Alongside all of the Jiri to Everest Base camp trail are tea houses where you can sleep, they are mostly in small villages or just as single homes on the way. There is no need to sleep in a tent, you’ll always have your room, and the quality is often better than I was expecting. Rooms are mostly single or double rooms, and I never had to share my room with someone. Sometimes the bathroom is even inside the room. Hot showers are mostly available but for an extra charge. The golden rule of tea houses is that you always eat where you stay. Rooms are often extremely cheap or even free sometimes, but the condition is that you eat at least dinner and Breakfast in the same tea house. The quality and the prices from tea houses vary immensely, from town to town but also inside a city you can find almost any kind of tea houses from good to bad, from cheap to expensive. The good thing in the tea houses is that they are similar to guest houses and so you come often in contact with the families running the business, and they are mostly extremely friendly and kind.
Also, for tea houses, it makes sense to separate them into two categories, the ones until Namche Bazar and the ones after Namche Bazar.
Part 1: Jiri to Namche Bazar:
These days I liked the tea houses a lot better than after Namche Bazar. This is mainly because there were not many or hardly any people on the trek, and the tea houses were quite empty. However, with the few people in the tea houses, it was a family feeling, and I could talk a lot to the locals. Prices are also significantly cheaper than after Namche Bazar. A small pot of tea costs around five times in the end, then at the beginning of the trek. Which is also normal as it is way harder to get anything to the tea houses in higher altitudes. But I also had the feeling that they put extra high prices because it’s only tourists. The room mostly costs around 200 Rupees, and food is also cheap.
Part 2: Namche Bazar to Everest Base Camp
In Namche Bazar, the tea houses start getting full; often, big groups occupy half of the tea house. That leads to a more distanced relationship between guests and the owner. I found it hard to meet people in some tea houses, even though they were full. As a young solo backpacker, it’s hard to get in contact with these big groups of seniors. The quality also decreased the higher we got (Which is understandable), and prices climbed. It was mostly 500 Rupees for one person, and the last two nights, it increased to 700 Rupees. Food also got more expensive, and portions got smaller the higher the altitude gets. However, it was still beautiful, and I liked most tea houses, except the last night in Gorak Shep. The tea house was completely overfilled, stuff wasn’t able to deal with all the customers properly, and the facilities, especially the toilets, were discussing. On the one side, I understand how hard it is to accommodate people in over 5000 meters, and there is not even running water as everything is frozen around the clock. But the conditions are so bad that I also got food poisoning, and apparently, most people have problems after that night.
In conclusion, I can say that most of the tea houses were excellent, most owners were friendly, although I had the feeling in some cases they are just about the money. And the atmosphere is most lovely. The higher you get, the more expensive it gets, and the more the quality drops. But that’s ok, except for Gorak Shep, where it isn’t acceptable anymore.
- Total countries I visited until now: 42
- Planes: 32
- Busses: 51
- Trains: 23
- Boats: 25
- Km driving: 8000
- KM driving with my Tuktuk: 2000
- Km running: 3998