The Himalayan country of Nepal is one of the hotspot destinations for tourists from all over the world. Trekking in Nepal is one of the best ways to experience both nature and culture. Nepal offers snow-capped mountains, towering waterfalls, green forests, remote villages, and diverse cultures.
In Nepal, there are different ways to do trekking. Camping trekking and tea house trekking are the two most popular ways of trekking in Nepal. Both tea house trek and camping trek offers different but wonderful experiences.
Generally, camping trek is the classic style of trekking in Nepal. It also includes a team of guides, cooks, and porters to go with the trekkers.
Tea house trekking is the cheapest way of doing trekking in Nepal. Tea house trekking is popular among many trekking trails here in Nepal. During the tea house trekking, trekkers stop each night to eat, rest and sleep at local tea houses.
Nowadays, many trekking trails offer simple teahouses with better services for trekkers. Here is brief information on the Tea house and Nepal tea house trek.
Nepal’s mountains have small villages that offer small tea houses. A tea house is a local lodge where you can eat and sleep during your trek.
A hotel is a place for meals and a lodge is a place for accommodation. Thus, a place where both the services of ‘Hotel and Lodge’ is available together with is a ‘Tea house’.
Most of the trekkers, both foreign and local, prefer Nepal tea houses while trekking. It is because they offer a place to sleep and delicious home-cooked meals. The quality of the tea house depends on the remoteness of the area, the altitude of the place, and the standard of services.
Most of the tea houses in the trails are well managed. Some of them provide western style facilities such as hot showers, modern toilets, and a variety of international cuisines.
Tea houses are usually owned by local people. Some tea houses may provide the best facilities whereas others provide only basic services. So, you will need to consider and compromise with the services to enjoy the adventure.
Nepal tea house trek is very popular in the tourist hubs including Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang regions. In this region, one can trek with the least equipment and rely on lodges for accommodation and food. Tea house trekking is suitable for both small groups and large groups of trekkers.
The benefit of the Nepal tea house trek is that your local guide will arrange for your food and accommodation. Thus, you can trek at your own pace. Plus, you will get to interact with locals and gain a real insight into the daily life of the Himalayan people.
Nowadays, due to huge traffic in the mountains, the local tea houses are converting into modern luxury lodges and hotels.
Note: During peak seasons, you need to have backup plans during your trek. This includes sleeping bags in case the tea houses do not have enough beds. You need to carry extra food if there are no tea houses nearby.
Nepal Tea House Trek Facilities
Accommodations in Nepal Tea House
Across popular trekking trails, tea houses are very comfortable, charming, and managed by locals. Generally, tea houses are well-furnished and offer twin sharing rooms. It includes two beds, pillows, a blanket, and clean bedsheets.
You will find plenty of clean and friendly lodges along the trekking trails. Thus, if you are doing Nepal tea house trekking, you do not need to carry many items for the accommodation.
As you get closer to the base camps, lodges will be quite basic. You may have to spend a few nights with modest and basic facilities. Normally, there is no electricity in rooms unless the village runs on hydroelectricity.
Toilets and Showers
In popular trekking regions, the tea houses at lower altitudes have western services. They include hot showers and western-style toilets.
But as you move towards higher altitude, toilet and shower facilities become more basic. You will hardly find any western toilets. In some places, you may have to share the common toilets too.
At high altitudes, hot water and showers become scarce and you may even need to pay for a pot of water. Usually, cold showers are free. But, hot showers (if available) will cost NRs.100-300 (USD 1-2).
Food in Nepal Tea Houses Trek
During tea house trekking, you will get an opportunity to taste the typical Nepali ‘Thakali’ dish at local tea houses. The food is very hygienic and delicious.
They offer a variety of items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast, items like Tibetan Bread, eggs, pancake, porridge, milk, coffee, and other cereals are available. For lunch and dinner, a huge plate of Dal-Bhat is served.
Besides Dal-Bhat, there are plenty of options available for food. You can have curry, noodles, pasta, pizza, spring roll, dumplings, and other Nepali cuisines. You can also find light snacks like biscuits, chocolates, and other soft drinks. But you should keep in mind that food is expensive at higher altitudes.
You may have to pay extra for food and commodities as it is difficult to carry stuff in the upper regions. Beer and homemade alcoholic drinks are also available. But during the trekking period, you should avoid hard drinks.
Other Services (Electricity and Internet)
If there is electricity, most tea houses provide central plug points in the communal area. Here you can charge your mobile phones, tablets, and cameras.
But, you should note that in busier tea houses, charging points are often limited. It is due to the high demand for the charging points among visitors.
Even if the tea houses may have listed a sign reading “Wi-Fi available”, many tea houses may not have access to the internet or it may be slow.
So, it would be smart to buy a 3G Sim card for use during the duration of the journey. Mobile connectivity is pretty good and the prices are affordable as well.
Popular Nepal Tea House Treks
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular Tea House Treks in Nepal. This trek usually starts with a short flight to the mountain village of Lukla. Here, you will get a chance to walk on exciting trails and stay at local tea houses.
All you need to carry is sleeping bags, warm clothes, a camera, and water bottles. Teahouses on the way to Everest Base Camp Trek will provide hygienic and delicious food.
Nepal tea house trek involves trekking 5-7 hours a day. It will usually start and end in small Sherpa villages. On the trails, you can easily distinguish tea houses as they will have separate hoarding boards.
The typical tea houses of Everest Base Camp usually provide all basic facilities to meet your comfort level. The services include single beds, hygienic meals, a hot shower, electricity, and the internet. Here most tea houses are reliable as it attracts more than 3,000 visitors every year.
At lower altitudes, tea houses have flush toilets and hot showers. As you move higher, toilets will start to become manual (you have to use bucket water to flush). Hot water is scarce, so tea houses usually offer a pot of warm water.
In the mountains, either porters or Yaks carry all the items from Lukla. This is why meals include mostly flour and cereal products. Varieties of bread, dumplings, beans, porridge, and rice are served with different curries and vegetables. You can get an authentic taste of Nepali Dal Bhat.
According to the religious belief of Sherpas, animals are never slaughtered in the mountains. So you will not find meat above Namche Bazaar. Since all meat products need to be carried up to the tea houses on foot, it is quite costly in the upper Himalayas.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Annapurna Base Camp Tea House Trek usually covers all the popular destinations of the entire Annapurna region. The popular trekking trails are covered with small tea houses. You can take small stops to rest and refresh or even spend the night here.
Generally, tea houses on the way to Annapurna Base Camp offer you comfortable and well-equipped rooms. Accommodation is of a normal standard. Twin rooms with basic toilet facilities are available.
In some places, hot showers are available but money is charged for it. Cold showers are free of cost.
Usually, you will get three meals a day in the tea houses. Meals are generally Nepalese food and sometimes continental. If you agree to eat your meals at the same tea house, you can usually bargain down your rate.
During the Nepal tea house trek, you will get plenty of time for yourself. You will hike only 4-5 hours each day. You will mostly walk through small villages on gravel paths. Along the trail, you will witness beautiful landscapes, rivers, snow-capped mountains, Buddhist monasteries, and wild species.
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.
Langtang Valley Trek
Langtang Valley Trek is another popular trekking destination of Nepal. It is a relatively short and easy teahouse trek. This teahouse trek will lead to the beautiful valley of Langtang from here where you can see majestic snow-capped mountains.
The Langtang valley lies 19 miles north of Kathmandu and has a distinct landscape. This trek will lead to small villages and glaciers. It also offers you an opportunity to explore old Tibetan culture.
On the trekking route, there are a number of good quality tea houses. The accommodation is on a twin sharing basis including a bed with mattresses, blankets, and pillows. Hot showers are available at extra cost.
The meals are fresh, hygienic, and tasty. You will get a chance to taste both traditional as well as western cuisines.
Throughout the tea houses, electricity is available for charging phones and cameras. But you need to pay for this service. Most teahouses are powered by hydroelectricity facilities while some of them are solar-powered.
Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Circuit Trek lies along the border of Nepal and Tibet. Manaslu Circuit Trek is extremely popular for its natural adventures. Besides that, it is also famous for its fusion of two different cultures; Buddhism and Hinduism.
The tea houses in this trek provide basic facilities that will make you feel comfortable and homely. The local people are hospitable and warm. There are varieties of tea houses of all kinds of budgets.
Normally, the accommodation is on a twin sharing basis including a bed with mattresses, blanket, and pillows. You will have full options for traditional and as well as international cuisines. You will get a chance to eat varieties of fresh, local products which are good for your health on the trek.
As one of the growing tourist destinations, the Manaslu region is providing better tea houses facilities compared to the past.
Overall, the Manaslu region offers a variety of captivating natural scenery, glacial lakes, flora, and fauna. This trek also offers you magnificent views of different landscapes, waterfalls, mountains, and monasteries.
Besides, you will get an opportunity to encounter friendly locals and know about their culture and lifestyle.
Why choose a tea house trek instead of camp trekking?
Generally, there are two types of trekking styles in the Himalayan region of Nepal. These two types of trekking have their own features.
Tea house trekking is popular among families and solo travelers. During tea house trekking, you will find plenty of lodges and guest houses on the way to the trekking destinations.
Camping trekking is generally conducted in a remote trekking area. So, it might not be suitable for families and solo travelers. You need to carry all essentials camping equipment such as food, cooks, gears, porters, and others.
Sometimes, accommodating inside a tent throughout the trek can be a big problem. But during the tea house trekking, you can eat and sleep in clean and comfortable tea houses. You can also get enough time to rest, relax, and recharge.
In popular trekking regions, tea houses provide you healthy food including a variety of Nepali and western food of your choice.
Tea house trekking is cheaper and reliable than camping trekking in terms of ease. Also, tea house trekking can be done in any season.
Teahouses in the mountain are run by the local people. While tea house trekking, you will get an insight into the culture and lifestyle of the local people. In camping trekking, you will not get a chance to socialize with trekkers and other group members of the trek very well.
Conclusion – Nepal Tea House Trek
A teahouse is simply a small house serving homely accommodation and food for trekkers in the trekking regions. It is a cheaper, better, and homely alternative to lodges or hotels.
We highly recommend ‘Nepal tea house trek’ as it exposes you to the local people, who will make you feel at home with their warm hospitality. Several teahouses on the trails also provide the best facilities with western standards. It is far more reliable and comfortable than other forms of trekking.
Nepal tea house trek also provides flexibility to your schedule, so you can travel at your own pace. Plus, you will get a good opportunity to observe the lifestyles and cultures of the local people. Thus, Tea house trekking will be an interesting and unique experience for the rest of your life.
We have also listed some best trek routes in Nepal.