You’ve booked your flight, arranged your trek with a local company and are now counting down the days till you begin your adventure in the Himalayas. As you snuggle into your warm queen size bed and pull your soft duvet cover up to your nose, you begin to wonder what conditions will be like once you’re in the wilderness.
What sort of beds and accommodations are available at tea houses? Do they even have beds???
As you prepare your breakfast the next morning and replenish your rumbling belly, you begin to wonder what food will be like in the mountains.
Do they have toast and coffee? I need my morning coffee! How will I cope without my morning green smoothie?
It’s not uncommon for trekkers flying in from overseas to have concerns, or are curious to know what daily amenities are like in the mountains.
From experience I can say, it’s good to remember a few things when doing an ABC trek, EBC trek or any trek:
While you might compromise on the bed quality and have to sway in your eating habits, know that it’s not permanent. You’re only in the mountains for a limited number of days so while you might be concerned about your diet and the bed, you’ll soon realize that many other factors such as the thrill for adventure, the majestic landscape, and the thoughtful villagers, all make up for the lack of fresh juice and high sheet thread count.
Trekking is a very rewarding, beautiful and potentially life-changing experience, if you allow yourself to immerse in the simplicity of ‘peak paradise’ instead of judging the resources. Mountain life is very simple, and going on a trek allows you to experience the joys and pleasure of simple living; something we rarely have access to with our busy, digital lives.
Each tea house throughout the Annapurna Base Camp trek has cozy charm that is special and unique. I find that most trekkers are often surprised with how homey and warm the tea houses feel in spite of being nestled high in the mountains with limited resources.
While some tea houses are more luxurious than others (which comes at a cost), most are basic and include a single (sometimes double) bed, clean sheets, pillow, comforter and in some cases attached toilet, shower and MAYBE hot water. Either way, you won’t spend much time in your room because usually you’ll find yourself hanging out in the main dining hall; chatting with other trekkers or reading a book by the hot stove while you dry your socks. Don’t be surprised if there’s a rip in the curtains or creaky floors; after all, you’re in the mountains and signed up for an adventure, not a 5 star resort. The time in your room is really meant for sleeping and likely you’ll spend maximum 12 hours at the tea house, so don’t get caught up in the room’s simple amenities. Instead, pull out your playing cards, explore the village, chat with the host and relax!
I find the food in the mountains is always fantastic but bare in the mind, the higher up you go the more expensive it gets and most often you have less selection. You tend to wait some time (over an hour) for food which isn’t ideal when you’ve just trekked 7 hours and find yourself starving! However, it’s always well worth the wait since the locals make everything from scratch. Once you make an order, watch as your host goes outside to pick vegetables from their garden and start preparation. The mountains are the best place to get fresh, homemade, organic food, so don’t be surprised if it’s outrageously delicious! Usually, your Guide or Sherpa knows the best places to stop for lunch and tea, so don’t be afraid to ask.
While trekking ABC, you’ll pass through Chromrong village twice (both on the way up and on the way down) which means you’ll have the opportunity to stop at bakeries and pizza places which is an added bonus and comes at the perfect time since that’s where the steep stairs reside.
Overall, sleeping and eating on a trek is definitely a unique experience, but will surely be memorable. If you have more questions about your tea house accommodations and menu options for your ABC trek, don’t hesitate to ask!
See you in the Mountains!
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