Nepalese Tea Houses
Community Spirit

Nepalese
Tea Houses
Community Spirit

family adventure holiday annapurna

The mountain trails of Nepal are littered with Tea Houses. But there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Tea Houses are effectively lodges, a place to sleep and eat whilst trekking. They are family run and the sense of community spirit shown is wonderful.

So What Are They Like?

Expect basic.
Expect a warm loving genuine welcome.
Expect to smile, because you will in these wonderful and varied Tea Houses that form the backbone of trekking in the Nepalese Himalaya.
Expect to want to go back.

Tea Houses differ enormously in terms of size and style but in general terms, the Houses will centre on a communal ‘living room’ that has tables and chairs + the all important 50 gallon drum fire! This is the place everyone congregates to chat, read, eat and generally socialise.

Apart from the kitchen, the remainder of the building is primarily devoted to bedrooms; 2 single beds (you will find the odd double!) with mattresses, a pillow and a small side table in between. Plonk your sleeping bag on top and you’re done. With the exception of the communal fire, there is no heating so people do tend to live in duvet jackets!

Nepal Tea House

Tea Houses differ enormously in terms of size and style but in general terms, the Houses will centre on a communal ‘living room’ that has tables and chairs + the all important 50 gallon drum fire! This is the place everyone congregates to chat, read, eat and generally socialise.

Apart from the kitchen, the remainder of the building is primarily devoted to bedrooms; 2 single beds (you will find the odd double!) with mattresses, a pillow and a small side table in between. Plonk your sleeping bag on top and you’re done. With the exception of the communal fire, there is no heating so people do tend to live in duvet jackets!

Toilets are also communal (a mix of western and hole in the ground), as are showers (relies on solar power so never a guarantee of hot water)  but you will come across ensuite versions in some bigger villages. There is always cold running water whether that be from a tap or hose pipe, it will be there. Plumbing is not easy in what can be sub zero temperatures on a nightly basis in some places so with the best will in the world, sometimes things are not quite what you expect! Improvisation and understanding can be needed sometimes!

Nepal Tea House

A typical scene inside a medium sized Tea House.

Nepal Tea House

Some of the best Tea Houses are in the small hamlets.

Nepal Tea House

These solar dishes are absolutely brilliant. The sun’s rays boil water.

If you are on a Tea House trek (the vast majority are), then this is where you will get your meals from. Even on the move, you’ll stop at a Tea House for tea/coffee, snacks, water and lunch. Tea Houses have menus that run to 4 pages (and more) and they are ‘controlled’ and ‘agreed’ by a Committee that is responsible for that National Park area (ie Annapurna or Everest). So with few exceptions, you will see the same or very similar menu throughout your trek, it’s up to you to vary your intake. What will certainly be different (but always available) are the traditional Dahl Bhats. All Tea Houses (chefs) will have a different way of cooking these and they are a bottomless pit of food; the Guides and Porters will eat nothing else!

They will also sell the classic western goodies such as mars bars, snickers, pringles crisps, coke, etc… just to make you feel at home!

Tea Houses are all locally owned and run so this is often the only way they earn money. Do spare a thought about where they are located. Logistically, everything has to come in and out by either porter or mule/yak. Electricity is likely to come from a small generator that they run as and when they need to. You will see lots of solar panels around to heat water and power LED lights. Head torches are a basic requirement in these parts. Cooking is either done on gas cookers or wood burning fires/ovens. It’s well worth a look in one of the kitchens!

All in all, they are character places and you can’t help but love them.

Take a look at the variety of treks using Tea Houses in Nepal.

There are some pretty grand Tea Houses around and they are run like a well oiled machine.
The more remote ones have character; try them.

You will see Tea Houses on the trails of Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Sunrise Trek, the Everest Experience, and the Annapurna Base Camp, to name a few. Our whole range of treks in Nepal.

Nepal Tea House

Small tea houses in the right location can produce some good business at lunch times!

Nepal Tea House

Mule trains carry supplies along specified routes.

Nepal Tea House

Tea Houses can be very inviting.

2018-10-03T17:28:36+00:00

About the Author:

Terry Crosby is the founder and co-owner of Travel and Trek Limited. He started the Company in 2005 after an long military career, which ultimately gave him the skills to set up, run, manage and develop what is now a global adventure travel company. He has extensive experience in all of the countries the company travel to and is an ex Mountain Leader and Arctic Survival Instructor.