 2015)is INR700 per passenger from Guwahati Airport to Shillong and reportedly takes 3 hours. The cab drops you off at the police post in the Bazaar from where you can get a ride to almost any part of Shillong. En route from Guwahati to Shillong, you'll probably stop mid way at Nongpoh to freshen up and get some refreshments. Nongpoh is also a good place to pick up bamboo pickles and other condiments. Please note that the road from Guwahati to Shillong has been widen and are in a much better condition now. than it was few years back.

 

By Train

There are no rail lines in Meghalaya. The nearest railway station is Guwahati, 105km from Shillong (reportedly taking less than 3 and a half hours via taxi), and very well connected with all the major cities of India.

 

By Bus

For places within city limits, city buses are good options. There are two kinds of buses that pass from Shillong - city bus and bazaar bus. City buses are what tourists should use. Bazaar buses are for villagers coming to Shillong to sell their products. Most of times they carry vegetables, fruit, poultry, etc, along with people. City buses are notoriously slow. Drivers move their buses from the bus-stop only when the bus gets packed or another bus arrives. Many times you will find that walking will take you earlier to your destination. Bus tickets are at most INR5 for one journey.

 

By Taxi

Black and yellow un-metered shared taxis ply within city limits. These are faster and are always shared; rates may vary from INR 10 to INR 50 maximum. Being shared taxis, drivers often pick up additional passengers en route to the same destination, in order to make a better fare. If one decides to negotiate the "hire" of a taxi, however, the driver will not pick up any more passengers (or stop roadside to find more) but the fare will be significantly higher than if one had just hailed the taxi as it passed by.

For sightseeing it is a good idea to hire a taxi cab for full day. The fares should be fixed before travel. Hotel staff will be able to give you an idea of reasonable rate.

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