Came out of the hotel on a nice Sunday morning… but there are no buses or cars? All shops are closed too?
Yes, that happens in certain parts of the Northeast!
Sleepy Sundays in Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur & Mizoram
This is because some areas of the northeast, especially Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, & the hill areas of Manipur such as Ukhrul, are devout Christian areas and most people, including cab drivers and shopkeepers, religiously attend the Sunday Mass. So, the streets generally look deserted in the mornings at many places in these states, except the big capital cities with a lot of outsiders adding to the workforce.
Does that mean there will be absolutely nothing?
Not exactly. You should always find some alternative but yes, in general, most people prefer not to work on Sundays. So, you may have to wait or search frantically around the town for someone who is willing to move or simply pay higher to some reluctant guy. Public transport generally should work but the problem is that public transport is not very comprehensive in the entire northeast!
So, what should I do on a Sunday?
So, always plan your travels accordingly in such areas. As far as possible, do not plan for any long travel from one place to another in these areas on Sundays and keep them for local sightseeing or hikes that you can do on your own. In some places, even restaurants close down but there should be some options available and always your host, wherever you are staying, should be able to guide and help you. Of course, if you have your own vehicle, there will be no issues.