What is a Teahouse?
A teahouse is a lodge or a hut (made out of rock or wood) which has a kitchen, dining hall, bathroom areas and several bedrooms. Teahouses vary in quality and service in Nepal depending on which region you go to. For example, the Khumbu and Annapurna regions have more fully equipped lodges with amenities such as hot water, elaborate menus, proper heating systems and wi-fi. Remote areas are more likely to have the family’s home serving as a place to stay and may only provide basic room and meal.
After a hard day’s trek, people usually lounge around in the dining hall and eat, drink, play card games or read a book. In the winter times, a briquette burning stove is lit in the dining hall, making the lodge warm and cozy. Check out our section on eco-friendly measures used by lodges in Nepal.
What are the Costs?
Rooms are usually around $5 a night, which means the tea house relies mainly on money coming from food and beverage served at that particular tea house. All meals are meant to be eaten at whichever lodge you decide to stay in. If accommodation and meals are part of your trekking package then besides snacks and drinks, everything else will be taken care of.
Keep in mind that the higher you go, the higher the cost of your meals since food items are not as easily transported like in lower elevations.
What’s on the Menu:
Most lodges serve Nepalese dal bhat. Dal bhat consists of rice and lentils and a vegetable or chicken curry. They may also serve pasta, pizza, noodles and dumplings. To avoid getting sick, make sure the food has been cooked properly. It is best to have hot, steamy dishes as the heat will have killed any existing bacteria. If you are eating anything uncooked such as vegetables or fruits, make sure it has been soaked in iodine for twenty minutes before consumption. That being said, iodine may not kill the notorious blue green algae aka cyclospora, which affects people in the spring and summer. Check out our section on food hygiene and safety measures.
Electricity and Wifi
Charging outlets are available in most lodges. You may have to pay $2.50 for charging your electronic devices. Wifi is available in most places however, can be slow in most regions except for the Khumbu region.
A TYPICAL DAY ON A LODGE TREK
While Lodge treks are only possible in the Annapurna, Everest and Langtang regions of Nepal, there are basic lodges on the Kanchenjunga and Makalu Base Camp trails. On lodge treks, the guide will let you know about the next days schedule during dinner. You will be expected to be at the dining room the next morning at the planned time which is usually around 7:15 am. We will also serve organic Nepal-grown French Press coffee which we will bring from Kathmandu.
Breakfast will be served at around 7:15 am and usually includes toast (where available), Indian flat bread, Tibetan bread, omelets, porridge/muesli, hash browns, salami etc.
After 3 to 5 hours of hiking, the group will stop for lunch. While lunch is being prepared, you may take a quick nap or read a book.
Lunch and dinner could include dal-bhat (rice, lentils and vegetable or meat curry), Indian fried bread, French-fries, tuna, Sherpa stew, spaghetti, momos (Tibetan pot-stickers), pizza, noodles with soup etc. You will be happily surprised.
The hike after lunch could last between 2 to 4 hours. Your duffels will be carried to your rooms. Immediately, tea and cookies will be served. Dinner is usually served around 7:30 pm. Usually, you will be in bed by 9:00 pm.
You will have opportunities to fill up your water bottles with hot water after breakfast, lunch and dinner. While bringing water to boiling point kills all of the germs, some trekkers still prefer to treat boiled water with iodine or chlorine.