Excited about your first tea house trekking in Nepal? Never tried a tea house trek before and have some doubts? Well, we are ready to answer your concerns and worries.
Here’s an overview on a typical Nepal tea house trekking that will definitely serve as a handy guide for you.
Teahouse Trek is one of the most popular styles of trekking in Nepal among both foreigners and locals. It is also referred to as “lodge trekking”. In this type of trek, you simply go from one teahouse to another tea house and so on.
In the past, a tea house used to be a place for basic refreshments like tea and local food. It also offered accommodation for trekkers (mostly on the floor) at a minimal cost or even free sometimes.
But, the concept of tea houses has changed with time. Nowadays, tea houses basically mean small hotels established along the trekking routes in local villages.
This is a cheap way of trekking where both meals, as well as accommodation, are provided in the tea houses itself. You trek along many trails, stopping each night to eat and sleep at a local Tea House.
The local people own and run the tea houses. Thus, they are great places for you to interact with them, experience the local hospitality and diverse culture.
The main advantage of Nepal Tea house Trek is that you don’t need to worry about bringing a tent or carrying your own food. The other benefit is that your local guide will arrange for your food and accommodation. Thus, you can trek at your own pace.
The quality of the tea house depends on the remoteness of the area, the altitude of the place, and the standard of services. Tea houses in the Everest and Annapurna region are of a high standard. Some even have western facilities.
But, around less traveled trekking routes, the facilities are very basic and plain.
Note: During peak seasons, you need to arrange for backup plans during your trek. This includes sleeping bags in case the tea houses do not have enough beds. You may also need to carry extra foods if you do not find any tea houses nearby.
Table of Contents
- Nepal Tea House Trek: Accommodation
- Nepal Tea House Trek: Food Menu
- Nepal Tea House Trek: Showers and Electricity
- Nepal Tea House Trek: Other Services
- Popular Tea House Treks
- Why choose Tea House Trek instead of Camping Trekking?
Nepal Tea House Trek: Accommodation
Across popular trekking trails, tea houses are very comfortable, friendly, and managed by locals. Thus, if you are for tea house trekking in Nepal, you do not need to carry many items for accommodation.
Most rooms are on a twin sharing basis. You will get a mattress, pillow, sheets, and blankets. They even provide extra blankets upon request.
You can request a single room as well. But, the availability of a single room will depend on the inflow of visitors.
The walls can be pretty thin and the noises will carry. So, it is best to bring in earplugs for a good sleep.
The price of the rooms will vary depending upon the altitude and services offered.
The best part about accommodation in tea houses is that you do not need to worry about bringing many items. All you have to bring is a sleeping bag, warm clothes for the evenings, a camera and a water bottle.
Most tea houses in the Everest and Annapurna region are well managed. Some of them even provide western facilities like hot showers and flush toilets.
But, outside of the main trekking areas like Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang, you will find very basic teahouse accommodation. The menu is set and you might have to eat and sleep together in the same common area. Normally, there is no electricity in rooms unless the village runs on hydroelectricity.
Regardless of the quality of the tea house, the locals will always be there to make your stay warm and comfortable
Nepal Tea House Trek: Food Menu
The food at tea houses is hygienic, plentiful and delicious. Because they offer most of the veggies that are locally produced they are healthy and organic along with being super delicious.
On more popular trekking routes, teahouses offer a wide range of local and western delicacies such as Nepali, Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese. There is a common dining room, which houses a wood fire.
The traditional favorite is, of course, Dal Bhat! It includes a combination of fried or steamed rice, lentil soup, curried vegetable, and some greens. This is the best dish for you in the Himalayas if you are super hungry.
One good thing about this dish is that it is balanced with nutrition. We bet that you will be having more than one serving of this delicious home cooked meal.
Other than Dal Bhat, there are other options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A typical breakfast menu may include pancakes served with peanut butter or honey; porridge; egg items bread (toast or chapatti), and more.
For your lunch and dinner, they may offer soup varieties (Sherpa stew, chicken, mushroom, vegetable); noodles (chow mien, spaghetti); potato (curried, boiled, and fried); pizza; pasta; momos, etc.
Some teahouses even serve desserts, especially in well-established stops along the route. Other snacks like biscuits, chocolates, and soft drinks are also available. Sometimes, you can even find seasonal fresh fruit in some areas.
You will get a similar menu of dal bhat, pasta, pizza, soup, momos, and noodle-based dishes at almost all the teahouses.
One thing that you have to remember during tea house trekking in Nepal is that meat products are relatively expensive. It is because porters and animals have to carry meat products for days up in the mountains. Since meat is rare, the price is higher.
Thus, it is better to avoid meat during the trekking period, if possible.
Nepal Tea House Trek: Showers and Electricity
In popular trekking regions, the tea houses at lower altitudes will have modern and western services. This includes hot showers and modern flush toilets.
As you move higher up the trail, toilets will start to become manual flushing toilet.
Most the tea houses in the Everest and Annapurna region have cold showers. But hot water showers are also available for an extra cost of around $4.
Electricity is usually available in the main dining area at an hourly rate of USD $1-$2.
Most tea houses have a central plug point in the communal area. Here you can charge your mobile phones, tablets, and cameras. But, in busier tea houses, charging points are often limited.
Nepal Tea House Trek: Other Services
In most tea houses, mobile connectivity is good and the prices are affordable as well. But, internet connectivity is not always available.
In the case of Wifi, even if the tea houses may have listed a sign saying “Wi-Fi available”, many tea houses may not have access the internet or it may be slow. Or, you may have to pay certain amount like US $2-2.5 to use the wifi service.
So, you can buy a 3G Sim card to use during the tea house trekking in Nepal.
Popular Tea House Treks
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek is the most popular trek in Nepal. This trek alone attracts 30,000 visitors annually. Thus, there are many teahouses along its trail.
Basic tea houses are available from Jiri to Lukla. From Lukla to Everest Base Camp, a wide variety of excellent tea house are available.
You may have to pay between US$ 5-10 for a well-equipped tea house per night. If you are traveling with a tour operator or a guide/ porter, they will organize all tea house accommodation for you in advance.
Almost all tea houses offer twin rooms – two single beds with a pillow, sheets, and bed cover. However, you can either use a pillow liner or your sleeping bag for better hygiene.
You will also have electricity and internet service (Wi-Fi hotspots) depending on the connectivity of the area. Mobile connectivity is good and the prices are affordable as well.
Also, the higher up you go, hot water will be less available. So, most tea houses will offer a pot or bucket of hot water. You will have to pay extra for the hot water.
Another important thing to consider is that fresh meat will not be available. It is because all food products including meats products have to be flown into Lukla and then carried by porters or yaks up in the mountains for days. Thus, it is best to avoid meat during the duration of the trek for your own health.
Instead, you should stick to flour and cereal made products. You can try nutritious and fresh variations of rice, porridge, dumplings, bread, soups and more. The traditional Dal Bhat meal will be the best meal during the trek as it is delicious and nutritious.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a moderate nature trek. Annapurna base camp is surrounded by beautiful Himalayan ranges including the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre. It is also one of the finest 2 weeks teahouse trek in Annapurna region.
There are many teahouses along the trails. The teahouses here are small family run hotels which are rent out to trekkers and guests. They also have a large kitchen large to cook for everyone.
The price of rooms is cheap and affordable. The typical price for rooms at the tea houses is USD $2-$3 per night. But, if you agree to eat your meals at the tea house itself, you can negotiate your rate down to USD 1-2 a night.
The meals are more expensive, around USD $3-$5 per person. Usually, you will get three meals a day. Meals are generally Nepalese food with seasonal vegetables and sometimes continental.
While there are plenty of rooms available everywhere, it might be difficult to land a good accommodation during peak seasons. So, you need to plan in advance to find the right accommodation if you are trekking during popular seasons.
You will also encounter different ethnic communities on the way. You will get a chance to learn the unique culture and festivals of Gurungs, Magars, Tamangs, and Chettris.
Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Circuit Trek is a trekker’s paradise that leads through tribal villages and diverse culture and of Mid-West Himalaya. Manaslu area is slowly growing popular due to the presence of comfortable tea houses along the trails. It also offers a grand view of Mt. Manaslu, Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, and Annapurna III.
The Manaslu Trek is a good alternative to the Annapurna Circuit. It is an emerging trekking destination. So, this region has been providing better tea houses facilities compared to the past.
The tea houses in this trek provide basic facilities that will make your trip as comfortable as possible. The local people are also very warm and hospitable.
There is a variation of tea houses depending on the altitude and budget. Most teahouses offer rooms on a twin sharing basis with bed, mattresses, blanket, and pillows.
The teahouses will have full options of both traditional and international cuisines. You will also get fresh local products which are good for your health for trekking.
Langtang Valley Trek
Langtang region is another popular trekking destination in Nepal. This trekking route leads through various landscapes, green forests, waterfalls, and stream. It is also home to amazing peaks such as Langtang Lirung, Gang Chhenpo, Lenpo Gang, and Dorje Lakpa.
The Langtang Valley Trek is a short and easy teahouse trek of Nepal. The trek has many good quality tea houses. These tea houses are spaced every few hours along the trek that will add to your convenience.
Most tea houses will charge from 200-400NRs (US 2$-4$) per night. You can negotiate the cost if you choose to have your meal there as well. The cost of two people trekking per day might average between US 20$-30$ depending on what you order to eat and drink.
The accommodation is basic with twin beds including blankets and pillows. So, you may not need to bring a sleeping bag.
The toilet can be indoor or outdoor depending on the tea houses. Hot shower is available but some tea houses do not have any solar panel. In that case, they will serve you hot water in a pot or bucket.
The teahouses only serve vegetarian dishes. The food will cost you USD 2$-6$ for a dish.
There is no proper internet access. Syabrubesi is the only town from where you will find reliable internet. But, there are landline phones at tea houses from where you can make phone calls for a fixed rate.
Langtang is the largest settlement in the region with many tea houses and small shops. It also has a cheese factory and a center documenting recent glacial fluctuations.
The teahouses at Lantang and Kyanjin Gompa are a bit better and bigger compared to other places.
Poon Hill Trek
Poon Hill is an easy trek near the beautiful lake city of Pokhara. Poonhill offers panoramic views of Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Dhaulagiri I, and Fishtail Mountain.
You can also enjoy the mesmerizing sunrise over Annapurna Mountain. It is perfect for beginners exploring the country for the first time.
There are many tea houses and lodges in this trek. The lodge owners offer a small yet, clean room with twin beds. Unless for hygienic reasons, you will not need to bring a sleeping bag.
Safe drinking water is available at the tea house and small shops along the route. The teahouses also offer running water but hot water may or may not be available. You may have to request for hot water that will require an extra charge.
The budget for food ranges from US$15-20 depending on what you eat and drink. It is wise to carry extra snacks such as biscuits, chips, chocolates, and fruits.
If you choose to eat at the teahouse, it will be easier to bring down the price for accommodation as well. So, do keep this handy tip in mind when looking for rooms.
Why choose Tea House Trek instead of Camping Trekking?
- The main advantage of tea house trekking to camping trekking is that you don’t have to carry your own camping gears like tents and other amenities. You also don’t have to worry about bringing your own food. It is definitely for those trekkers who do not want to carry back-crushing rucksacks.
- Teahouse trekking is suitable for both families and solo travelers. Camping trekking is usually not suitable for families or solo trekkers.
- During tea house trekking in Nepal, you can find plenty of tea houses on the way to the trekking destinations. Plus, staying in tea houses is environmentally sounder than staying in tented campsites.
- Teahouses are a lot more comfortable than tents (especially in cold areas) and less expensive as well.
- By arranging your food and accommodation locally, you can move at your own pace and set your own schedule.
- At local tea houses, you get to eat fresh, home-grown local products instead of bringing supplies from Kathmandu and other areas.
- By using local teahouses, you will be directly contributing to livelihoods of the locals along the trekking routes.
A typical tea house will provide all the basic amenities needed for a comfortable trekking experience in the Himalayas. From a single bed, hot meals, a hot shower to basic electricity, these are some basic services you will get at standard tea houses. These places can also be a quick stop for you to take a short break from a tiring walk, re-hydrate and get refills.
Even though the conditions are basic, you will get a chance to know locals in a way that’s rarely possible with other forms of trekking. This is the perfect opportunity to see how the people in the hills and mountains of Nepal live, work and eat. If not, you will at least learn the basic Nepali greetings and language.
Thus, tea house trekking in Nepal is an experience you should not miss as it shows you the other side of the country that many visitors do not get to see.
Before any trek, you should get in touch with tour operators, as they will have the advantage of knowing which tea houses are the best. They will also help you book your rooms in advance.
If you are planning to trek without a guide, make sure to arrive at your tea house before 7 pm or sunset to ensure that both rooms and food are available.
Similarly, to ensure you stay in reliable tea houses, stick to the popular routes and ask fellow trekkers where they are staying.