What it’s really like to visit a Nepalese Teahouse
Unless you’ve been extremely organised with booking tables and sticking to a tight schedule, the chances are it’s been a while since you took part in a good old-fashioned pub crawl. But if heading with friends from establishment to establishment was your thing once, you’ll be pleased to hear that we take the same approach on the Bucket List Co trek to Everest Base Camp.
Only thing is, there’s less alcohol. None, in fact.
Our crawl will be from teahouse to teahouse instead! That’s because Nepalese teahouses are the most popular accommodation for trekkers around Everest, providing everything you need for a comfortable night’s sleep between hikes.
Now, if you’re reading “teahouses” and singing “a drink with jam and bread” Julie Andrews style, you’re still not quite getting what these places are all about. Basic B&Bs they are, cafés serving high tea with scones and sarnies they certainly ain’t.
Dotted along our route to Everest Base Camp, these bastions of warmth will be a welcome sight at the end of another day’s trekking. We’ll start and end each day in the small Sherpa towns that line the route and you’ll easily identify your home for the night thanks to the clear signage on the outside.
You see, these Nepalese teahouses are very good at spelling out that they’ve got exactly what you want (which won’t be scones or sandwiches at this point in the day). No, simple messages like “hot showers here” and “we have electricity” is where it’s at; and you’ll be delighted every time you see the signs.
How many stars are we talking?
You’ll be halfway up a mountain in remotest Nepal, remember? So don’t expect any 5 star accommodation now. In fact, the lower you set your expectations, the happier you’ll be when you see what’s in store.
These humble abodes will provide you with a haven for the night, though prepare yourself for little more than the bare necessities. A single bed, a little electricity, and the possibility of a hot shower will be a welcome solace after each day’s trekking.
And that’s without even getting started on the food.
What’s the food like in Everest Base Camp Teahouses ?
While there’s not a huge amount of variety between dishes from one teahouse to the next, the food is delicious. Hot, tasty and homemade with love, you’ll enjoy every mouthful – so welcome after all those hours on your feet. You’ll often be able to choose what you’ll devour, but always think carefully before going for the meat option.
The Sherpas’ religious beliefs prevent them from slaughtering animals in the mountains, so yaks and porters will be carrying meat up from further down below. So if it’s been several days since you set out at the bottom, it’s been just as long since that meat was butchered.
What are the people like in Teahouses?
Not only does teahouse trekking mean you get a delicious hot meal and a comfortable bed for the night, but you get to meet the locals too. By staying in these traditional lodges and rubbing up against the local people living their best mountain lives, you’ll see a whole other side to Nepal. And you definitely would have missed it if you’d camped every night instead.
Where do you sleep in Everest Base Camp Teahouses?
Like we said, you’ll get a single bed to sleep in, complete with a pillow, sheets and bed cover too. We’d always recommend getting in your sleeping bag and using a pillow liner to sleep as hygienically as you can though. Using ear plugs helps too – you’ll most likely be in a twin room and who knows how loudly your sleeping buddy will be snoring?!
And… What about the toilets on Everest Base Camp?
We’re going to level with you, you might not get a decent toilet at every stop. When you’re this remote, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles and you’ll notice that the loos get more basic as you get further up the trail.
And yes, that means bucket flushes and – eventually – some pretty long drops. Squat low to keep your balance and you’ll be just fine!
The solar-powered showers seem to peter out the higher the altitude gets too. But that’s no excuse for BO, since most teahouses will provide a pot of warm water heated by fire – all you need to do is ask.
While they might not be the Ritz, the Nepalese teahouses along the trek to Base Camp will leave you with just as sweet a taste in your mouth. And with Wi-Fi access and sockets for charging, they’ll give you the opportunity to connect with your loved ones at home too. Budget? Yes. Basic? Absolutely. Brilliant? Why, of course.