Tea houses in Nepal are mountain lodges along the trekking trails that provide meals and accommodation. Tea houses are usually own and run by the local family. Thus, you will be staying in rooms adjoining their home with a wide variety of home cooked meals and private rooms.
Nepal tea house trek is the most popular way of trekking for both Nepalese and foreign travelers. Whether you are trekking in the remote trails or exploring the bazaars and temples, you will find tea houses everywhere nearby.
Traditionally, if you have lunch, dinner, and breakfast at the tea shop, then you get to sleep on the floor free of cost. But now this tradition has changed a little, as they will not allow you to stay for free. Regardless, tea houses are very affordable, costing on an average between Rs.200-Rs.300 ($2-$3).
But, in most of the cases, you will have to buy food and drink for yourself. Tea houses have improved a lot as you will get your own room and western style food.
Trekking in Nepal has completely changed since the mid-1960s. Today, many lodges have been established in all the main trekking routes, where trekkers can find accommodation, food and other basic facilities. The majority of the trekking trails are well maintained.
Tea houses in the Everest region and Annapurna region are well maintained. They offer you western style flush toilets, hot showers, comfortable bed, and a wide range of food menu including traditional Nepalese food, western and continental.
Nepal tea house trek not only provides you homemade meals and cozy accommodations but also an opportunity to know the Nepalese culture.
The actual quality of the tea houses varies on the amount of foot traffic in the region, the number of foreigners and competition in the region.
Facilities provided by Nepal Tea House Trek
Normally, your day in a tea house starts at 6-7 am. You can order breakfast of your choice from the menu of the tea houses. After the breakfast, you will walk for 3-4 hours before stopping for lunch.
Generally, the afternoon walk is shorter, as you will arrive at your destination before the sun sets. Here you can refresh yourself, enjoy the afternoon tea and explore village as well. After dinner, you can simply hang around the fireplace and go to rest.
During the trekking journey, all the tea house won’t be similar. Especially, when you travel from lower altitudes to higher altitudes, you will feel the difference in the quality of tea houses.
The rooms of the tea houses in popular trekking trails are carefully designed to give you extraordinary comfort. Along the trekking routes, almost all tea houses offer twin rooms i.e. two bed in one room.
The beds available are simple and basic with a pillow and cushion sheets for a good sleep. It is the perfect place to rest, sleep, get refreshments, and prepare for next day’s trek.
Especially in the higher altitudes, the nights can get very cold. Thus, it is good to have one sleeping bag for extra warmth.
Most of the tea houses offer nice traditional local meals. During your trekking period, a standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner including tea or coffee with each meal is provided. You can select anything available from the menu.
Most of the tea houses provide tasty and hygienic food. But the menu is not extensive and will be similar in almost all teahouses.
Cereal, porridge, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. Many tea houses offer varieties of rice and noodles dishes with soup and seasonable vegetables for lunch and dinner. The traditional Thakali set of Dal Bhat is the most popular dish.
Snacks are not provided but you can find biscuits, chocolate, soft drinks, and even local seasonal fruits.
Toilet and Shower
On more popular trails, especially at lower altitudes, most of the tea houses will have western styled flush toilets. As you move higher up, toilets will start to become more manual i.e. you will be using buckets for flushing toilets.
In popular trails, both hot and cold showers will be available. Although, you will have to pay extra for the hot shower. It is because, at high altitudes, heating water will need extra effort or separate arrangements.
At the high altitudes, hot water will be scarce. So, most houses will offer you a pot of warm water.
Other Services (Electricity and Internet)
In popular trekking routes, most of the tea houses have electricity and back up from the solar panels. Especially in the peak season, they will charge you around US$ 3-5 per hour for charging your phone, camera or iPod.
Some of the tea houses will have internet services and offer Wi-Fi too. But not all t tea houses will have internet connections. So it is better to buy a 3G Sim card for internet usage during your whole trekking journey.
Mobile connectivity is very good and reliable in the Everest and Annapurna region and. The prices are also affordable.
Advantage of Nepal Tea House Trek
Trekking with a heavy backpack is a great hassle for all trekkers. Thus, Nepal Tea House Trek helps you to travel light and trek for longer periods without the burden of carrying any tents or food.
In tea house trekking, you will get ample opportunities to explore the lifestyle and culture of locals in the particular region. You will be eating and sleeping in the same manner with the local families under the same roof.
The main benefit of Nepal tea house trek is that you can move at your own pace as the food and accommodation will be arranged by local tea houses. Besides, you also can experience the real lifestyle of the mountain people.
Popular Nepal Tea House Trek
Everest region is one of the most popular trekking regions in Nepal. It is also famous as one of the most sought after tea house treks. Thus, you will encounter many tea houses in this trek.
Teahouses in the Everest region provide all basic facilities. Generally, there is a trend of offering tea with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And, Dal-Bhat is served for lunch and dinner.
As you move from one tea house to another, the taste of the food can be different. Some of the tea houses in the Everest region will also offer you extra dishes like soup, noodles, pizza, Mo: mo and spring rolls.
But, beyond Namche Bazaar you will not get meat. Since meat is scarce and very expensive, even if available, it is better to avoid it during the journey.
During your Everest Base Camp Trek, you will have basic accommodation at the tea houses. Normally, your rooms will have twin single beds with a bed sheet, blanket, and pillow. If you need extra blanket you can ask for it.
Generally, tea houses have a common area where you can talk, hang out and dine with your fellow trekkers. Most of the tea houses have very basic toilet arrangements.
Most of the tea houses in this region have electricity. There are also a few plug points, which is located in the communal area. They will also charge on a per hour basis for using the plug points, especially in the busier tea houses.
Some of the tea houses have internet facility with Wi-Fi services. But some do not have an internet connection. So, it’s better to take a 3G Sim card to use for the duration of your journey.
The Annapurna region lies in the north of the Lakeside city Pokhara. It is renowned as one of the world’s greatest treks.
In this region, there are a number of outstanding trips and alternate short treks. Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Muktinath and Jomsom Trek are famous among trekkers.
As Annapurna region is one of the most popular trekking routes, so most of the tea houses are well managed. Some of them provide western style facilities like hot showers, flush toilets and a wide variety of food including beer.
Normally, tea houses offer twin bed accommodation with pillows, bed sheets, and a blanket. The tea houses have a communal room where your dinner and breakfast will be served.
During your trekking period, a standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served with tea or coffee with each meal. The food is hygienic and tasty, but the menu in most tea houses will be the same.
Most of the tea houses offer hot showers. But at a higher altitude, especially in cold season, hot water may not be always available for all trekkers. Hot water is provided by warming water in a pot or bucket.
Throughout the tea houses, electricity is available but you need to pay for this service. In busier tea houses, tea houses will charge $3-4 for charging your electronic devices.
Nepal Tea House Trek in Langtang region offers wonderful facilities in terms of accommodation, meals, electricity and many other basic services.
Along the trail, you will find many clean and friendly tea houses. Most tea houses have double bedded rooms. Normally, rooms are basic with a bed with pillow and blankets.
Tea houses offer a wide range of western and local food item such as Nepali, Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese. The meals are fresh, hygienic, and tasty. On the trail, you will get a chance to taste both Nepalese and western cuisines.
Hot shower is available at an extra cost. Electricity is available for charging phone and camera. During the peak season, sometimes you have to pay for this service too.
Overall, the Langtang region offers a captivating view of the natural scenery, waterfalls, and snow-capped mountain. In addition to this, you will get an opportunity to encounter friendly people and know about their culture and lifestyle.
Essential Packing List for Nepal Tea House Trek
This list outlines the essential things required for Nepal Tea House Trek. These equipment can be bought or hired easily at a reasonable price in Kathmandu.
- Down sleeping bag
- Rucksack bag
- Trekking poles
- Water bottle with purification tablets
- Hand sanitizer
- Sun block cream
- Lip guard
- Toiletry kit
- First-aid kit
- Caps/ woolen hat
- Head torch
- Ear-muffs and neck warmer
- Hand gloves
- Light and weight thermal tops
- Light jacket
- Wind and rain jacket
- Long and short hiking pants
- Lightweight long underwear
- Rain and windproof trousers
- Thin and thick socks
- Trekking boots
- Camp shoes/ sandal
General Tips: Nepal Tea House Trek
If you are going for Nepal Tea House Trek, then we recommend you to choose a tour agency. A tour or travel agency will know which tea houses are best and will book your room in advance during peak seasons.
If you are not trekking with a guide, then make sure that you need to arrive at tea houses before 7 pm. It is because many tea houses in the mountain region do not serve food late at night. Also, you will get enough beds for your entire group members.
Lastly, you need to take some extra precautions as well. You will need to bring an extra pillow cover or a sleeping bag for hygienic purpose.
Nepal Tea House Trek is a great way to experience trekking at a reasonable price while carrying minimum equipment. Nepal is the perfect place for a tea house trek, specifically in the Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang regions.
With the recent developments in the Himalayan region, most basic tea houses have been turned into modern luxury lodges to cater to a huge number of trekkers. In the most popular trekking trails, you can simply carry your personal stuff and stay in the lodges.
During the peak season, many tea houses on popular trekking will be overcrowded. So, it’s better to bring your own sheets for the beds or carry a sleeping bag if you are trekking in the peak season (October-November and March-April).
Tea house trekking also exposes you to local people who are very friendly and hospitable. Also, you will get a chance to know the real side of Nepal that you may not see in camping trekking.
Some of the tea houses may offer basic meals in the less popular trekking trails. However, many tea houses in the mountain region are comfortable.
Most of the houses rarely have chimneys, so the room on the second floor will full of smoke as soon as someone lights the cooking fire in the kitchen below.