In Nepal, we typically talk of two types of treks: teahouse and camping.
The Nepali word “Bhatti,” is the direct translation for teahouse and the most popular trekking routes of Nepal link teahouses together along a route. It could be confusing for visitors from abroad that the word ‘Hotel’ for the locals is an eating place rather than sleeping place. This word has been, therefore, replaced with the word, ‘lodge’, which offers accommodation. Most of the places clarifies the service they provide by mentioning ‘Hotel and Lodge’ or ‘Hotel, Lodge and Teahouse’ to avoid confusion for trekkers coming from different countries.
Tea Houses are local lodges where you get to eat and sleep during your trek. Going on a tea house trek means that you will sleep in these types of accommodations. Teahouses will provide bedding and food. The quality of the teahouses depends but can be quite basic.
Most of the popular trekking routes of Nepal like Annapurna, Everest, Langtang or Helambu areas have tea-house lodges in different milestones. According to the experiences shared by regular visitors and local people, the standards of food and stay have improved remarkably over the past few years in many of these houses. There are many travel agencies in Nepal that offers well budgeted teahouses offering clean accommodations and good food, with the trek guided by an English-speaking Sherpa guide. The presence of teahouses in regular intervals have also eased a burden from the trekkers to carry many supplies, such as tents, towels, food, cooking utensils and so on. Hence, teahouse type trekking allows the trekkers to plan their trek at their own pace, set their own schedule and experience the real life and culture of the rural area.
The cost of stay at teahouses depends on remoteness and altitude of the place together with the standard of the rooms and services it provides. On average, per day cost is around 10 USD, but it may rise up to 30 USD if the quality of service is high.
It is always recommended to have backup plans, especially during the peak trekking period. This includes sleeping bags and bed sheets, in case the lodge rooms do not have beds. It is also recommended to carry extra food like biscuits if there is no hotel nearby or if the hotel is closed. Remember, trekking in the rural areas in Nepal remains an adventure and its very important to be prepared for every possible scenario.
Do I need a visa to visit Nepal?
Yes, you do (unless you are an Indian citizen).
Visas can be obtained upon arrival at Tribhuvan International airport or at a Nepali embassy in your home country. You will need:
a passport valid for six months (with at least one blank page)
cash in an accepted currency ( Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Japanese Yen are accepted)
The price of the visa depends on your length of stay:
15 days - $25 USD
30 days - $40 USD
90 days - $90 USD
All visas are multiple entry visas. Credit cards and any currencies not mentioned above are not accepted.
Sure! It will take quite some time - as the high route is about 1700 km and the lower one is about 1500km - but its possible and several people have done it.
Most people, however, will choose a section that appeals to them, for instance the Manaslu and Ganesh Himal section, or Humla section and most treks in the GHT take from two to four weeks.
Who do I go to if want to do the GHT?
There is a list of companies who can manage logistics for all of the GHT stages on this website, and so far there are just a few. There is already a list of companies who are offering sections of the GHT. But you can certainly approach any reputable trekking company and mention the area you wish to explore, and you should be able to build an itinerary together with them.
How much trekking can be done in tea-houses / lodges / homestays etc?
As a generalisation, if you are walking from section to section, you'll need a tent! But there are many sections where you'll find teahouse accommodation. You can walk around Manaslu all the way to Lower Mustang without a tent. You can make a teahouse route through Helambu, Langtang and on to the Tamang Heritage trail. Rolwaling trek has lodge accommodation, but to cross the pass into the Everest region is obviously going to require tents. Everest region has a fantastic network of teahouses.
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