From the Amazon to the Yamal: the best places for ethnic tourism

Ethno-tourism is a journey to the next level. Leave the other standard attractions and off the beaten track. And do meet with tribes, explore the jungle, ride on a reindeer and shoot with an air gun.

Read our list of the best places for ethnographic tourism and dive into the exotic customs from around the world.


To honor the memory of our ancestors

The Island Of Flores, Indonesia

Eighty four million nine hundred thirteen thousand four hundred forty four

On the Islands of Indonesia, lives a hundred different nationalities, but ngada you learn immediately. In the centre of the village, they put a pair of the sanctuary, ngadju and BHAGA. Madhu, similar to a straw umbrella and symbolizes the spirits of their ancestors-men. A house in miniature — BHAGA — dedicated to the ancestors to women. To be more convincing, on the houses hanging Buffalo skull: ngada still practice the sacrifice of animals.

If you already want to get acquainted with ngada, do not jump to conclusions: of this people accept welcome. Wander through the village and admire wooden dolls on the roof — and put them on the main local clans. Porazglyadyvat manual weaving machines from the last century, and select memory sarong done in the sophisticated ikat. And if you decide to stay the night, ngada all the rules will introduce you to the ancestors and arrange for the night in his house. Not five stars, but as authentic!

Where to find ngada: Representatives of the Indonesian people of ngada live in the mountains in the center of Flores island. Popular village — Bena (Bena), Luba (Luba) and Gurusinha (gurusina, East Nusa Tenggara). The nearest airports are in Maumere and Labuan Bajo.

By the way: the Journey to Indonesia is cheaper than you think


Learn from Sami to fish

The Village Of Inari, Finland

Sixty three million five hundred sixty four thousand two hundred fourteen

In Lapland we go, not only to Santa Claus. Among the hills and Arctic nature you can get acquainted with the Sami — an indigenous people of Northern Europe. In the village of Inari on the banks of the large lake you will catch salmon in the company of a local, feed the lichen and reindeer to listen to shaman drums. Look at the sámi Museum "Siida" to get a closer look at the wooden fishing rods, fur boots with curled toes and spoon made of antler. If you come from September to March, catch the Northern lights, and in March and April — reindeer racing.

When it comes to Souvenirs, don't miss handbags with colorful geometric pattern and dolls in Sami costumes. And certainly rasprobuete Sami cuisine. Fried venison with mashed potatoes and lingonberries is the best thing you can come up with after a long day in the Arctic circle.

How to get to Inari: On the plane to Helsinki, then by rental car or bus. Either in Helsinki and transfer to a plane to Ivalo, and the remaining 39 km go through the bus.


Jump back in time to our era

The Cunene Region, Namibia

Seventy one million seven hundred seventy nine thousand eight hundred fifty six

Women from semi-nomadic himba tribe does not suffer from the fact that they have nothing to wear. African beauties enough of the skirt is calf leather, and everything else they replace bracelets and necklaces. But are cared for meticulously and for a long time. Every day, they smear the body with a mixture of butterfat and red ochre and fragrant resin for protection from the hot sun and insects. Then the ointment is flaking off along with the dirt: the plateau Kaokoland so little water that "dry shampoo" is very useful.

The same composition himba ladies cover braids, with the ends there are brushes that they spend hours nasasyvat. Little training — and you will learn how to determine which of the himba is in front of you. If on top of the "dreadlocks" emblazoned leather crown arambe, you can be sure that the girl is married not less than one year or already had the baby. Children easily distinguished by the number of braids: one braid boys, girls — two. Confusion only make twin girls that are supposed to wear one braid.

Where to find the himba: To meet the himba tribe personally fly govindjee, and then get to the town of Opuwo. The easiest way to do this as part of an organised tour. Yes, in the himba village near Opuwo is better to go with a guide who will help you to establish contact and tell them how to live in the African wilderness.


Find the tribes in the jungle

The Province Of Luang Namtha, Laos

Ninety two million nine hundred sixty two thousand one hundred forty

In the Lao town of Luang Namtha market is not worse Museum. Where else can you see, how you sell bats, and will try a salad of wild plants? But the real adventure will begin when we reach the reserve We Ha. Call in the travel guide and go deep into the jungle, if you want to meet the pangolin, civet cat or silver lofaro. And in tropical forests We Ha hiding almost primitive villages of the local tribes.

Hmong, Akha, Yao, Lahu, and tai mountain khmu live in the neighborhood, but each tribe — their customs and traditional costumes. In which village do not come, looks like a Venetian carnival: hats with bells, embroidered belts and leggings, pleated skirts, or all together. Won't believe your eyes until you are invited to the translucent bamboo house on stilts, not sit in front of the basket with sticky rice and share a couple of stories of local life.

How to get to Luangnamtha: By plane to Vientiane, and then another flight or bus straight to Luangnamtha.


Spend the night in the tent

Khövsgöl Aimag, Mongolia

Forty eight million one hundred sixty nine thousand nine hundred nine

In Darginskoy basin in the North of Mongolia live catani — nomadic herders. Before their home was Paradise, but after its accession to the USSR in 1944, they escaped. Now Tsaatans have less than 300, but the traditions they honor still. Move from place to place following herds his reindeer, put pointed a plague, hunting and cheese from reindeer milk. And accept tourists. When they reached the camp, you'll hear a lot zatonskih legends, learn how to ride the reindeer and spend the night in the tent.

On the way back stop at the Bank Khubsugul — the "blue pearl of Mongolia". Drink milk tea, try buuz, take a stroll along the water's edge. And if you want total immersion, take a horse ride deep into the Khubsugul national Park and stay for a few days in the guest Yurt. On the way do not skip about the place where worship spirits. To make it real, go around around about three times in a clockwise direction and tie a ribbon on happiness.

Where to find Tsaatans: From Ulan-Bator, Irkutsk or Ulan-Ude travel to lake Hovsgol, further to the SUV and, possibly, horses. And the easiest way to join a prepared tour.


Listen to Tibetan monks

Qinghai Province, China

Fifty four million six hundred thirty nine thousand eight hundred sixteen

Qinghai is part of historical Tibet, but still some. Here glittering Golden roofs of ancient monasteries and towering mountain Amne-machin, which in importance is catching up Kailash. High mountain meadows are tents of nomads and yaks roam. In the town of Taktser was born the Dalai Lama. Moreover, unlike the Tibetan Autonomous region, Qinghai, you can travel without paper delay and travel agencies. So, you'll see the same colorful Tibet dreamed of.

Feel yourself on the roof of the world had originated — the great salt lake at an altitude of 3200 meters. Explore the ancient wall paintings in the monastery of Kumbum, Jampaling, which stands on the birthplace of Tsongkhapa. Get to the remote Yushu city, stroll through the scenic hills and asked for tea and Campo in the tent of the nomads. And consider striped aprons and jewelry with huge stones at the local girls. As the middle Ages!

How to get: From Beijing, Urumqi and other Chinese cities by train from Xining. But easier to fly to Xining, and then ride trains or buses.


Stand before the last of the Mohicans

Province Maynas, Peru

Ninety four million two hundred ninety eight thousand six hundred seventy one

Yagua live in the Amazon jungle in Peru and as if descended from the pages of James Fenimore Cooper. Imagine men who wear skirts made from palm fibers and skillfully blow the arrows of sarbacane six — foot blowguns. And how do you ladies straw capes on the breast, the houses on stilts and lush rain forest, approaching from all sides? In short, yagua — real Indians only accustomed to travelers and quite peaceful.

When you sail on boat to the village of yagua, vigilantly look around. If you're lucky, take a picture of Amazon river dolphins. And sloths, Capuchin and marmosets will see for sure. On the spot look for gifts that not everyone has a pan flute made by the Peruvian Indian.

How to get to yagua: From Lima by bus and then boat to Iquitos, and it is better — at once on the plane. In Iquitos choose the right river tour and explore the nature and inhabitants of the Amazon.


On a visit from the gods

The State Of Himachal Pradesh, India

Seventy million three hundred thirty six thousand three hundred eleven

In Kinnaur about the Indian epic know firsthand. According to legend, the locals descended from the Pandavas and became the demigods-half human. And as this mountainous terrain has long remained inaccessible, their ancient traditions they have preserved almost intact. There are still build houses with a roof of slate, praying in temples, like a fortress, and a pilgrimage to the Holy mount Kinnaur-Kailash.

But the most interesting thing kinnauri landscapes, people and customs change as you climb into the mountains. At the bottom you will see a brisk towns and Hindu temples, and on the attic gets to a real Tibet to the lunar landscapes and white-washed Buddhist monasteries. On the way make a spectacular shot on the road, cut into the rock. And look at the village of Sangla and Torrevieja to enjoy the houses with wood carvings, to try on a wool cap with a green lapel, to get to a Puja in honor of the many gods and drink sweet milk tea with views of the snowy peaks.

How to reach Kinnaur: First on the plane to Delhi, then bus or plane to Shimla. Then — a taxi or a bus to Kinnaur.


Will run off into the open tundra

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia

Fifty five million four hundred seventy one thousand seven hundred twenty nine

Yamal — it's like a different planet. Especially in winter, when snow-covered tundra flashes of the Northern lights. And among all this vast beauty of the tundra Nenets. Like hundreds of years ago, they covered the plague with skins, wearing amulets against evil spirits and sew clothes. Guests seated by the fire, and fed their fill of venison or sautéed whitefish, which will envy even the Japanese with their sashimi. And travelers dressed in warm malitsa, ride in sleds, show you how to harness the reindeer, and are taught to make threads made of reindeer tendons.

When I get back on the "mainland", visit a Museum named after Shemanovsky in Salekhard. Fur crib boots and are perceived differently, when you have just returned from this camp. At the same time to consider a shamanic crown with horns of a deer, the Khanty dress of nettles and baby mammoth Lyuba.

How to get to the Nenets camps: Tours to Yamal Nenets herders start from Salekhard. But the Nenets live everywhere else, so with Arkhangelsk and Naryan-Mar is also not lose.


Also interested in: Kamchatka Peninsula: when to go, what to do and how to save

Mustang — the lost Kingdom of Tibet


4 rules of ethno-tourism


Ethnic tour are very different from ordinary travel. But that all went smoothly, just follow 4 simple rules:

1. Ask permission before taking pictures.

2. Pre-meet local traditions and norms of behavior. For example, in India only eat with your right hand and don't wear mini skirts, and in China you can not leave chopsticks vertically stuck into the food.

3. Learn at least a few words in the local language.

4. And most importantly — smile!Life is beautiful is the fact that everywhere is so different.published 

Seventy nine million two hundred ninety one thousand one hundred seventy eight


P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©



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