For the traveler who is looking for a more authentic experience while trekking in Nepal, homestay trekking is the best way to go. Tea house trekking has become a popular option in Nepal in recent years, as it is much easier and less strenuous than traditional trekking. However, because tea houses are found along the trail and are catering to tourists, they can be quite expensive and lack the authentic atmosphere that homestay trekking provides.
With homestay trekking, you will be accompanied by a local Nepali family who will provide you with all of your meals and lodgings during your trek. This is a great opportunity to get along with Nepali culture and to make friends with local people. You will also have the chance to see the real Nepal, as tea houses are mainly found in popular tourist areas, while villages where locals live are only accessible on foot or by bicycle.
Trekking In Nepal
Trekking in Nepal is one of the adventurous tourist activity to explore its trails. There are two main types of trekking in Nepal: Tea House Trekking and Homestay Trekking.
Tea house trekking is more popular, as it offers a greater range of trails and is less expensive. However, homestay trekking is becoming more and more popular, as it offers a more authentic experience of Nepali culture.
In tea house trekking, you will be stopping at various tea houses along the way, where you can purchase food and drinks. In homestay trekking, you will be staying with Nepali families, who will prepare your meals and provide accommodations.
So why choose homestay trekking over tea house trekking? Here are three reasons:
- Homestay trekking offers a more authentic experience of Nepali culture.
- You will have the opportunity to interact with local families and learn about their way of life.
- Homestay trekking is often more affordable than tea house trekking.
What Is Homestay Trekking?
Tea house treks are the more popular option, but they come with a few drawbacks. For one, you’re limited to the tea houses and lodges that are scattered along the trails. This can mean uncomfortable and crowded conditions, as well as less-than-ideal food options.
With homestay trekking, on the other hand, you’ll be welcomed into the home of a local family. You’ll get to know them and their culture better, and you’ll enjoy home-cooked meals made with fresh, local ingredients. You’ll also have a comfortable place to sleep each night, with no need to worry about noisy tea house guests or sharing a room with strangers.
One of the most famous homestay trekking destination in Nepal is Millennium trek, whichtrekking route runs from Dulegaunda of Tanahun to Rambachha of Syangja district. It is an approximately 72-kilometre long trekking route that traverses through the middle hills of Gandaki Province.
Advantages of Homestay Trekking Over Tea House Trekking
There are many advantages of opting for a homestay trekking over tea house trekking. Here are some primary reasons for choosing a homestay trek:
You’ll Get to Know the Real Nepal:
When you trek with a homestay family, you’ll get to know the real Nepal. You’ll learn about their culture, customs, and way of life. This is a unique opportunity that you won’t get if you opt for tea house trekking.
You’ll Get to Taste Local Food:
Local food has the classic taste and you will get opportunity to explore some of the best food here. When you’re trekking in Nepal, you’ll have the opportunity to taste some of the best local dishes such as Dal, Bhaat, Dhindo, and more. Also, from momos (dumplings) to thukpas (noodle soup), you’ll be spoilt for choice.
You’ll Get to Sleep in a Real Nepali Home:
When you stay in a tea house, you’re basically paying for a night in a hotel. But when you stay with a local family, you’ll get to sleep in their home and experience their way of life firsthand.
You’ll Save Money:
Tea houses can be quite expensive, especially if you’re traveling solo or as a couple. But if you stay with a local family, your accommodation and food will be included in a total cost of your trekking package.
How to Plan a Homestay Trek
So you’ve decided to go with homestay trekking—now what? Well, planning your trek is totally different from planning a tea house trek.
Firstly, it’s important to plan your trek in advance and book with a reputable homestay agency. This will allow them to arrange for an experienced guide and the necessary supplies for your trek. Secondly, you need to make sure being ready and packing the right gear for the different climates you will experience during the trek. And last but not least, be avail with food and snacks to keep you going during the more challenging parts of the adventure for yourself.
The great thing about homestay treks is that you can go at your own pace, rather than having to stick to an already-established itinerary like in tea house treks. So if you want some extra time in a village or an extra day of resting at one of the campsites, just let your guide know and they will be able to adjust accordingly.
Effective Strategies to Make the Most Out of Your Homestay Trek
To make the most out of your homestay trekking experience, it’s important to be prepared and plan ahead. Here are some tips that I’ve found to be very helpful in getting the most out of my homestay trekking adventures in Nepal:
Research & Assessment:
Do research on the area and lifestyle of the people living there. This will help you understand what to expect and ensure that you don’t show up unprepared.
Your backpack can get heavy while carrying all your supplies, so pack lightly with only essential items. Choose a quality backpack that is designed for comfort during long treks.
When visiting a village, it’s polite to bring small gifts from your region like candy or trinkets for kids. It’s also customary to offer donations for meals and accommodations if the family agrees.
Respect Local Culture & Customs:
Respect local cultures and customs by dressing appropriately, using appropriate greetings, and being mindful about your behavior in public spaces. You’ll find that these simple gestures are appreciated by the locals.
By applying these strategies, you will have an enjoyable homestay trekking experience as you explore authentic Nepal!
Choosing Between Tea House and Homestay Trekking: Pros and Cons
When it comes to deciding which type of trekking to do in Nepal, there are some pros and cons to each. One of the main advantages of tea house trekking is that it requires less than homestays, as you don’t have to carry all your stuff with you.
On the other hand, homestay trekking gives you the opportunity to stay in small villages and get insights of what life is like for locals. You can stay in traditional Nepalese homes, get to know the locals, learn about their culture, and even participate in their daily activities. You’ll also get to enjoy authentic Nepalese cuisine that cannot be found in tea houses.
Lastly, if you’re looking for an experience that is more off the beaten path and authentic than a tea house trek, then homestay trekking is definitely for you. It takes a bit more effort than a tea house trek but can offer a unique insight into local life and culture that regular tourists don’t usually get the chance to see.