Our Tea House/Lodge Treks offer the Best of Both Worlds - Great Routes and Comfortable Accommodation
Traditionally, tea houses, or chai bhati, were used by the local Nepalese on journeys through the mountains. Tea house trekking, or lodge trekking, not only supports the livelihood of the mountain people, but is a good chance for you to experience the warm hospitality of the mountain people and learn about the their culture and lifestyle as well as to meet other trekkers. The cozy tea houses are sure to be a beautiful aspect of your Himalayan experience.
From our side, Annapurna Foothills Treks does our best to make sure the lodge we stay in the most comfortable place available. We reserve beds in advance if we are in large numbers.
Along the popular trekking trails in the Annapurna, Everest, Langtang/Helambu region, family-run lodges provide simple rooms and good food. Many non-government agencies with the help of government of Nepal have provided trainings to the lodge owners so that they could provide quality services in an environmentally friendly way. All lodge owners in the Annapurna Sanctuary and adjacent areas have adopted eco-friendly measures; they use alternate fuel for cooking and heating and they dispose of garbage in a proper way.
Rooms on a Tea House Trek
The rooms are simple but clean. A room usually has two single beds with a foam mattress and pillow. The toilet could be shared or attached. A blanket is provided, but many travelers prefer to bring their own sleeping bag.
If we are a large group we reserve beds in advance. This is simple where there is a telephone connection, but if there isn’t the guide's assistant will go ahead to book the required rooms. A sense of adventure will be a great advantage to help you adjust to some lodges which are more basic than others.
Washing and Toilet Facilities on a Tea House Trek
Most lodges offer hot showers, though sometimes a hot shower means a bucket of hot water. For ecological reasons please try and limit your use of hot water unless the water is solar-heated. Please note that at higher altitude and in colder seasons there is very little chance to have enough hot water for all the trekkers. If the water is frozen then ask your guide to get warm bowl of water. Every lodge will have some kind of hand washing facility but it is good idea to carry a bar of soap with you.
Toilets are usually Asian squat style and vary in how clean they are. Normally toilets are outside the lodge but now some lodges have attached or indoor toilets. The rubbish bin in the toilet is kept for your used toilet paper.
Meals on a Tea House Trek
All your meals during the trek are provided: a standard breakfast, lunch and three course dinner including tea or coffee with each meal.
You can select anything from the menu. The food is tasty and hygienic, but the menu is not extensive and will be fairly similar from lodge to lodge. Cereal, porridge, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. Most tea houses offer variety of rice and noodles dishes with soup and seasonable vegetables. Snacks are not provided, but are widely available. Biscuits, chocolate bars, soft drinks and in some areas you will find local seasonal fruits. Beer and whisky are also available. For trekkers doing a high altitude trek above 4000m, it is not advisable to consume alcohol and cigarettes.
Please feel free to eat all that you want, however, we kindly request that you don’t order more than you can eat. Many village people are struggling to get enough to eat, so in respect to them, we try not to waste food.
Drinking Water on a Tea House Trek
While trekking, it is important to keep hydrated; you should drink at least 3 liters of water each day. In the Annapurna Region there are Euro-guard filters, so all you need is your own water bottle and you can refill it easily. In the other regions bottled mineral water is available in the lodges and shops, but we recommend that you refill your bottle with boiled water and/or use water purification tablets since the disposal of the plastic bottles is an environmental concern.
Many government and non-government agencies have provided trainings to the lodge owners so that they could provide quality services in an environmentally friendly way. All lodge owners in these areas use alternate fuel for cooking and heating. They dispose of garbage in proper way and have adopted eco-friendly measures.
Re-charging Batteries on a Tea House Trek
Most lodges have electricity at least some of the time, and a back up solar panel which means that it is possible to charge the batteries of your camera, iPod etc. You may need to buy an adaptor in Kathmandu before the trip since the plugs in Nepal might be different. The lodges charge a small hourly fee for recharging facilities. Nepal uses 220-240 volts to power your appliances. The sockets fit both round and flat plugs.
Environment Concerns on a Tea House Trek
Trekking in the beautiful environment of the Himalayas does have an impact, but it is also an important livelihood for subsistence farmers in the hilly regions. We are strongly committed to leaving the lightest footprint possible, and following eco-friendly practices. As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we use kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.
We also discourage you from taking hot showers if the water is heated with wood-fuelled fire. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.
Services Included in Tea House Trek
- Transportation from airport-hotel-airport
- All transportation mentioned in the program
- Hotel stay in on B/B plan before and after trek (2- star category)
- three meals per day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Tea, coffee)
- During the trek: Accommodation in lodge on shared basis
- During the trek: Three meals a day: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, including tea/coffee
- Daily Wages of Guide, Porters, their equipment, meals, lodges and insurance
- Transportation cost for staff
- All trek permits, park fees and local taxes
- In case of Emergency: Coordination of Emergency helicopter Rescue/Evacuation (guests are responsible to reimburse company for helicopter Evacuation Charge- US$ 1500 per/Hour upon return to Kathmandu. Our valued guests are kindly requested to make sure that you have required travel Insurance which will cover this expense.
Services Excluded in a Tea House Trek
- Nepal visa fee
- Travel & Health Insurance (should include Helicopter Rescue)
- Lunches & Dinners in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- Alcoholic Drinks, Cold Drinks, Boiled & Mineral Water, Beverages on Trek.
- Tips (for Sherpa guide and porters)
- Hot Shower charge on Trek (may apply)
- Battery Charging Charge on Trek (may apply)
- Unforeseen Costs due to: Flight Cancellation or Delay, Sickness; Helicopter rescue in Trek due to bad weather or factors which are out of our control
Economy Services (Budget Tea House Treks): Only guide and porter services
The economy trekking option means that the package price does not include the cost of food and accommodation during the trek. In this option, Annapurna Foothills Trek provides the same excellent guide and porter services. The guide/porter will make sure you get accommodation in comfortable lodges, but you will pay for the room and food yourself. This package also includes services such as arrangements for the permits, transportation and hotel bookings.