Bike Ride To Reiek Mountain In Mizoram: A Weekend Gateway In Aizwal
Every city offers places in its neighborhood, commonly known as “Weekend Gateway.” These places lie in the vicinity of the town and serve the purpose of relaxation for city inhabitants. Depending upon the condition of the road, traffic, and the distance, ride of 2-4 hours, leads there. Tamhini Ghat and Lonavala in Pune, Nandi Hills in Banglore, and Pondicherry in Chennai are a few examples of the weekend gateway in the metro cities of India. Similarly, Reiek is a mountain peak in the Aizwal District of Mizoram and plays the role of weekend gateway for residents of Aizwal city. Reiek offers a serene escape from the busy and meandering streets of Aizwal city. Situated 30 kilometers from Aizwal, Reiek is accessible after an hour ride from the city. When I was in Aizwal, Reiek was on my list. Once I explored the places in Aizwal, I decided to ride for, and this article would be dealing on the same. In this article, I will be describing my bike ride to Reiek, why Reiek is a must-visit place for any traveler visiting Aizwal. I would also try to provide some valuable information like places to explore in Reiek, accommodation facility, and other useful information for a memorable visit to Reiek Mountain.
Why One Should Visit Reiek
There is no reason for visiting any hill station, and the same rule applies to Reiek too. One visits hill station to escape from the daily routine and enjoy some time with their loved ones. Situated at an elevation of 1465 meters above sea level, Reiek offers similar satisfaction. The peak provides a picturesque view of the Mizo Hills and the Aizwal city in the valley. The look of Mizo hills from the top of the summit is an altogether different experience.
Not only the Reiek Peak, but the route from Aizwal to Reiek is a relaxing ride. The way has waterfalls, river crossing, bridges, and ups and downs of hilly roads. For trek enthusiasts, there is a forty-five minutes trek to reach the top of the cliff. The trek route goes through the dense jungle of Lushai Hills and, at the same time, takes minimal efforts to reach the top.
How To Reach Reiek
As stated earlier, Reiek is 30 kilometers from the Aizwal, and an hour ride will lead to Reiek. The road connecting Reiek from Aizwal is a narrow road forcing to maintain a speed between 30-40Kmph. The route passes through the dense jungle of western Aizwal. Two waterfalls, i.e., Khawhpawp Waterfall and Vaipuanpho Fall, lies en route and can be visited by the tourists. The Tlawng River, the longest river in Mizoram, flows nearby and offers a beautiful view of the valley. The point where the river intersects the road provides a great view of the river. A suspension bridge and a few shops urge travelers to take a small break. In a nutshell, reaching Reiek is not a big task, and one can reach the hill town with little effort.
What To Do In Reiek
In my opinion, Reiek can be visited by anyone despite the age group one is falling. A few of the things one can do in Reiek are:
- Trekking– A small trek of forty-five minutes that leads to the top of the hill. Trek to Fletcher’s Lookout is a must to do a thing while visiting Reiek. The trek route is well paved and passes through a cave, and forests, and grass field.
- Khuangchera Puk– The longest cave (many websites claim second ) in Mizoram lies a few kilometers from Reiek. Named after Khuangchera, a legendary Mizo warrior who lived there in the late 19th century. The cave measures 162 meters in length and 10 meters deep and an ideal site for archeology lovers.
- The Mizo Hills– From the top of Reiek Peak, one can see the vastness of Mizo Hills, the virgin forest, and its density. An early morning or evening trek allows watching the sunset/sunrise from the peak. Visiting Reiek mountain during winter allows witnessing a blanket of fog engulfing the entire valley.
- Nature Photography– Reiek Mountain, surrounded by dense jungle, is home to different species of birds. One can spend an entire day doing bird photography or taking photos of the hills
- Park For Children– There is a small adventure park at the beginning of the trek suitable for children. One more park, i.e., Infinite Ainawn Park, lies near the Tlawng river for water sports. These sites serve as a family recreation point encouraging families to visit Reiek.
- Anthurium Festival– If you visit Reiek during September, you can experience the famous Anthurium festival named after the Anthurium flower, which blooms during this time of the year. The festival organized by the Mizoram Tourism Department serves the purpose of promoting tourism. During the festival, one can get a glimpse of Mizo Dance and culture along with games, sports, handicrafts, and local cuisine.
Accommodation Facilities in Reiek
The accommodation facility is readily available in Reiek. In the last few years, tourism boomed in the region, and therefore plenty of hotels and homestays are available. While riding for Reiek, I noticed a few hoardings on the road advertising homestays and hotels. The main market in Reiek town also has a few accommodation facilities. In my opinion, it is advisable to make a reservation at the Mizoram Government Tourist Rest House in Reiek. The reason is the location of the government guest house, which lies in the woods away from the main road. The Reiek Tourist House offers a calm environment amidst the jungle. In the morning, one can hear the sound of birds chirping and experience a chilly and foggy morning. When I visited the guest house, I found the staff very helpful, and the dinner and breakfast were delicious. The staff in the guesthouse was friendly and helped me in planning my future rides in Mizoram smooth.
How I Explored The Reiek
If you read my previous post on Places to visit in Aizwal city, you know that after covering famous places in Aizwal, my plan was to ride for Reiek. After visiting the Mizoram State Museum, I decided to start riding for Reiek. Around 2 PM, I started riding for Reiek, and as per my initial plan, I had to visit the two waterfalls en route, i.e., Khawhpawp Water Falls, and the Vaipuanpho Fall. Once I crossed the Aizwal city, I stopped at a restaurant on the outskirts of the town for a quick lunch. Once finished, I rode to the first waterfall on the way, which was Khawhpawp Waterfall. The Khawhpawp Waterfall is a cascading waterfall with water falling from a height of about ten meters. To reach the base of the waterfall, I had to walk for a few hundred meters. Upon arriving, I wasn’t fascinated as I had seen some of the best waterfalls during my ride to Meghalaya. In Meghalaya, I explored the Wei-Saw-Dong Waterfall, the Rainbow Waterfall, and the Krang Shuri Waterfall. When compared, there was no question of Khawhpawp Waterfall to fascinate. However, I was fascinated by the beauty of Vantawng Falls when I visited it in Thenzawl. Upon spending a few minutes, I decided to return as my luggage was still on my scooter.
Also Read: A Detailed Guide To Explore The Aizwal City
Ride From Khawhpawp Waterfall To Vaipuanpho Falls And Reiek
After a mere ride of ten minutes, I reached the suspension bridge over the Tlawng River. I parked my bike at the end of the bridge and clicked photos of the river. Looking at the width of the river, I wasn’t able to comprehend the fact that the river is the largest in Mizoram. I was traveling post-Monsoon Season and expected a lot of water in the river. After spending 15 minutes drinking tea and clicking photos, I headed further. My next stop was the Vaipuanpho Falls, and the waterfall lies on the roadside. Again the waterfall was didn’t appeal to me, and I decided to ride further. Now I decided to ride until I reach the Reiek town. After another 30 minutes of the ride, I entered the main market of Reiek town, and by then, it was already 4 PM. I postponed my plan to visit the Khuangchera Puk the next day. In the eastern part of India, the sun sets earlier; therefore, I was in no mood to visit any place and decided to find the Tourist Lodge Reiek. The locals guided me the path, and I headed straight to the Reiek Tourist Lodge.
Mizoram Government Tourist Lodge At Reiek
The Reiek Tourist Lodge lies amidst dense jungle, and there is an entrance gate that leads to the main guest house. I paid the entrance fees of 20 rupees and reached the complex in the next ten minutes. Upon arriving, I inquired about the availability of the room. The manager informed me that a single bed in the dormitory costs 100 rupees. He also gave me the option of a dedicated room at the cost of 500 rupees. I decided to go with a dedicated room as it has a separate bathroom and geyser. I took my last bath three days ago and therefore chose to go with a dedicated room. After unpacking my luggage, I went to the reception to order my dinner. There I met a group of four who have come from Orissa for a ten-day bird watching tour in Mizoram. I sat with the group, and we had a conversation about each other’s travel plans. While I was in pursuit of exploring the entire North-East India, they were interested in bird watching. For the first time, I met someone interested in bird photography. The road has been my prime love while traveling, and I find it difficult to understand the pleasure of bird watching. Later, I realized the joy of bird watching and photography when I visited the Manas National Park.
Also Read: A Bike Ride To Kaziranga National Park
We discussed more topics like the purpose of visiting Mizoram, the number of days and other places explored in India before arriving in Mizoram. I mentioned about my travel experiences ranging from Leh-Ladakh to Sach Pass and other states of India. In return, they stated the places they visited in Orissa and the rest of India. During dinner, we met again in the main dining hall and continued our conversation. After dinner, I had a conversation with the Manager of Tourist Lodge. I stated the problem I faced on the very first day in Mizoram. He informed me that since it was Aizwal, I was able to get accommodation, and there is no guarantee I would be lucky in the remote areas of Mizoram. The problem was that when I visited the Mizoram, the Mizoram Tourism Website was undergoing up-gradation. Due to this, I was not in a situation to make a booking. The manager said he would try to help me and asked me to share the detailed itinerary. After knowing which places I intended to visit, he shared the phone number of all the government tourist lodge en route.
When I mentioned the language issue as I was not sure all the managers at the tourist lodge would be proficient in English, he said that he would take care of my bookings. All I had to do was to inform him in the morning where I am planning to stay in the night. I informed him that I have planned to visit Champhai and then the famous Rih-Dil Lake on India-Myanmar Border. To this, he informed me that before being transferred to Reiek Guest House, he worked at the Tourist Guest House Champhai and Zokhawthar, and he is familiar with most of the staff working there. He also added a few more places to visit while riding for Champhai including, Vangchhia for the Stone Marking and Hlakungpui Mual or the Mizo Poet Square. I noted down his recommendations, and before returning to my room, thanked him for his help.
The Best Of Mizo Hospitality
While on my first day in Mizoram, I struggled to find a hotel or restaurant, now I felt the Mizo Hospitality in its best form. The manager was not only polite; he helped in the best possible way and guided how I can complete my Mizoram ride. While I was in Mizoram, I called him every day for the booking and other info, and he helped every time. In any part of Mizoram, after ending my ride whenever I used to enter the Government Tourist Lodge, my booking used to be there. If you had read my journey from Silchar To Aizwal, you know that my Mizoram ride clashed with the Mizoram State Assembly election. In such a rush, when government officials occupied most of the government guest houses, he managed to book a room in the Tourist Guest House in Champhai. The day crossed Mizoram and entered Manipur; I thanked him for all the help. I offered him my support and hospitality in case he ever plans to visit Banglore or Delhi. In Reiek, I witnessed the generosity of Mizoram in its best form. My next day’s plan was to trek to the Reiek Peak and then ride for Thenzawl in the afternoon. With these plans in mind, I went for sleep, hoping another good day in Mizoram.