I truly believe that to experience a place, one must live like locals, preferably with locals. Throughout our travels across the World, we have lived in hostels and BnB's and have deeply enjoyed the experience of immersing ourselves in local culture. The best part about staying at local places rather than checking into a hotel is the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you are welcomed and if all goes well, you leave after making a few new friends from that region.
We as a backpacking family have lived with several other families across the World, but had never explored this option back home. This was our chance, and I was truly delighted when Mr.Vaivhav from Greener Pastures arranged for us to stay at a homestay in Mokokchung by the name 'Abode in the Mountains'
This pretty little homestay at Sunrise colony Mokokchung stays true to its name and is the actual abode of Mr.Aka Longchar and his family, residents of Mokokchung. Mr Longchar is the retired chief medical officer of Mokokchung district, and shares his beautiful home with his pretty wife and children. His son, Mr. Imtisunep who started the homestay now lives in Budapest and is a musician and his daughter, a disaster management professional lives with them. They also have three dogs two of whom are named Truffle and Pepper and so it automatically became our daughter's favourite stay.
What it offers:
The homestay has a couple of rooms across two floors with attached bathrooms and has access for guests to a common seating area, dining area, the terrace, and an outside area. The host cooks meals for the guests. Homecooked meals (Naga recipes) or regular Indian food is cooked for the guests on demand. It is at walking distance from the Mokokchung town.
Since we had been travelling during the winter season, Arianna had gotten a little unwell and was running a cold when she reached their home. The hosts welcomed us very warmly and Mr Longchar offered medical advice straight away complementary to his noble profession. We checked into our cute little double room and as we chatted, Mrs Longchar asked us our meal preferences. We being true to ourselves asked if she could cook us some local recipes and she whipped up the most delicious meal of meat cooked with a fermented paste of yam leaves (Anishi), naga dal, organic vegetables, rice and chutney.
Arianna enjoyed her time at this homestay, running around with their dogs and we had a lovely chat with the couple who told us about their children, Mr.Longchar's professional history, and about life in Nagaland. We managed to sneak in (we were invited in to be honest haha! ) to their kitchen where they showed us their traditional meat smoking chamber above the fireplace, and answered all our questions patiently. It was great to see traditional Naga tools being used to cut meat, smoke it, and cook with local ingredients.
They were sweet enough to serve us dinner themselves and waited until we finished to eat their meal. Rest assured, if I ever happen to travel to Mokokchung again, I would definitely not miss Mrs.Longchar's homecooked meal.
We were hosted at Abode in the Mountains by Greener Pastures. All opinions expressed above are my own.
This blog was originally published on Backpacking Indian Mama.