Nicknamed the “Scotland of the East”, Shillong resembles the Scottish Highlands with cobbled streets, churches, rolling green hills and old-world colonial charm. It’s the ultimate nature-filled getaway tucked in the shadow of towering pine conifers with spectacular views of the Himalayan Mountains.
Things to do in Shillong
Trek up Shillong Peak or Sohpetbneng Peak, which both offer unobstructed views of the country and mountains. Have a picnic at Elephant Falls in Upper Shillong, then swim in natural pools at the foot of Crinoline Falls. The mysterious Mawphlang Sacred Forest beckons with rare orchids and Castanopsis kurzil trees, with the entire forest considered a sacred entity.
Many museums in Shillong focus on nature, including the Wankhar Entomology Museum and its collections of butterflies, beetles and colourful stick insects. The Air Force Museum showcases fighter jets, military aircraft, rockets, missiles and planes used in historical battles. You’ll find treasures, such as a fighter plane used in the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
For shopping, head to traditional markets, such as Bara Bazar, known for selling exotic spices, pepper, miniature chillies and pure turmeric from the Lakadong region. You’ll also find handmade jewellery and intricately woven silk shawls. Head over to Police Bazar for herbal Khadi products and carved wooden handicrafts.
In the evening, Shillong’s nightlife venues stay open late, with dancing, DJ-spun music and live local bands on the rooftop of Cloud 9. If you prefer a more laid-back vibe, arrive early to dine at the on-site Skye Asia restaurant. For craft cocktails and eclectic entertainment, spend some time at Platinum.
Getting around Shillong
You can rent a car at Umroi Airport near Barapani, about 25 kilometres away, but another popular option is to hire a taxi for the entire day. Shillong city buses and auto rickshaws are also available.