Everest Base Camp Tea Houses: What Are They Really Like

Embarking on a hike to Everest BC is a dream for many adventurers, and the tea houses along the way are an integral part of the experience. 
Everest Base Camp tea houses offer a roof over your head and a unique cultural experience. 
Let's delve into everything you need to know about these cosy stopovers, ensuring your trek is as comfortable as it is unforgettable.

What Are Everest Base Camp Tea Houses?

Everest Base Camp tea houses are small, bed-and-breakfast-like accommodations strategically located along the trekking route to Everest Base Camp
Originating as simple shelters, they've evolved to offer basic amenities and a touch of Nepalese hospitality. These tea houses are crucial for trekkers, providing lodging, food, and a rich cultural experience that enhances the trek.
everest base camp teahouses
A typical teahouse on the lower reachers of the EBC route.

The Basic Amenities You Can Expect

The tea houses serve as your cosy sanctuaries. But what exactly can you expect in terms of basic amenities? Let's break it down:

Single Beds, Hot Meals, and Optional Hot Showers

After a long day of trekking, the first thing you'll crave is a comfortable place to rest. 
Most tea houses offer single beds with basic bedding (for hygiene and warmth reasons I suggest using your sleeping bag, though). While they may not be hotel beds, they're comfortable enough to give you the rest you need for the next day's trek.
As for the food, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the variety of hot meals available. Again, the quality isn't restaurant standard, but can be very good in places and more than edible. 
From traditional Nepalese dishes like Dal Bhat to simple pasta and fried rice with vegetables. I would avoid all meat dishes. 
And yes, you can opt for a hot shower at most tea houses, although it will come at an extra cost. You can get warm water in a bowl for a quick cloth wash.
tea houses everest base camp trek
A Skyhook group sharing a beer in a teahouse.

Electricity and Wi-Fi Availability

Going entirely off the grid might not be an option for everyone. Good news! Many tea houses offer electricity for basic needs like charging your devices. These will usually be in the communal areas, not the rooms.
However, remember that the supply might be limited, and you may be charged per hour for using plug points.
Wi-Fi is a bit of a hit-or-miss. Some tea houses offer Wi-Fi hotspots at a charge, but the connection can be spotty. 
If staying connected is crucial, consider purchasing a local 3G SIM card before starting your trek. The connectivity is surprisingly good in the region, and the rates are affordable.
communal eating ebc teahouse
Typical shared communal tables in a EBC teahouse.

The Cultural Experience

The tea houses you'll encounter along the way offer more than just basic amenities; they provide a window into the rich tapestry of Nepalese culture and the unique Sherpa community.

Interaction with Local People

Staying in a tea house gives you a golden opportunity to interact with the local people known for their incredible hospitality and warmth. 
Many tea houses are family-run, offering home-cooked meals and a chance to learn about local traditions and folklore. 
Don't be surprised if you're invited to join a family dinner or participate in local festivities. These interactions offer depth to your trekking experience beyond the stunning view from Everest Base Camp.
ebc village in the khumbu valley
A small village en route to EBC.

Opportunity to Meet Like-Minded Trekkers

The communal areas in tea houses often centred around a warm yak-burning stove, are the perfect setting to meet fellow adventurers. 
Whether you're sharing stories of the day's trek, discussing the best gear, or planning the next day's route together, these interactions can lead to lifelong friendships. It's a melting pot of cultures and experiences, all united by the common goal of reaching Everest Base Camp.
ebc vs annapurna circuit accommodation
Another typical teahouse on the EBC trek.

Costs Involved

While the journey is priceless in terms of experience, some Everest Base Camp costs are unavoidable, especially when it comes to staying in tea houses. Knowing what to expect can help you budget your trek more effectively.

Average Cost Per Night

The cost of a night's stay in a tea house can vary depending on the altitude and the trek's popularity. 
Generally, you can expect to pay between $5 to $15 per night for a well-equipped tea house. These costs usually cover your bed and sometimes even a basic local meal (like Dal Bhat). It's always a good idea to confirm what's included in the price when you check in.

Additional Costs Like Hot Showers and Electricity

While the basic amenities are covered in the nightly rate, some luxuries come at an extra cost. 
For instance, hot showers are often available but usually require an additional fee of around $4-$5. Similarly, electricity for charging your devices might not be freely available. Many tea houses charge around $3 to $5 per hour for the use of plug points.
It's also worth noting that as you ascend to higher altitudes, the cost of these additional amenities may increase due to the scarcity of resources. So, carrying some extra cash to cover these unexpected expenses is advisable.

Facilities in Detail

When you're miles away from the nearest city, the term "facilities" takes on a whole new meaning. 
The tea houses offer some basic yet essential facilities to make your trek more comfortable. Let's dive into the details.

Toilets, Showers, and Communal Areas

Some tea houses at lower altitudes offer flush toilets and hot water showers, usually at an additional cost. As you move higher up the trail, the facilities become more basic. 
Toilets transition to manual flushing systems (i.e. bucket of water thrown down the loo) to squat toilets, and hot water becomes scarce (you can still get a pot of warm water for you to wash up, heated by a traditional fire).
See more information on Everest base camp toilets.
Communal areas in tea houses are often the heart of the establishment. Centered around a large stove burning yak dung or wood, these areas are perfect for socialising, dining, and staying warm. It's a cosy atmosphere that invites storytelling, camaraderie, and a well-deserved rest.
ebc teahouse food
Enjoying lunch outdoors at an EBC teahouse.

Variability in Facilities Based on Altitude

It's important to note that the quality and availability of facilities can vary significantly based on your altitude. 
As you ascend, resources become scarcer, affecting the amenities offered. For example, Wi-Fi and electricity may become less reliable or more expensive as you go higher.
Understanding this variability can help you set realistic expectations and prepare adequately. Whether adding extra wet wipes to your Everest Base Camp gear list or saving your device's battery life, a little foresight goes a long way.

Food and Dining

The tea houses along the route offer a surprising variety of meals that fuel your body and offer a taste of the local culture.

Types of Meals Available

The menu at most tea houses is a mix of local and international dishes. 
The staple is usually Dal Bhat, a traditional Nepalese meal consisting of rice, lentils, and vegetables. It's nutritious, filling, and gives you the energy you need for trekking. 
You'll also find various other options like pasta, fried rice, and some Western dishes. Breakfast typically includes options like oatmeal, pancakes, or the local Tibetan bread.

Cultural Significance of the Food

The food served in tea houses is more than just a meal; it's a cultural experience. Ingredients are often locally sourced, and meals are prepared in traditional Nepalese styles. 
Dal Bhat, for example, represents Nepalese hospitality and community. Sharing a meal in the communal dining area teaches you about local eating habits, culinary techniques, and even some traditional food-related customs.

Tips and Recommendations

So, you're all set to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and want to make the most of your tea house experience. We've got you covered! Here are some EBC trekking tips and recommendations to ensure a comfortable and memorable stay.

Best Practices for a Comfortable Stay

  1. Book in Advance: Tea houses can fill up quickly during peak trekking seasons. Whenever possible, book your stay in advance to secure a spot.

  2. Check What's Included: Always confirm what amenities are included in the nightly rate and what comes at an extra cost. This will help you budget your trek more effectively.

  3. Be Eco-Friendly: Many tea houses are making efforts to be more sustainable. Do your part by minimising waste and using refillable water bottles.

  4. Respect Local Customs: From taking off your shoes before entering to following mealtime traditions, respecting local customs enriches your experience and endears you to your hosts.

Items to Carry, Like Sleeping Bags

While tea houses provide basic bedding, carrying a warm 4-season sleeping bag is highly recommended, especially at higher altitudes where it gets colder. Other useful items to consider are:
  1. Portable Charger: Electricity can be scarce and expensive. A portable charger ensures your devices stay powered.

  2. Water Purification Tablets: While most tea houses offer boiled water, carrying water purification tablets as a backup is a good idea.

  3. Snacks: While meals are hearty, energy bars or dried fruits can be a lifesaver during long treks between tea houses.

  4. Personal Hygiene Items: Wet wipes, hand sanitisers, and a small towel can go a long way in maintaining personal hygiene when shower facilities are basic.


The tea houses along the EBC route offer a place to rest and a unique cultural experience that enriches your journey. By knowing what to expect and how to prepare, you can make your trek a lifetime experience.

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