Imagine waking up to the warmth of a traditional, Ladakhi home in a village that time forgot. When you look outside, you see crispy sun rays falling on majestic, barren mountains. Green pastures roll endlessly ahead of you, reminding you that you're far away from the vagaries of city life, in a tiny paradise of your own. This sublime feeling is what greets you every single morning in the pristine villages of Phey and Phyang, which offer an authentic farm-stay experience.
So this year, as you yearn for a unique travel experience, do give the farmstays of Phey and Phyang a chance. A week-long stay in these villages will bring you closer to a culture and community that remain concealed from the purview of the mainstream.
Where are these villages and what makes them so special?
Situated at a 20 minutes' drive from Leh, the secluded villages of Phey and Phyang have a rather intriguing demography. In these villages, neither men reside, nor do youngsters of the newer generations. The village is purely inhabited by women, Ladakhi mothers, who are often referred to as Amalays. The abandonment of their homelands has occurred in search of more lucrative employment opportunities in cities such as Leh. In Phey and Phang, farming is the primary occupation and thus, they've faced the brunt of a massive migration so much so that they were on the brink of disappearing. However, the Ladakhi women stayed back.
This is when Sonam Wangchuk, the famous engineer, innovator and education reformist came up with the idea of kick-starting farm stays in these villages. Spearheaded solely by the women, these farm stays opened themselves to travellers who could live at the farms and at the same time, volunteer with the women at the farms.
Why you need to experience these farm stays
Disclaimer: This farm stay experience is not for tourists who're seeking a getaway where they laze around, be loud and irresponsible.
They are ideal for those who're looking to experience meaningful and mindful travel. Farm stays are for those of you who are ready to step out of your comfort zone and indulge in a travel experience where you live like the locals. The farm stay that you will be living in will most likely be a local's h0me, so be prepared to share spaces, have delicious home-cooked food and enjoy the warmth of Ladakhi hospitality.
If you're enrolling as a volunteer, then you'll be spending a few hours working in the outdoors every day, after which you can spend time exploring the villages, taking hikes or interacting with the women of the village.
It goes without saying that Phey and Phyang will offer you a travel experience like no other. Spending time with the locals of the villages will introduce you to a world you never knew existed!
If you want to explore farm stays that you can visit and volunteer at, check out Himalayan Farmstays here.
Love pursuing unique travel experiences? Share your story by creating a blog on Tripoto here.