A tea house trek is a comfortable yet amazing way to gather the best experiences from the trekking routes in Nepal. You will be welcomed and treated like a novelty in these treks. But the question about the variety of food in tea house treks is still a mystery.
So, are you excited?
Nepal tea house treks are the newest form of trekking experience. These started to entertain the pseudo-culture experience that the hotels and lodges lack. Well, as for now these are booming and are quite popular.
The experience of the Himalayan lifestyle just as the locals experience. Their way and your experience make a great combo.
Nepal tea house trek
There are two ways you can trek in Nepal – Camping Trek and Teahouse Trek.
Back in the days, when Nepal has just opened its doors to trekking, these teahouses were stops on the road that only provided tea and refreshments for trekkers en route. Trekking in Nepal is a lot popular than ever before. The term teahouse is now changed.
A tea house trek is the type of trek where you stay at a teahouse to eat and sleep before you move on the next day.
When you choose Teahouse Trek instead of Camping Trek, you do not need to carry tent and burners or food for that matter. Everything is available in the tea houses. There are various stops on the road, specific locations where people have set up teahouses so that trekkers can enjoy their trek in comfort.
A teahouse is now basically a small hotel that provides the basic amenities you will need when you are on a trek. Facilities like clean toilets, basic bedrooms, and a warm and lively kitchen will all be readily awaiting your presence.
Most of the tea houses on the route are owned by the families that run the establishment. And will serve home-cooked meals. In its initial years, these tea houses only served Dal Bhat. Now, they have a variety of western meals in the menu.
Teahouse trekking is one of the perfect ways to experience and connect with the locals and their culture. Teahouse trekking makes your trekking experience a more authentic, specialized and unique one.
A tea house trek day starts with hot and hearty breakfast. Breakfasts are usually served at 7 am. But if you need to start at the crack of the dawn, they will serve breakfast as early as 6 in the morning. You will need to ask them the night before. The trek normally begins an hour or so later along with your guides and porters. You will find another teahouse on the way, mid-day, where you take a lunch break. You will keep on the trail until you reach the final destination. The tea houses usually serve dinner until 7 pm.
Popular trails like the Everest Region, Annapurna Region, and the Langtang Region have well-managed teahouses. The standard and quality of these tea houses depend on the location. Popular trails have better amenities. While the newer and less traveled trails will have more basic facilities. And the price of staying in these places also depends on the location.
Let’s get a clearer picture of the price of the teahouse you will be staying in during your trekking trip in Nepal.
Price of Teahouse Trekking in Nepal
The price of the teahouse you will stay will differ as per the location, the comfort level and the service it offers.
The services around the popular trails like the Annapurna Base Camp, Everest Base Camp, and the Langtang Valley Trek are very good. The lodges are sturdy and the menu with a wide variety. The tea houses in these regions you can also have access to telephone and internet facility.
You will also get the hot and cold shower facility. You can charge your electrical appliances in some of the tea houses. Noted that you might have to pay some additional amount for such services. Say, about $1 an hour for internet services, about $1-3 for a bucket of hot water and so on.
You can expect the facilities around the lesser trekked trails to have a more simple and basic facility as compared to the popular ones.
Nothing is as amazing as waking up the view of the Himalayas as you step out of your room. And that is just what these tea houses provide.
The rooms in the tea houses are clean, simple and functional. The rooms come with two beds, clean sheets, mattresses, pillows, and blankets. It is better you take your sleeping bags on the trekking trips that you know will have colder nights.
The rooms will also have a ceiling light. In higher altitude, you will find these lights are solar powered. The solar-powered lights will be operated after sundown in the colder seasons.
Most tea houses will also have hooks on the walls for your clothes.
The walls in the higher altitude will thin and uninsulated the wind outside could be very loud. If you are a light sleeper, you could carry a pair of earplugs.
Most of the teahouse establishments cost around $3 (NRS. 300)- $10 (NRS. 1000) per night. The price of the rooms can go down if you have meals in the teahouse itself.
There has been an increased demand for luxury tea houses and lodges along the more popular trekking trails, especially on the Everest Base Camp trek, in recent years. The cost of comfort can, therefore, go as high as $15+ per night, in these luxury accommodations.
The price of the tea houses during offseason is generally lower and you can negotiate on it with the owners.
The promise of a hot, fresh and soul-satisfying food is what gets you through the highs and lows of the trekking trails.
Most tea houses on the trekking trails will provide basic food menu for their guests. You will have the option of eggs, loaf bread, Tibetan flatbreads, porridge, and pancakes, for breakfast.
For lunch or dinner, you will find the Nepalese staple food, a home cooked plate of Dal Bhat in every tea house. A plate Dal Bhat has a healthy serving of rice along with a lentil soup, vegetable curry, sauteed spinach, pickle.
The tea houses also have other options if you do not want to eat Dal Bhat. You can choose among garlic soups, chowmein, pasta, momos, noodle soups, stews and cheese/vegetable pizzas. The time for your meal to arrive depends on the dish you order. But the hearty Dal Bhat should be quicker compared to other food on the menu.
The cost of the food in the tea houses start at $2 (NRS. 200) and can go as high as $10 (NRS. 1000) per meal in the tea houses at higher elevations.
Most of the tea houses on the treks will serve vegetables grown in their own fields. So the food you will be eating is fresh and organic. Simple food will be easy on the stomach and ultimately make your trekking experience a pleasant one.
Note that it is better to have a vegetarian diet on your trekking trips. Some parts of the trek may not allow people to kill animals. So, the meat products found in the tea houses will be on the road for 2 to 3 days.
The tea houses also provide a large variety of beverages to accompany the food. The beverages range from a warm cup of tea to a bottle of beer.
Hydrating yourself is a very big essential especially during treks. The cost of a liter of bottled water can start at $0.48 (NRS. 50) and go up to $2 (NRS. 200) at a higher elevation. In case you are carrying a bottle you can drop a purification tablet into your bottle of tap water.
A cup of tea or coffee can cost from $1.5 to $4 (NRS.150-400) and $2 to $4 (NRS.200-400). The cost of the beer will range from $5 to $8 (NRS.500-800).
Note: It is best to avoid alcoholic beverages in the higher altitude to avoid altitude sickness.
Getting extra facilities in the tea houses will cost you extra charges. The cost of the facilities is subject to the altitude.
The toilets are pretty modern in the lower altitude tea houses. Most of the tea houses have a modern flush toilet. Few tea houses have attached bathrooms. Most of them have a shared facility.
With altitude toilets also get more basic. You will have a shared squat toilet with a bucket of water. Since some toilets will be outside the teahouse, it is better you carry a head torch for your midnight toilet trips.
You should carry a few rolls of toilet paper along with you. You will not find toilet paper in the bathrooms in the higher elevations.
A hot shower is literally a luxury when you are on a trekking trip. You can get the facility of a hot shower in the lower elevation tea houses. They cost of these showers generally range at $2 to $5 (NRS. 200-500). The availability of showering is lower as you climb higher.
It is recommended you find an alternative to taking a shower at the higher altitude. This is mostly due to the weather. Wet wipes are a good option to clean yourself in the higher elevations.
The tea houses now also host a wifi connection in its list of extra facilities. Wifi is majorly available on the more popular trails like the Annapurna Base Camp and the Everest Base Camp.
The internet service will be a little less consistent and unreliable.
Charging your phones so close to the Himalayas is actually possible.
The rooms you stay in do not usually come with a plug socket. You will, however, find that some of the tea houses will provide charging facility. If so, you will most probably find the facility made available in the kitchen.
It is advised you carry your portable charger at its full capacity in case you do not get the facility. You should also carry an extra set of fully charges batteries for your camera.
Some Tips for Teahouse Trekking in Nepal
Teahouse trekking is a very popular and good way of trekking in the Himalayan land. Here are some tips you should keep in mind when you choose to go teahouse trekking.
- In peak seasons you will have to book your rooms in advance. You should take the help of your tour operators while choosing the tea houses. They will have better knowledge of the tea house you should choose.
- In case of an independent or solo trek, it is better you read the reviews of the previous trekkers before you choose a random teahouse to stay in.
- Taking an extra pillow cover or a sleeping bag is never a bad idea.
- It is a good idea to carry mosquito repellent creams when you go trekking around the Autumn Peak Season. The tea houses will not offer mosquito repellent coil or cream.
Teahouse trekking is now a popular form of trekking in Nepal. You get all the visual benefits of Camp Trekking. It is also a comfortable way of trekking to a fabulous view. It will let you enjoy the nature and the local culture and heritage more closely and in relative peace.
The services provided will become simpler when you reach higher altitude but the comfort and the culture still stays.
There are many benefits of choosing a teahouse trek to get to the foothills of the Himalayan Range. But most prominent one would be the hospitality of the locals that you will meet on your way. Their way of affection and care is clear in their action.
It is best to pre-book your trips. Your local guide will make your teahouse arrangements so pack your bags and get going. For the best services and pre-booking facilities, please contact us.
No matter how difficult or easy your trek is, the adjustments you dread to make, your trip is definitely worth all the energy, money and expectations you put into.