Tea-Houses during the Everest Trek- what to expect?

escapehimalayaFeb 27th 2024
[TOC] Selective information regarding tasteful tea-houses in the Himalayan acreages.  One of the most appealing aspects of trekking in Nepal is getting to experience the cultures and traditions of the people living on far-off villages and remote settlements throughout the trekking trails. This is achieved mostly by trekkers and travelers seeking accommodation on the dainty tea-houses and lodges that are scattered along the trails of the mountains. The more far away from the city you move, the more secluded the terrain becomes. Isolated villages on segregated landscapes add a flavor of unique ambiance to the trekking journey. In this article, we are going to discuss about tea-houses along the Everest trail and what is to be expected from them.



(Traditional Teahouse setting in the mountains)

Teahouses are essentially small hotels found in local villages that offer both a place to sleep as well as home cooked meals. On route with sufficient number of teahouses, you do not need to worry about bringing a tent or carrying your own food. The actual quality of the teahouses varies quite a bit depending on the amount of foot traffic in the region, number of foreigners and competition. Teahouses in the Everest region are exceptionally nice and many boast of western style flush toilets, hot water showers, a selection of beverages including beer and a wide range of menu items. Teahouses along less popular trekking routes are usually more rudimentary and one might expected to sleep in a common room around a toasty stove after enjoying a meal of dhal bhatt (rice and lentils).

Lodging and Housing

Teahouses The initial thing to know about accommodations on the tea-houses and lodges is that it is definitely going to be different from Kathmandu. Kathmandu has many options for accommodations because obviously the metropolitan can afford such luxuries for its patrons. But once you move away from the valley and trek further into the seclusion of the mountains, you would be subjected to accommodations on lodges and tea-houses. These small lodges and dainty tea-houses see lots of visitors during the peak season for trekking, i.e. from the months of March to May and September to December. Other months also see trickles of travelers but not as much as the peak seasons. The perimeter of these lodges and tea-houses are limited, and as such, the limited acreage bounds for limited beds. To accommodate the many number of people seeking shelter, trekkers and travelers are required to share rooms. Same-gender room sharing is the regulation at the lodges. One of the many questions burning in the back of any first-time trekker’s mind would be of the option of getting a single supplementary room at the lodges. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on the outlook of the trekker), single supplementary rooms on the lodges and tea-houses isn’t a very likely plausibility because of the limited number of accommodations, especially on peak seasons for trekking. Usually, this sort of manifestation is also called “Tea-House Trekking”. It is probably the most famous style of trekking and simply involves going from teahouse to teahouse along your trekking journey.

Luxury Lodges

Teahouses Developments on the trekking trails have led to constructions of luxury lodges on the Everest trail. With relatively basic housing and lodging for the most part of the Everest trail, it is not to say that luxury lodges aren’t a plausibility, because they most certainly are. One of the foremost priorities of luxury lodges on the Everest trail is simple: to transform your arduous trek into a pleasant and enjoyable experience by providing the best possible services throughout. The luxury lodges are at a standard way above anything else you could get in the area. Most of the lodges are decorated with landscape gardens, well-decorated spacious rooms with ensuite bathrooms with running hot and cold water. A hot-water bottle in bed and upon request, the option of ordering a hot-water bag to ease your sore muscles after a long day outside can also be done. And of course, these lodges are purposefully located to give you the best views of the surrounding Himalayas, sometimes right outside from your room windows.

Room Standards

Another important thing to note is the room standard. The traveler can opt for choosing a higher-standard accommodation, but demanding another room on any lodge in the mountains he/she is currently staying at is futile. Trekkers can ask to be moved from a three-star hotel to a four-star or a five-star hotel in Kathmandu, and this of course can be arranged (in accordance to the context that the person makes sure to inform the agency about his/her plans beforehand), but this service is limited to major valleys and cities. It isn’t possible at the mountains. Teahouses That is not to say that the lodges and tea-houses do not have any services at all- precisely the opposite. It’s not that the lodges and tea-houses do not have service; it is only the matter of lodges and tea-houses in the mountains not having the service that is on the same level as those in the cities. And this is perfectly understandable because of their remote locations. Indeed, many of the tea-houses and lodges have electricity facility. Many lodges also have the service of wifi. And speaking of communication, landline telephone services are available on all of the accommodations at the mountains.

Teahouse showers and electricity

Services like laundry and hot-water showers aren’t a commodity however. Owning to their sequestration location amidst the mountainous terrains, such luxury isn’t at one’s disposal. Most Teahouses in the Everest region have cold showers available and a few even have hot water showers for extra cost of around $4. Electricity is usually available in the main dining area and is charged at an hourly rate of $1-2. Teahouses The grandeur of the tea-houses and the lodges isn’t much for show either. But this is why the lodges and the tea-houses are appealing. Being small and dainty, they truly make the trekkers feel like they are an important part of the general population. They are simple to look at and simple to use. Their authenticity makes up for their lack of opulence or luxury. It is a reflection of the life of the people residing on these isolated villages and small remote settlements. While speaking in the context of the Everest Base Camp Trek, the accommodation on lodges starts from Phakding. Since Phakding is relatively close to Lukla- the place from where the Everest Base Camp Trek usually starts, lodges at Phakding tend to have relatively bits of more services like hot water for showers and laundry services. And since Namche Bazaar is an important commercial hub of the Khumbu Region, the lodges and tea-houses at Namche have services like Phakding as well. Teahouses The far off and extremely secluded regions of Mustang and Manaslu however, offer tea-houses and stays at lodges that are literally part of the resident’s household. As such, grand and extravagant aspects are replaced with genuine Nepali hospitality and homeliness.

Food and Meals

Teahouses The accommodations at the mountains offer good food too. You would be presented with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food palates while you stay. Various snacks and Himalayan cuisines make their way into the accommodations. Many trekkers also tend to bring with them their own sleeping-bags as well. Now, one might ask, “Why bring sleeping bags at all when we are staying at the lodges? Do the lodges and the tea-houses not have beds or blankets?” to which the answer is very simple. Many trekkers prefer sleeping bags because sleeping in your own warm and snug sleeping bag is relatively better than having to snuggle yourself into anything else. It is not that the lodges and tea-houses not have beds or mattress or blankets, it is only a matter of personal preference for the trekkers. Do keep in mind though, that sleeping bags are required equipments for trekking. Likewise, your choices can range from authentic Nepali food and other local delicacies to international cuisines like Indian, Tibetan, Italian and Continental meals as well on the luxury lodges. Additionally, you will also be served with dessert after meal on.

Everest View Hotel

One of the premier hotel chains in the Everest Trek is the Everest View hotel, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest placed hotel in the world with its location at an elevation of 13,000 ft. From every room in the hotel, you have gorgeous mountain views of Everest and many of its surrounding peaks and you can enjoy these views in luxury and comfort. You can also opt for a helicopter ride instead if you don’t feel like a regular hike to Everest Base Camp. You would be presented with an amazing bird’s-eye view of the peaks and of the region as well. It certainly adds a thrilling flavor to an exciting journey to the world’s highest peak. Teahouses

(Aerial view of the mountains from a Helicopter)

With warm and cordial hospitality of the local people at the small, relatively abject tea-houses and lodges, you would be experiencing an ordeal that you will not have experienced anywhere else. Part of what makes trekking in the mountains so ravishing and winsome isn’t only the gorgeous views of the mountains; it’s the people and their way of life. The tea-houses and lodges that are present on the secluded landforms of the mountain peaks; and their best services that they can muster up in the hard uneven terra firma of the Himalayas is a prime aspect of the trekking experience. Getting to be a part of this exotic life style in the pristine environments of the villages in the mountains, so close to nature and unrefined in major modernization is an experience that tends to forever be engraved into the minds of people.

escapehimalayaFeb 27th 2024

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