Place: Serene Homestay in Nongriat
One of my favorite places in the trip! Nongriat is where the double decker bridge is, in the middle of the jungle, 2 hours hike away from civilization. Serene Homestay is pretty much where all the tourists stay down there. It was started in 2009 when a guy requested to crash on the floor, and over time other nice visitors donated sleeping bags and such until it became a real establishment.
The owner, Byron, is seriously the nicest and chillest dude ever. You can grab whatever food and drinks are available, or he’ll even make you food, and you just keep track via a tally yourself of what you ate and pay at the end of your stay, an entirely trust based system.
All the other tourists we met were incredibly interesting people as well, each with a completely different life story. Guess this middle of nowhere sorta thing attracts a certain kind :)
Food: Local home cooked meal
Every night was a different vegetarian feast, cooked by Byron of course. A communal dinner that brings everyone together, also paid as part of the trust based system. I didn’t write down what all was served, but damn was the food good. Some of the ingredients are locally grown / foraged, and some are acquired in another nearby city at the market. Byron goes up once every couple of days to the market to get ingredients. The trek up the stairs is a breeze for him and he does it in half the time it takes us.
He said he used to serve deer meat from ones he hunted in the jungle, but then it became too difficult as the number of people staying grew, so now it’s entirely vegetarian.