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Home Stay Tour

Bridging Cultures  
Home-stay-tourism follows the tradition of warm hospitality, a way of life in the Himalayas since ancient times. Due to isolation of dwellings spread across different valleys strangers were quite welcome as guests would bring news, stories of far off places and be a source of joy.
Our aim is to contribute towards reviving and preserving this ancient tradition.
We would like to take an active role in creating a bridge between you as the guest and suitable host families who will share their day-to-day lives with you.
No other form of travel provides a better opportunity to experience your destination and its people as closely. The unique experiences you will gain are bound to enrich your life in many ways.  
You as House-Guest  
  You are tolerant and open-minded, and are looking for something special - even a little adventure. You are looking for new experiences without sacrificing basic amenities or your physical well-being.
You would like to explore less touristy areas in less developed regions.
You don't mind occasionally being stared at or being approached by children. You regard the unusual as a gift or challenge rather than a justification for anger. You look forward to living in homes ranging from the very basic and traditional to very comfortable. You enjoy eating healthy, tasty though sometimes unusual and exotic meals.
You are satisfied with clean, very simple sanitary establishments or you prefer to be provided with western standard facilities.
You are neither shocked by encounters with harmless but alien animals and insects nor irritated by the exotic sounds they emit during day- or night-time.
Your kind and open-minded attitude will be rewarded beyond your imagination with the experience of new ways of interaction with children, people, animals, plants or even 'spirits'.
In most cases, your host-family is part of a village where agriculture plays an important role. Accordingly you will experience every-day village life and daily chores associated with subsistence farming, along with work-techniques that have vanished in western countries long ago. Several generations living together with animals is a common scenario. Domestic animals such as cows, buffalo, goats, dogs or chicken are often part of a household. Within the home you have your own clean room, providing you privacy whenever you want.  
During your stay your host will serve you the best they have to offer. Depending on the host-family and region other activities are also part of your home-stay, such as village walks, nature hikes, cultural programs, and visits to other homes or points of interest.

All host-families and guest-rooms have been personally visited by us. We pay attention towards facilitating an insight into traditional living as far as possible and feasible. We distinguish between two types of living: on one hand there are traditionally built homes with a style of architecture that is distinct from region to region and often also from community to community. These are homes made of locally available material such as wood, stone, earth, clay and bamboo. On the other hand modern concrete homes are becoming more and more common. Though this at times makes the homes more comfortable, it has also changed the culture of living and sometimes even driven to extinction regional architectural distinctions. In case of such 'modern' homes we give preference to homes that reflect the original and distinct architecture of the region.

Home-stay circumstances are constantly reviewed by us. Our selection criteria does not only concern architectural styles, cleanliness, food and standard of living but also the friendliness of the families, their composition or anything else that might be of particular interest.
We as Mediator  
Visit to Pemayangtse Monastery to Rabdantse and Sanga choling monastery.
  Home-stay-based tourism is a new concept that is trying to preserve or revive the ancient culture of hospitality. We assume that people from East and West have much to share with each other. Although both are eager to learn from each other, they are often separated by language- and cultural barriers.
As expert consultant and organizer Terralaya Travels bridges these gaps. As in ancient times we enable you to live as a guest in a family-home.
We dare the attempt to try and connect people from different cultures via everyday life whereby facilitating intercultural exchange of knowledge and experiences.

We are aware that structural changes are making it ever more difficult for today's traveller to get in touch with local people. However, through years of experience and collaboration with host-families, partner agencies and NGO's we are in a position to facilitate this gap. In consideration with your needs and requirements we connect you to local homes and people. In this process we seek to foster a socially sustainable and eco-friendly tourism.

Our Vision  
When travelling in the Himalayas you notice the omnipresence of the Mantra ‚Om Mani Peme Hung'. When recited by people it can be heard; it can be seen in all colours and when carved into stone even felt; printed on prayer-flags the wind carries it through the air. This is the Mantra of Chenresig, the Buddha of universal compassion. It constantly reminds us in all our actions to always keep the welfare of all beings in mind.
In this spirit we wish to inspire. We wish for people from East and West to reflect upon the meaning of wealth and development.
To contemplate on what makes us truly happy and on what contributes to the spreading of happiness.
In this sense we wish to contribute with our modest resources towards more well-being in this world. Home-stay-tourism is an excellent medium to carry forward this inspiration. It helps to create bridges between people from different cultures and levels of development thus contributing to intercultural understanding.

While that which some are searching for or in need of - others are in the process of destroying or moving away from. This applies to both equally, though in different fields. The open encounter with the other position alone can have a healing effect. From our own experience we know that both sides have a great interest in this exchange. But finding such connections remains rare. To facilitate intercultural exchange that allows both to gain is our vision.

Planning Your Journey  
Together we evaluate your needs and requirements, such as duration of stay, desired level of comfort and sanitary installations, and aspects such as culture, activities, language and more. Thereafter we design an itinerary to incorporate one or several home-stays as per your preferences, interest and time available.

Finally we give you a short introduction about the localities and cultural aspects in order to allow the experience to become a gain for both sides.

The recommended guide or interpreter will be chosen in accordance with your needs and special interests. He or she as a bridge between the host-family and you, will be essential in translating for you, introducing you to the culture and allowing you to share insider knowledge. Our guides are well trained and speak English fluently. Though we strongly recommend a guide/interpreter, in some areas you may also travel without guide/interpreter upon request.  
We collaborate with experienced, local drivers who will transfer you comfortably and stress-free to your destination/s. We propose a route, but would also integrate your individual routing-preferences. Spontaneous stops along the way are permissible.  
To visit some remote areas special permits are required, not easily available to the individual visitor. Through our contacts with the local authorities we can open the doors for you to visit such areas.