Are you excited about your first teahouse trekking adventure in Nepal? Have you never tried teahouse trekking before and have some doubts? Well, we are here to answer your concerns and worries.
Here’s an overview of a typical Nepal teahouse trekking experience that will serve as a handy guide for you.
Teahouse Trekking is one of the most popular styles of trekking in Nepal among both foreigners and locals. It is also known as “lodge trekking”. In this type of trek, you simply go from one teahouse to another.
In the past, a teahouse 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.
However, the concept of teahouses has changed over time. Nowadays, teahouses are small hotels established along trekking routes in local villages.
This is an affordable way of trekking where both meals and accommodation are provided in the teahouses themselves. You trek along many trails, stopping each night to eat and sleep at a local teahouse.
Local people own and run the teahouses, making them great places for you to interact with them, experience local hospitality, and diverse cultures.
The main advantage of Nepal Teahouse Trekking is that you don’t need to worry about bringing a tent or carrying your own food. Another benefit is that your local guide will arrange for your food and accommodation. Thus, you can trek at your own pace and, at the same time, help the local community.
The quality of the teahouse depends on the remoteness of the area, the altitude of the place, and the standard of services. Teahouses in the Everest and Annapurna regions are of high standards. Some even have western facilities.
However, on less traveled trekking routes like Kanchenjunga Region, the facilities are very basic and plain.
Note: During peak seasons, you need to arrange for backup plans during your trek. This includes carrying sleeping bags in case the teahouses do not have enough beds. You may also need to carry extra food if you do not find any teahouses nearby.
Table of Contents
- Nepal Teahouse Trek: Accommodation
- Nepal Teahouse Trek Food Menu
- Nepal Teahouse Trek Showers and Electricity
- Nepal Teahouse Trek Other Services
- Popular Teahouse Treks
- Why choose a Tea House Trek instead of a Camping Trekking?
Nepal Teahouse Trek: Accommodation
If you are planning a tea house trekking in Nepal, you’ll find teahouses across popular trekking trails, which are very comfortable, friendly and managed by locals. Thus, you do not need to carry many items for accommodation.
Most rooms are on a twin sharing basis and provide a mattress, pillow, sheets, and blankets. Extra blankets are also available upon request. You can also request a single room, but its availability will depend on the inflow of visitors.
Since the walls can be pretty thin and noises can carry, it is best to bring earplugs for a good sleep.
The price of the rooms varies depending upon the altitude and services offered.
The best part about accommodation in tea houses is that you don’t need to worry about bringing many items. All you need 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, and some even provide western facilities like hot showers and flush toilets. However, 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 the rooms unless the village runs on hydroelectricity.
Regardless of the quality of the teahouse, the locals will always be there to make your stay warm and comfortable.
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Nepal Teahouse Trek Food Menu
The food at teahouses is hygienic, plentiful, and delicious. Because they offer mostly locally produced vegetables, 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 vegetables, 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 have 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), potatoes (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 Teahouse Trek Showers and Electricity
In popular trekking regions, the teahouses 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 toilets.
Most of the teahouses 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 $2-$5.
Most teahouses have a central plug point in the communal area. Here you can charge your mobile phones, tablets, and cameras. But in busier teahouses, charging points are often limited.
Nepal Teahouse Trek Other Services
In most tea houses, mobile connectivity is good and prices are affordable. However, internet connectivity is not always available.
Regarding Wi-Fi, even if the tea houses have a sign saying “Wi-Fi available,” many may not have internet access or may have slow internet. Alternatively, you may have to pay a fee of around US $2-2.5 to use the Wi-Fi service.
Therefore, it may be wise to purchase a 3G SIM card for use during tea house trekking in Nepal.
Popular Teahouse Treks
Everest Base Camp Trek
is the most popular trek in Nepal, attracting 30,000 visitors annually. As a result, there are numerous 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 houses are available.
Expect to pay between US $5-10 per night for a well-equipped tea house. If you are traveling with a tour operator, or a guide/porter, they will arrange all tea house accommodations for you in advance.
Almost all tea houses offer twin rooms, with two single beds equipped with pillows, sheets, and bed covers. However, for better hygiene, you can use either a pillow liner or your own sleeping bag.
Electricity and internet service (Wi-Fi hotspots) are typically available, depending on the connectivity of the area. Mobile connectivity is generally good and prices are reasonable.
However, hot water may be less available as you ascend higher up the mountains. In most tea houses, a pot or bucket of hot water is available for an additional charge.
Another important consideration is that fresh meat is not available due to transportation difficulties. All food products, including meat, must be flown into Lukla and carried up the mountains by porters or yaks for several days. Therefore, for your health, it is best to avoid meat during the trek.
Instead, stick to flour and cereal-based products. There are various nutritious and fresh options such as rice, porridge, dumplings, bread, soups, and more. The traditional Dal Bhat meal is particularly tasty and nutritious and is recommended during the trek.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
is a moderate nature trek. The Annapurna base camp is surrounded by beautiful Himalayan ranges, including the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre. It is also one of the finest two-week teahouse treks in the Annapurna region.
There are many teahouses along the trails. The teahouses here are small family-run hotels that rent out to trekkers and guests. They also have a large kitchen to cook for everyone.
The price of rooms is cheap and affordable. The typical price for rooms at the teahouses is USD $2-$3 per night. But if you agree to eat your meals at the teahouse 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. The meals are generally Nepalese food with seasonal vegetables and sometimes continental.
While there are plenty of rooms available everywhere, it might be difficult to find 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 about 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 the Mid-West Himalaya. The Manaslu area is slowly growing popular due to the presence of comfortable teahouses 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 teahouse facilities compared to the past.
The teahouses on 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 teahouses depending on the altitude and budget. Most teahouses offer rooms on a twin-sharing basis with beds, mattresses, blankets, and pillows.
The teahouses will have full options for both traditional and international cuisines. You will also get fresh local products that 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 streams. 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 in Nepal. The trek has many good quality teahouses, spaced every few hours along the trail for your convenience.
Most teahouses charge from 500-600 NRs (US $5-$6) per night. You can negotiate the cost if you choose to have your meals there as well. The cost for two people trekking per day might average between US $25-$35, 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 teahouse. Hot showers are available, but some teahouses do not have solar panels. In that case, they will serve you hot water in a pot or bucket.
The teahouses only serve vegetarian dishes, and the food will cost you between USD $2-$6 per 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 teahouses from where you can make phone calls for a fixed rate.
Langtang is the largest settlement in the region with many teahouses and small shops. It also has a cheese factory and a center documenting recent glacial fluctuations.
The teahouses at Langtang and Kyanjin Gompa are a bit better and bigger compared to other places.
Poon Hill Trek
Poon Hill Trek is near the beautiful lake city of Pokhara. Poon Hill 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 teahouses and lodges on 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 teahouses 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 hot water that will require an extra charge.
The budget for food ranges from US $25-$30, 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 negotiate the price for accommodation as well. So, keep this handy tip in mind when looking for rooms.
Why choose a Tea House Trek instead of a Camping Trekking?
- The main advantage of tea house trekking over camping trekking is that you don’t have to carry your own camping gear like tents and other amenities. You also don’t have to worry about bringing your own food.
- This is definitely for trekkers who do not want to carry back-crushing rucksacks.
- Tea house trekking is suitable for families and solo travelers, whereas camping trekking is usually not suitable for them.
- During tea house trekking in Nepal, you can find plenty of tea houses on the way to the trekking destinations. Staying in tea houses is also environmentally sounder than staying in tented campsites.
- Tea houses 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, locally grown products instead of bringing supplies from Kathmandu and other areas.
- By using local tea houses, you will also be directly contributing to the livelihoods of the locals along the trekking routes.
A typical tea house provides all the basic amenities needed for a comfortable trekking experience in the Himalayas. From a single bed, hot meals, and 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, rehydrate, and get refills.
Even though the conditions are basic, you will get a chance to know the 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 embarking on any trek, it is advisable to get in touch with tour operators as they have the advantage of knowing the best tea houses. They can also assist in booking your rooms in advance.
If you plan to trek without a guide, make sure to arrive at your tea house before 7 pm or sunset to ensure availability of both rooms and food.
To ensure you stay in reliable tea houses, it is recommended to stick to popular routes and ask fellow trekkers where they are staying.
Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.
Madhav started working as a porter in 2001 and then moved on to work as a trekking guide. After working in the trekking and tourism industry for eight years, he co-founded Mosaic Adventure in 2009.
Madhav has trekked to most of the trekking destinations in Nepal, including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Poon Hill Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Indigenous Peoples Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, and all of the day hikes around Kathmandu.
He has also extensively traveled to other countries such as Australia, the USA, the UK, France, Hong Kong, Japan, China, the Philippines, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Thailand, Turkey, and India. Madhav is the one who answers most of your questions about trekking and tours and helps to plan your trip by giving a personal touch.