Hornbill festival takes place during the winter season in Nagaland. Winter chill sets in at Kohima, the capital town, during the festival. Dimapur has pleasant weather.
During winters, warm, comfortable, easy to launder clothing is recommended. Good walking shoes and sandals are recommended.
What to pack
Nagaland is generally a casual state by western standards although people do like to dress in their Sunday best whenever the opportunity arises therefore simple and casual clothes are appropriate for almost any occasion. If you are not participating in any trekking tours sandals and lightweight shoes are sufficient. If trekking is included in your itinerary you will need trekking boots.
Rice, momo and noodle dishes are the staple of Naga food. Fish, chicken, and pork dishes along with cooked vegetables and rice form a typical meal. Chinese and Indian food are available at many restaurants.
Drinking tap water or ice is not recommended. Bottled water is readily available but remember to check the seal for possible tampering. You should be drinking a minimum of 1.5 liters of water per day. This should increase as the temperature increases or you are engaging in physical activities. Alcohol, even though Nagaland is a dry state, is available at select restaurants. Naga’s make a special traditionaldrink called rice beer which should be tried by every tourist.
Arrival in Nagaland
Visitors usually arrive at Dimapur, which is Nagaland’s commercial hub. Dimapur is well connected by Air and Railways. They city has numerous hotels, restaurants, lounges and places to hang out. Since accommodation in Kohima is proving to be a problem, Dimapur is fast becoming a popular option.
English is the official language of Nagaland. Hindi is also widely spoken. Nagamese is the most widely spoken market language.
Internet and e-mail services are readily available in most major places throughout the state. Some hotels will have this service available and there are many Internet cafes in the major areas.
Government offices and banks are open Monday to Saturday. The banks close at 3:30 p.m. from Mon to Fri. On Sat, banks close at 1:00 PM. Most shops will be open until around 7 p.m in Dimapur. In Kohima, shops close at about 4:00 PM. Restaurants and lounges in Dimapur open till late night.
Souvenirs to look out for in Nagaland include woodcarvings, hill tribe fabrics and handicrafts, embroidery, Naga shawls and paintings. Dimapur and Kohima have the best choice when it comes to shopping but Dimapur is a very good place to hunt for bargains. Check out Hongkong market in Dimapur for some nice discounted shopping.
Tipping for good service is not expected but is always appreciated. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of a tour. Hotel and station porters should also be tipped if they are kind and have done a good job.
Naga people are very gracious, polite and generous and will make every effort to have guests feel comfortable. Do not be surprised to be invited home to meet someone’s family you have just met, these are the experiences that will enrich your visit to Nagaland.
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