Note: This blog is only about crossing Tamu Border from Moreh side. If you are doing so from Myanmar side then I won’t be able to help you
There are not many friendly borders in India from where one can go visit the neighbouring town of another country. People at many different places do it illegally or because of the fact that they are locals but for travellers like me, the chances are a little less to explore a new country without passport and visa.
Luckily, if you are travelling in North East, then exploring the border towns of Myanmar becomes really easy due to the friendship treaty between both countries.
Moreh is 3 hours away from Imphal. Regular shared taxis run between both places and the last cab is available at 3 PM evening. The lazy North East Phenomena is visible in Manipur where everything starts to get shut down by 7:30 PM and returning to hotel or hostel becomes really difficult. As someone who suffered with this problem in the initial days of their visit to North East and then in Manipur, I became a little cautious about starting late for any destination.
The story of Tamil settlers in Tamu is very interesting. You will not expect that this population will be found so far away from their home state of Tamilnadu. While a few families still reside there, many have moved to Tamilnadu, Malaysia, and even Sri Lanka. It was in 1960 when Burmese Tamils were forced to leave the country and settle in Tamilnadu for a few years. They tried returning to Myanmar but were stopped by Burmese Army. They decided to settle in Tamu and their community is living here.
How to cross Tamu from Moreh
The border crossing process to Tamu is very easy. A couple of facts you need to know are –
- Crossing border is allowed till 3:00 and one must return to Indian side by 4:20 PM
- One must carry Adhar Card as deposit at border. This is probably the only place that considers this ID so important
- If you are arriving in Moreh after 2 PM then it is advised that you stay in a hotel for overnight. Most hotels are not available online and are very basic
- Few decent accommodations are needed to be booked in advance. Ask your hotel management in Imphal to help you out
- Indo-Myanmar friendship gate is 10 min away from Moreh market. You cross the Indian side of the border and reach what looks like a no man’s land. Indian army officials will check you and may add a few additional questions in case you are solo travelling in Manipur
- After they allow you to cross, find Myanmar immigration counter, deposit the ID proof and move into the market area
- But this is not Tamu. You cross a couple of shops and you’ll come across autorikshaws going to the town of Tamu. They’ll charge 30 to 40 rs for one side and may take 20 min to fill
- Reach Tamu, walk into the market area. Spend a few hours in the market, eat some local food of Myanmar and then return by an auto to the border area
- Don’t forget to take back your ID while entering India
- Don’t take photos where the signs say so
What to do in Tamu
Explore the market
Tamu market is brimming with shoppers. Many are from Manipur who find goods for way cheaper prices than India. There are women’s only markets like Ima Kaithal. There are many souvenirs like bamboo hats and baskets perfect to take home.
Try local food
Now I don’t remember what all I tasted because of language issues. But you’ll find noodles and fried rice that are prepared using a lot of dry fruits. Local food also includes puri and potato along with some sweet cakes.
Visit Buddhist monasteries
Tamu has a small Buddhist monastery on the outskirt of the town. You can hire an auto or look into Google maps to drop you here. It’s not that grand but worth spending some time.
Moreh and Tamu are very alike and yet different. The towns are a traveller’s delight and can be easily explored in a day.
From Moreh, you can find same shared cabs for Imphal, only they’ll charge extra money for some reason. Remember to catch a vehicle by 2 PM so that you reach Imphal before the market starts to shut down.
Hope you liked this Moreh Tamu travel blog. For more queries and to stay updated with my solo trip in India, connect with me on Instagram