The Vanishing Cultures of North East - Chapter One

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By-Tuareg Trips

About The Listing

Type of Trip : Cultural Tour

Level : Easy

Location : North East

Duration : 10 Days 9 Nights

Trip Start : Dibrugarh

Trip End : Dibrugarh


The Second Chapter of this WeNomads Epic Journey titled "Vanishing Cultures of North East" takes us through an adventurous ride to Arunachal Pradesh, the last frontier of India.

About this Mega Journey - North East is a fascinating land shrouded in mystery, a hidden jewel whose beauty is yet to be realised by the outside world. Popularly referred as the seven sisters - Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura, they have now been joined by a younger brother, Sikkim, to make a total of eight states. With 178 different tribes the entire region is extremely rich in cultural diversity. While Ahoms rule Assam, the Naga tribes are known for their headhunting tradition and fought fiercely amongst each other. Every tribe has their own language and dialect, unique customs, traditions and a colorful history. Sadly, threatened by large scale development projects coming to tap the natural resources abundantly available here, all this is on the verge of extinction.

Join our epic journeys to North East where we travel on an elephant back, take river cruises, do easy hikes, traverse hidden jungle roads etc. to visit UNESCO sites, witness tribal culture, encounter wildlife, explore World War II sites, Monasteries and local colorful markets, learn local cooking and so much more. Our experience is magnified by staying not in typical hotels but with the community in their neat and clean homestays, guesthouses, lodges etc.

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What's Unique?

  • A fully guided tour with Chief Experiences Office and local experts sharing their knowledge and interesting anecdotes throughout the journey
  • WeNomads Signature Expedition - limited team size of 8 (Max). Comfortable SUV's with max 4 guests per car, All Meals Included, Festive displays especially for the group
  • A close encounter with remote and impleriled North Eastern tribes
  • Travel by river ferries, elephants, dusty roads, hikes
  • Khamti Tribe shows how to tame Wild Elephants
  • Demonstration with Singpho Tribe - the discoverers of tea
  • Stay the local way and experience the tradition
  • Burn wood in the middle of nowhere and share stories
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River Cruises
Jungle Safari
Elephant Ride to hidden villages
Hikes and trails
Meeting and greeting exotic tribes of North East
Village Walks
Bird Watching


Story telling sessions
Cooking classes

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  • Day 01: Dibrugarh to Chowkham

    Highlights: Khamti Tribe - Catching and taming wild elephants.

    Destination: Chowkham, Arunachal Pradesh  (150 KM)

    Arrive in Dibrugarh by flight and travel about 4 hours to Chowkham - a village inhabited by the Khamti tribe known for their traditional skill of catching and taming wild elephants. Khamtis are Theravada Buddhists and had settled in Lohit river valley many centuries ago after migrating from Burma and China crossing the Patkhai Hills and the indomitable Pangsau Pass. 

    Night Stay - Traditional Log Huts

  • Day 02: Chowkham

    Highlights: Elephant taming skill, River cruises, Khamti Cooking session

    Destination: Chowkham 

    Elephants used for logging by the Khamtis once upon a time had steady employment. Unfortunately, with the advancement of technology the rich culture associated with it is almost dead. This is our small effort to preserve the culture as well as provide the elephants with a chance to survive through tourism activities. Similarly, with the emergence of various large bridges coming up on all major tributaries of Brahmaputra, especially Lohit and Dibang, the riverine culture that once flourished due to the presence of hundreds of ferries plying across every corner of this unique riverine landscapes is now facing the threat of extinction. WeNomads work with affiliates, who have converted these ferries into House Boats and run various trips and cruises up and down the stream of Lohit river to showcase the unique culture and natural landscapes of the area, with a primary intention to provide employment to the people who lost their jobs due to the closure of the several Ghats, as well as to preserve this unique culture that has thrived for more than a century. The Elephant activities include a ride, interacting with the Elephant Drivers (Mahouts) and a demonstration of Elephant catching skills and tradition of the Khamtis. In the evening, enjoy a Khamti cultural programme followed by a Khamti culinary/Cooking session hosted by a local self-help group. 

    Night Stay - Traditional Log Huts

  • Day 03: Chowkham to Miao

    Highlights: Singpho Tribe - Discoverer of Tea

    Destination: Miao, Arunachal Pradesh  (170 KM)

    Travel about 4/5 hours to Miao – the gateway of the great Namdapha Tiger Reserve known for its biodiversity and the pristine rain forests contiguous to Myanmar, thus creating one of the largest unbroken chains of primary forests and eco region remaining in Indian sub-continent. The area is inhabited by the Singpho tribe which has been credited for the discovery of tea as a medicinal drink much earlier than the British East India Company did. They used to allow the tea plant to grow fully without any pruning – running as high as 15 metres, and then harvest the tender tea leaves from the top of an Elephant back with the help of a Bamboo hook. The fermented tea placed in Bamboo tube is known as Phalap – a unique feature of the traditional tea culture practiced by the Singphos. The area has a sizeable population of Chakma tribe, originally from the Chittagong Hill Tracts. They had to give up their Homes in the wake of the construction of a large scale Dam project.

    Night Stay - Chalet styled Wooden thatched cottages

  • Day 04: Miao

    Highlights: Singpho and Chakma villages, Cultural interaction, Singpho Tea demonstration session

    Destination: Miao, Arunachal Pradesh 

    Explore the Singpho and Chakma villages, visit to the community school which our affiliates run for the Chakmas in M’pen village (Namdapha Nalanda Nature School). The villagers will host a simple local lunch. Evening experience a Singpho Tea demonstration session

    Night Stay - Chalet styled Wooden thatched cottages

  • Day 05: Miao to Dibang Valley

    Highlights: last stronghold of Idu Mishmi cultures and Oral heritages

    Destination: Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh  (200 KM)

    After a short weaving session in the morning we proceed to Mishmi Hills in Dibang Valley via beautiful rural areas and typical countryside. Inhabited by the Idu Mishmi tribe whose population is merely 12,000 today, this is the last stronghold of Idu Mishmi cultures and Oral heritages - already threatened by large scale development projects coming up to tap the natural resources abundantly available in this remote corner of India. WeNomads affiliates run an Oral History preservation project to create an active archive of this Unique Oral tradition and also to keep their language alive. Other than this, through our affiliates, we support a Idu Mishmi Weaving initiative and run several Conservation projects for Birds and Hoolock Gibbons which is the only Ape found in India

    Night Stay - Excellent Eco Lodges

  • Day 06: Dibang Valley

    Highlights: Bird watching, Idu Mishmi village experience, Weaving with Idu Mishmi Ladies, Cultural interaction

    Destination: Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh 

    Bird watching, Idu Mishmi village experience, Weaving with Idu Mishmi Ladies Self-help group. Evening a small talk delivered by one of the expert members of Idu Mishmi Literary and Cultural Society who is leading the Language preservation project.

    Night Stay - Excellent Eco Lodges

  • Day 07: Dibang Valley to Digboi

    Highlights: World War II Cemetery, Oil Museum

    Destination: Digboi  (115 KM)

    Travel to Digboi. Afternoon make a short trip to the Digboi Oil Museum and WWII Cemetery. Digboi has India’s first petroleum oil refinery which is oldest in the country and completed its centenary year in 2001

    Nice Boutique Lodges

  • Day 08: Digboi to Tai Phake

    Destination: Tai Phake 

    In the morning, we set off for a short trip down the memory lane along the historic Stilwell Road. Originally constructed by Allied Force during the WWII to combat the advancing Japanese army by reaching out supplies and military troops to Kunming via Pangsau Pass in the then Burma, this ambitious project was never used to fulfill its mission since the war was over by the time construction was on its half way to completion. Afternoon proceed to Tippam Phake village – one of the last strongholds of the marginalized Tai Phake community.

    About six kilometres from the upper Assam town of Naharkatiya and 37 kilometres from Dibrugarh town, is the Namphake village in the riverine area of Buridihing, home to a small population of Tai Phakes. About 150 Phakial families of this village are keeping alive their unique identity, customs and traditions.

    Tai Phake is the branch of the great Tai race that entered Assam in the latter half of the 18th century. The word Phake has been derived from the Tai words ‘Pha’ meaning wall and ‘Ke’ meaning ancient or old. The Tai people are now mainly concentrated in the Indo-Chinese peninsula. The present habitat of the Tai people extends from Assam in the west to Kwangsi and Hainan in the east and from the interior of Yunnan in the north to the southern-most extremity of Thailand (Siam) in the south. On their arrival in Assam, they settled in the rich south bank of the Buridihing River, about 2 km from the present Naharkatiya College

    Night Stay - Ethnic Cottages

  • Day 09: Namphake and Dibrugarh

    Highlights: local cultures, local housing, weaving, local food, handicraft and more

    Destination: Dibrugarh 

    Travel to Namphake. Cross Buridihing river by country boat and walk to Namphake village. Spend the whole day in exploring the village to understand the local cultures, local housing, weaving, local food and handicraft. After a communal lunch at the village we transfer to Dibrugarh

    Night Stay - Luxury heritage tea bungalow

  • Day 10: Trip Ends

    Our Epic journey exploring endangered tribes and their culture comes to an end. 

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* Extra discount for a group size of 4 or more! Ask Here
Package Options Cost/Person EMI Option
Entry Closes On 01 Dec, 2016
WeNomads Platinum
Per Person ₹ 89,999 EMI starts* ₹ 7,996


  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis
  • All meals
  • Travel by luxury SUV's with a max guest seating of 4
  • Chief Experiences Officer and Local experts
Doesn’t Includes
  • Any airfare & train ticket.
  • Travel / medical expenses or insurances
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tour
  • Personal Porterage
  • Soft or Hard drinks
  • Cost arising out of unseen circumstances.
  • Any other item not specified.
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Terms & Conditions

Booking Policies
To block a seat - Rs. 15,000 /seat
Balance to be paid before 30 days of trip start

Cancellation Policies:
No cancellation fee if cancelled more than 40 days prior to trip start date

25% cancellation fee if cancelled between 39 to 30 days 

50% cancellation fee if cancelled between 29 to 15 days

No refund if cancelled before 14 days of the trip start

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Tips, Hints, Precautions

  • WeNomads is going to publish a series of articles and blogs to help guests understand more about this trip and help them in getting prepared. 

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Easy Formalities
  • Traveller Photograph
  • Traveller ID proof
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