What is a teahouse trek?
June 12, 2015
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.