Teahouse trekking in Nepal is unlike walking anywhere else in the world. The teahouses began with the kindness of the Nepalese people, when tired trekkers were welcomed into the homes of the local villagers rather than camp outside. Over time they’ve developed into a home-stay hotel hybrid, but what is it really like to stay in one?
Between the sky-piercing peaks, the frozen glaciated summits and dramatic rocky passes, along the side of the trails, you’ll find the teahouses.
When you arrive, tired but pleased, you’ll be ushered towards one of the communal areas – a sun-warmed patio when the weather is on your side, or a stove warmed living room when the sun goes down – where piping hot tea will be served in huge, steaming thermos flasks.
Feeling refreshed, you can drop your bags in your room, usually a small square room with two single beds. Your own sleeping bag is a must – it gets cold in the mountains and there is no central heating in the rooms, although it’s more than made up by the warmth of your hosts.
After a quick, though usually cold, wash, wander back down to chat to whoever is there – maybe your guide, maybe your group, maybe other trekkers from all over the world. A few games of cards, some more tea (ginger, peppermint, or black) and pass some time before dinner.
Along long, wooden tables, dive into whatever tickles your fancy – maybe momos (steamed dumplings that are little parcels of deliciousness), garlic soup if you need a little boost to your acclimatisation efforts, or the classic dish that has sustained many a walker before you: dal bhat. This flexible feast is a dollop of white rice, a small bowl of soup-like lentil dal, and a few helpings of whatever else is available – usually vegetables or pickles, or sometimes a meat curry. Finish up with a healthy portion of dessert. In the Annapurna region especially, many German bakeries have sprung up to bake the locally grown apples into stodgy, sweet apple pie.
After eating, the evening is yours. Electric lights aren’t common so a head torch in a coat pocket is a wise move if you want to avoid stumbling around in the dark trying to make your way back to your room, as they’re often in a separate building. Kick back and relax with a book, wander the market in the larger town for a few souvenirs, or wait til the sun sets, then wander outside to simply gaze up at the stars, punctuated with the frozen peaks and the silence.
Your words, not ours
“I was genuinely surprised at how good the teahouses were – not luxurious of course, but certainly homely and welcoming.”
– Client review on Annapurna Sanctuary
Want to stay in Nepal?
Nearly all our Nepal holidays stay in a teahouse for at least one night.