Tea house trekking?
The best way to Explore every part of Nepal is to stay at the many teahouses that line the trails of popular trekking routes. Originally, tea houses were little homestay hotel where travelers could stop for a cup of tea as well as for lodging. With time, the development of tea houses helps to promote Nepali tourism to another level and as more and more visitors came to explore the mountains in Nepal, these tea houses have developed into mountain regions as lodges offering food and accommodation to guests at a nominal price.
Most of the tea houses are owned, managed and inhabited by a local family and they are mostly nearby main track. Trekkers love staying at tea houses as it gives them a rare glimpse into the culture and daily lives of the local people in rural. Teahouse trekking also saves you from having to carry your own camping equipment like tents, sleeping bags and food which worth to save half of money. No doubt releasing a few extra kgs off your weight can make all the difference at 4,000m elevation because now tea houses do provide your accommodation (Food, Bed, Blanket and more).
The standard of the teahouses and the comforts they offer will vary depending on their located destination. The more remote and less visited by tourists the region, the more rustic and basic the lodgings will be available. Certain well-traveled trails, like the Everest region trail and Annapurna, will offer some luxury lodgings as well pretty basic too, it depends on your budget. In another part of Nepal most often they are basic. There will be from food to toilets, wifi, variety of Snacks here is what, we do expect on your teahouse trek in Nepal.
Tea house manner?
While doing Teahouse trekking in Nepal, you should have to understand some manner(tea house) seems is pretty simple and laid back and there are not that many rules to follow for the traveler. One thing to be aware of during stay is that tea house owner made most of their money on food and beverages, as the cost of the room is pretty cheap. Therefore, you are always expected to eat all your meals where you sleep otherwise they will charge you double. Trekking can be a messy business and your shoes will bear most of the brunt of the surrounding. It is considerate to leave your boots outside your room and use sandal for indoors.
Can we get easily room?
Despite the seemingly comfortable trekking style that tea houses can be busier at peak season. The popular trails like Annapurna, Everest, Manaslu, and Langtang can get pretty busy in peak trekking season (fall and spring) and smaller settlements can fill up quickly. While visitors rarely get turned away, they may have to spend the night on the dining hall floor if there is the shortage of beds during peak. The more remote trekking routes will not always have tea houses within 3/ 5 hours duration. In these locations, travel company will let you know the nature of trekking zone.
Above all, teahouse trekking is for the adventurous and open minded traveler, who loves to trekking in popular areas. For many, this is a rustic experience away from the comforts and frills of western livelihood. Embrace the typical and the simplicity of mountain life.
What kinds of food available in tea houses?
Nothing gets you more excited over a looming mountain pass like the promise of a home cooked meal waiting for Tea houses. Teahouses on the more traveled routes offer with the menu a surprising variety of world cuisines, ranging from MoMo, Spring roll to Pizza. The staple food of Nepali is the traditional local dish, Dahl Bhat. This plant-based dish is always served on fresh, kind on the stomach and provides the best fuel to battle the rugged environment of the Himalayas. A plate of Dal Bhat includes steamed rice, lentil soup, vegetable curry(chicken) and sautéed spinach. The best part of the meal (Dal Bhat) is always served in an all you can eat fashion.
Moomo another one of our favorite local dishes, its origin is Tibetan in a standard menu item. However, as momos are always made from scratch, veg and chicken they can take some time Steam. To keep to your trekking itinerary, it is best to opt for quick meals, like noodle soup, chow-min during the day and go all in for the momos, dalbhat, pizza in the evenings when you have more time to kill.
Availability of meat will vary and is especially scarce in remote and high-altitude places, as well as near sacred sites but a good idea is if you can don’t try it but instead of that you can use Tuna Meat. If you are used to a protein rich diet it could be a good idea to bring along some protein bars and snacks for your trek. Teahouses can also serve as short pit stops to fill up on snacks like tea, biscuits (try the coconut ones) and chocolate bars.
There is always great asleep after a long walk in Mountain. The tired body lying on the bed seeing with a panoramic display of mountains outside your bedroom window what you expect more than this? Teahouse accommodation is simple, yet clean and functional with the fancy menu. The rooms usually include single/ double sized beds with sheets, pillows and blankets, a bedside table and ceiling light or not that enough for the mountain. Trekkers prefer to bring their own sleeping bag liner or sleeping bag for hygienic reasons and depending own trekking trail. There is no heating in the rooms but normally do available at the dining hall and they are usually quite drafty so be prepared for cold nights the higher up in the mountains you go. Similarly, the higher area wild blows and Dog barking is common in Nepal, walls are quite thin so if you are a light sleeper you may want to consider bringing earplugs. If you have more staff (like a porter) suggest bringing hot water pot for the night.
The essential shower, toilet and etc?
Toilets in the mountains are not very glamorous but if you have attached room then you are lucky. it is best to approach this experience with managed expectations in the mountain. Some teahouses may have rooms with onsite suite bathrooms and western toilets but most often they are a shared facility with traditional squat toilets. In Higher area toilet, be located outside of the tea house so it is a good idea to bring a head torch for those midnight visits.
Toilet paper is not a rare commodity but surely bit expensive in the mountains so you may want to bring a few packs of tissue paper if this is what you are accustomed to. Note that many toilets may be unable to flush paper without clogging so always properly dispose of it after use there will be bin near.
Another important feature after a long day on the trails is the availability of a hot shower in the mountain. Annapurna and Langtang have most of the places free solar hot water but like Everest, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga, many tea houses will offer some type of showering option for a small fee, be it in a real shower or the hot water in a bucket type. Some swear by the wet wipe wash, but if this is where you draw the line on roughing it.
Rooms don’t always come with a plug socket but it is usually possible to charge your phone paying an extra fee, go pros and other gadgets in the dining hall for a fee of $2/3 per hour/full depending on route.
Cost of the room?
The price of your accommodation will vary depending on where the teahouse is located and what comforts and services it included. Normally, the cost per night will be between $3-10 but it will vary depending on the elevation. In recent years there has been a demand for luxury guest lodges along the popular trekking areas, mainly on the Upper Mustang and Everest Base Camp Trek. The cost of comfort can be around $100 and 150+ per night and even more.