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Trading town along the Indo-Myanmar border: Moreh, Manipur

Moreh is a small trading town along the Indo-Myanmar border located around 110 km from the state capital of Imphal. The town of Moreh is situated at an altitude of around 800 feet above sea-level and serves as an entry point to the town of Tamu in Myanmar.

Tamu which is around 5 km from Moreh is a town in Myanmar which has been open to trade with India since the dawn of time. Since, August 2014, the gates between the two countries has been legally opened. Traders and travellers can get a glimpse of Myanmar.

To reach Moreh there are two options. The first is to take the government bus from Imphal which leaves twice a day once at 7 am and 1 pm. It takes around four hours to cover this distance.

The second option is to take a shared van which cost more; but will leaves as and when they fill up four seats. The journey by a shared van is faster and more comfortable. Vehicles for Moreh can be found near the polo ground at Moreh market in Imphal.

The journey to Moreh is one which starts off with flat straight roads with open barren land which locals say bloom sunflowers during the season and after around 40 km. The road starts to twist, turn as we start ascending into the Manipuri Hills.

Along the way is a war memorial in memory of all those who lost their lives fighting during World War II in the battle between Great Britain and the Japanese. The battle historically named as Shenam Saddle is one of the only wars where Indians were pitched against each other.

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Once you hit the hills, there are multiple check post and plenty of Indian Army officials plying up and down the road. There is two customary check post along the way one at Pallel and the other at Tengnoupal.

At both the check posts, an army officer will ask you to get off the car and check your identification. The whole process takes under a minute and the army officials are more than happy to see people from mainland India wander to this region of North East India.

Once at Moreh, if your purpose of visiting Tamu is the only reason of making the long journey here then the best option is to take a room and head out to the Myanmar immigration. Since the gate closes at 4 pm IST. So every minute will come handy if you want to explore Myanmar.

Accommodation in Moreh is available in plenty with guest houses and lodges lined up all along the market area.  The rooms are extremely affordable but you’ll find it hard to get a place which is decent even for backpacking standards. Since tourism is virtually zero out here, accommodation options are currently only to cater to the needs of the local traders.  There are only a couple of hotels which have decent rooms.

Just like with the accommodation, food is in plenty with numerous Manipuri rice hotels serving fish, chicken and pork thali.  There are also a couple of Mughali places which serve biryani and chicken curry.

While travelling to Moreh always remember to keep your Indian identification with you at all times. Considering how remote the town is you’ll still manage to get Airtel, BSNL and even Jio 4G internet connection and there are plenty of ATMs for a town which is the length of a football field.

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Wooden house in moreh

Moreh

is typically the kind of place where you ideally reach around noon and spend the remaining half in Myanmar. A one night stay is more than enough to explore Moreh and neighbouring Tamu.

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