A Tea House is the combination of guest house, restaurant, and social hang out. Tea house Trek is one of the most popular styles of trekking in Nepal among both foreigners and locals. Most of the teahouses are owned, managed and inhabited by local families. Tea houses basically mean small hotels established along the trekking routes in local villages. This is a cheap way of trekking where both meals, as well as accommodation, but the cost are depends on remoteness and altitude of the place together with the standard of the rooms and services it provides . Teahouse trekking also saves you from having to carry your own camping equipment like tents, sleeping bags and food. This is the great places for you to interact with them, experience the local hospitality and diverse culture. Most lodges have all the basic requirements for trekkers to stay overnight – a dormitory, several private rooms, toilet and a shower room. They offered very serve simple and hygienic meals. Most of the popular trekking routes of Nepal like Annapurna, Everest, Langtang or Helambu areas have tea-house lodges in different milestones. In recent years with the help of Government as well non-Government agencies many of these lodge owners have gone through training programmes aimed at raising the quality of services as well as instilling environmental awareness.
Basically, tea houses offer traditional home cooked meal Dahl Bhat. A plate of Dal Bhat includes steamed rice, lentil soup, vegetable or non-veg curry and sautéed spinach. And of course Nepali milk tea is served everywhere. But these days teahouses offer an astonishing combination of world cuisines like: Chow Mein, Mo:Mo, Pizza, Pasta. Generally, cereal, porridge, bread and egg dishes are available for breakfast. Similarly every tea house are with bar alcohol and soft drinks are easily available. In some areas you will also find, Biscuits, Chocolates bards and local seasonal fruits.
The accommodation is very simple, yet clean and functional. The rooms usually include single sized beds that have the mattress, sheets, pillows and blanket. Some teahouses may have rooms with en-suite bathrooms and western toilets but most often they are a shared facility with traditional squat toilets Rooms are quite drafty, and with no heating available (besides perhaps a wood fire burning in the dining hall), be prepared for cold nights the higher up in the mountains you go.
There is normally no electric lighting in the rooms unless the village has hydroelectric power. The dining room usually has solar lighting. When weather turn bad no sun, no electricity. Some teahouses on the main trekking routes like Annapurna and Everest Base Camp offer wifi and charging outlets accessible in the eating lobby.
The benefit of Tea house Trekking is a relatively cheap way of trekking. The price of your accommodation will vary depending on where the tea house is located and what comforts and services it offers. It is cheaper at lower altitude and dearer as we get higher. Tea house trekking is for the adventurous, curious and open minded traveler. For many this is a rustic experience, away from the comforts and frills of western living.