Are your sooner or later planning for a trekking journey on Nepalese Himalayan Trails? If yes, then you might be concerned about the foods you will be eating and the places you will be spending the night during that timeframe.
Generally speaking, food and lodging in Nepal's trekking areas vary depending on the trekking region, transportation accessibility, and altitude change. In general, there are two forms of trekking in Nepal: teahouse trekking and camping trekking. Teahouse trekking is a type of hiking where you stay in numerous teahouses throughout your journey. These teahouses are well-equipped, with appropriate supplies and room services. Camping trekking, as the name implies, entails camping at various points throughout your journey.
This travel blog compiles information on the availability of food and lodging in the most popular trekking regions, including Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang, and the major gateway to all the regions in Nepal, Kathmandu.
Foods & Accommodation in Kathmandu (the main gateway to all trekking regions)
Kathmandu, the primary gateway to the spectacular Himalayan regions, is unavoidable if you travel to Nepal. The capital city of Nepal, fortunately, offers a wide variety of meals and accommodation options to suit any budget.
Kathmandu booms with hundreds of accommodation options ranging from a 5$ hostel room to 500$ resorts, that perfectly fit backpackers to luxurious travelers. The majority of properties are in central locations, particularly in the Thamel neighborhood. Thamel is Kathmandu’s tourist center and most visited neighborhood. It's also in the heart of the city, close to all of Kathmandu's major attractions. Whatever your preferences or budget, this bustling metropolis offers a lodging alternative for you.
Kathmandu has a diverse culinary culture, including Nepalese, Indian, Russian, Italian, Tibetan, Chinese, and many other cuisines from different parts of the world. From small local Bhattis (a Nepali term for a place to eat that is super cheap with a very basic Nepali menu) to the best fine dining restaurant in the country/ Michelin star candidate, there are hundreds and thousands to grab a bite in Kathmandu. Trekkers can choose one that matches their budget, taste, and preferences.
Foods & Accommodation in Popular Trekking Regions
The majority of treks in Nepal are ‘teahouse’ treks including the famous treks in famous regions, allowing trekkers to travel with the bare minimum of equipment. A teahouse accommodation simply means you will be staying in a small lodge with minimal rooms and a supper every night. Private rooms are also offered in most Tea Houses, with the exception of those at high altitudes, where dormitories are the only option. The majority of bathrooms are shared, toilets can be either squat or western-style and the hot shower could just be a bucket of lukewarm water. The private room could be little more than a wooden cell with a bed, mattress, pillow, blanket, a table, and a curtain in place of a door. However, when compared to sleeping in a tent on the path in the freezing cold after a long day of hiking, even these seem like a luxury.
Regarding the food, breakfast and dinner will be served at the teahouse or from the menu of the lodge where you will be staying the night, and lunch will be served on the way to your next location. The menus get limited as the elevation rises but it is easier than to carry the supplies for multiple days. You may not want to see Dal Bhat again after weeks-long of trekking.
Let’s look into details about what type of accommodations and meals, a trekker will get on the popular trekking routes.
In Everest Region
The Everest Region Trekking paths have accommodations to suit diverse budgets, ranging from hostels to high-category hotels. Being the most famous trekking route in the country, the Everest Base Camp trail has the best lodging and food offers. They are basic but much more developed than the other high-altitude trekking regions.
Lukla: The trailhead Lukla houses some excellent hotels to choose from, however, they are pricier than the lodges. Those hotels have planted lawns, balcony rooms, and patio dining for guests, not to mention the always-welcomed hot shower. Lukla gets the first of the imported products and foods that come to the Khumbu region for the Everest lodges because it is at the trailhead for the EBC journey, and the meals are delicious, solid food at a fairly affordable price. You may get practically anything here, from Indian to Italian as well as regional specialties if you want them.
Phakding: Phakding has enough hotels on both sides of the river to accommodate everyone, as well as a sufficient number of menus.
Namche Bazaar: It's no surprise that there are a plethora of hotels, with over 50 in Namche, the Everest Region's largest commercial town. The range of rates is also from basic to premium. Namche Bazar is also known for its market, bakeries, and photo-worthy cafes. Namche might be the last place to enjoy the luxuriousness before heading further, so take advantage of Namche's relative elegance.
Starting in Tengboche, the prices start to rise and accommodations become more basic and the number of menus decreases. Sometimes, during peak season, you will have to share a room with other trekkers or sleep in the dining room in places such as Tengboche & Gorak Shep.
In Annapurna Region
Annapurna region is protected by the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) which is why the food and accommodation menus in this region must meet specified requirements, such as a set pricing, a high-quality level, sanitation, and tea houses erected along specific routes. Food and lodging in facilities differ depending on altitude and geography.
When you visit Nepal for trekking in the Annapurna region, you may expect to stay in basic accommodations. Tea houses, which include lodges and guest houses, are a welcome sight with tea after a long day of hiking. The lodges are cozy, warm, and well-appointed, but as you climb higher, they become more basic. Rooms are twin beds with two beds per room and do not have a bathroom unless you pay an upgrade during the journey, which is only available in a few lodges. The beds have mattresses, pillows, and blankets that can be borrowed.
Accommodations in the lower Annapurna districts provide a variety of amenities such as a private room, a hot shower, and a dining room with power outlets for charging devices and Wi-Fi. As you climb higher into the Annapurna region, your lodging options become more primitive. Basic accommodations include a dorm-style bunk room, and a shared bathroom, and solar electricity is only available for meals at the dining hall, so it is recommended to bring your head torch. When the major trekking season approaches, it becomes extremely crowded, and tea houses become scarce, therefore it is best to book your lodging ahead of time.
The teahouses along the Lower Annapurna Trekking Trails offer a superb mix of western and Nepali cuisine. Even if the meal options in the higher Annapurna regions are relatively less than those in the lower regions, they nevertheless provide all of the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy diet. The lower regions have a superb breakfast menu, such as the American set breakfast to the local set breakfast but, the upper region is limited to potatoes, rice, Momos, and soup items that healthy and filling.
In Langtang Region
The Langtang region’s lodging and food services are still relatively basic when compared to the Annapurna and Everest regions but are improving. The Langtang Valley Trek, Hemlabu Trek, and Tamang Heritage Trail are the most popular trails in Langtang Region and all the trails have similar meal and accommodation facilities.
Accommodations amenities vary based on elevation, and services are restricted due to the remoteness and lack of transportation options. While trekking in the Langtang region, visitors will come across a variety of tea houses with varying amenities that are run by local families to help sustain the area's tourism. The rooms are on a twin-sharing basis with attached bathrooms, hot shower, Wi-Fi, and power outlets for charging your electronics in the lower section of the region such as Syabrubesi and Dhunche.
As the elevation climbs, the amenities can be seen dropping. Housing is more basic with small rooms, little mattresses, and scarce power. Because the number of tea houses in the upper areas is limited, you may have to share a room with other travelers or sleep in the living room space in the peak seasons. Though the services are basic, you would love to have a nice sleep after a full day of legs workout.
During the Langtang Region Treks, you will find a variety of healthful and excellent cuisine at many teahouses, ranging from spaghetti to native Nepali staple food, Dal Bhat. The teahouses on the trails offer three meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner that cater to the trekkers' vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices. Along with cuisine, there are a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options.
All trekking trails in the Langtang Region include a set menu with a variety of foods and beverages. Along the paths, tea houses serve a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. There are a variety of meal alternatives in the Lower trekking regions, including meat, vegetables, salad, and fruits. Remember that meat and fruits can only be found in Syabrubesi and Dhunche. Due to religious reasons, some parts of the region do not sacrifice animals or transport meat, so non-vegetarians should plan accordingly. The most intriguing item that is found in the upper Langtang Region is Yak Cheese. It is a must-try item there.
Drinking water in Trekking regions in Nepal
While trekking in Nepal, you won't have to worry about finding drinkable water along the way as there are plentiful water resources throughout the most popular trekking routes: tea houses, taps, streams, and rivers. The teahouses in the lower regions sell bottled water but it costs double the price in cities and it gets pricier with the uprising elevation. More importantly, bottled water uses a lot of plastic, which is bad for the environment. So, it is best to avoid bottled water and consume it from the available sources.
Of course, it is not recommended to drink the water from natural resources directly. There are some efficient methods of purifying it and the most efficient is by boiling. The teahouses do provide the boiled water for roughly 1USD per cup. The water from the natural resources is free to drink after it is purified.
We recommend your own reusable water bottle so that you can refill it. It would be better if you get one with a filter straw or carry water purification pills.
Food and lodging play a significant role in ensuring that your trip to the Himalayas in Nepal is memorable. While these services are quite similar to all trekking trails, be prepared to obtain the basics and get first-hand experience of the lifestyle of the locals.
Note: While there are plenty of options to choose from the accommodations and meals whether in cities like Kathmandu or the trekking trails, we, Himalayan Trekkers, provide the best 3* standard category hotels in cities and the best available, hygienic, and comfortable teahouse/lodge in the trekking trails. However, if you want the change in the accommodations, we can manage them as per your preference.