Every year thousands of trekkers come to Nepal to reach the base of the highest mountain in the world. It is important to have a basic knowledge about the teahouses also known as guesthouses or lodges you will be accommodating at during these treks.
The teahouses at lower elevation may be a concrete building. Whereas, in the higher elevation, the accommodations get quite basic with minimal facilities. All these guesthouses are run by the local people with the local materials available. Thus, no fancy buildings, fancy cuisines are available for the trekkers.
Before heading to the trail it is necessary to grab few information about these guesthouses, the facilities they provide, the food items and many more. Following are the things about the guesthouses that should not be ignored before hitting the trails of the Everest Base Camp.
Rooms and Beds
It must be known that the rooms in all guesthouses may not be similar. They will most definitely differ in quality, size, cleanliness, warmth and many more. The rooms are sometimes found to be partitioned with the help of a wood to keep them warm. Usually twin beds or double beds can be found with a table if lucky. During the less packed seasons, one can easily be able to get single rooms. However, during the peak seasons, there are instances where the rooms are shared by two different trekkers. In some of the guesthouses, it is evident that one has to sleep in a dormitory styled rooms as well. The guesthouses do not really provide heaters in rooms or electric bed heaters which is why sleeping bag is always recommended.
Twin beds in a room
Dining hall and Food
In every guesthouse, there exists a communal hall which is also the dining hall. The room is heated either with yak dung cakes or fuel woods to create a warm environment inside. This is also the place where trekkers from different countries come together along with their guides and the porters to share experiences, talks, laughter with food and many more. Very rarely, there are times when the guesthouses are too packed. During such peak days, some of the trekkers are seen lying in the sleeping bag in the dining room itself.
Talking about food, most teahouses (lodges) in Everest Base Camp trails cook a delicious range of mostly vegetarian fare. Pasta, tuna bakes, noodles, potatoes, eggs, daal bhat (rice and lentils), bread, soup, fresh vegetables (variety depends on the season) and even some desserts like apple pies, pancakes, and some interesting attempts at custard. You will find a lot of garlic on the menu because it assists with acclimatization. In many larger villages you may find some meat items on the menu. You can always get hot chocolate, tea, and hot lemon drinks, as well as soft drinks, and treats like chocolate and crisps.
A Communal Hall
Toilets and Shower
Most of the tea houses in the Everest Base Camp trail do have western style flushing toilet however in higher elevation you could find the squat toilets made of either a ceramic basin on the ground or few planks precariously positioned over a hole in the ground which is always outside of the room. Most of the guesthouses do not provide the toiletries hence it’s mandatory to carry the toiletry kits oneself.
The cold showers are easily available however with the decreasing temperature, hot water shower is a must. For every hot shower in the mountains, they provide the bucket full of hot water which needs to be paid prior. The amount may vary in the guesthouses depending upon the increasing altitude.
A squat toilet
Electricity and Charging Points
Most tea houses have electricity for lighting as well as for a few plug points, usually located in the communal areas. They will charge US$ 3-5 per hour for the use of the plug points, which are typically in high demand – especially in the busier tea houses.
Some tea houses will have internet access and offer Wi-Fi hotspots at a charge. These are usually unreliable and not all tea houses will have connections, so it is rather recommended purchasing a 3G sim card to use for the duration of your journey.
So next time you think of traveling to the Everest Region, these are few of the things to keep in mind and be aware of.