Food, drink, and accommodations in the Annapurna Circuit trek
The Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the finest Himalayan trek that circles the Annapurna mountain range in northwestern Nepal. This iconic trek takes you through lush subtropical forests, charming traditional villages, and high-altitude desert landscapes. The hike offers a thrilling challenge cumulating at the Thorong La Pass at 5,416m. Along the way, you'll enjoy the views of towering peaks, including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machapuchare, and Manaslu in the background. In this article, we will focus on food, drink, and accommodations in the Annapurna Circuit trek.
The trek's cultural richness is equally captivating, with encounters with Gurung, Thakali, and Manange communities, their warm hospitality, and vibrant traditions. The Annapurna Circuit is a transformative journey through Nepal's natural wonders and cultural tapestry.
Due to the diverse ethnic settlements along the Annapurna Circuit, you will get an opportunity to experience different food, drink, and accommodations in the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Food: remaining well nourished
Maintaining proper nourishment while trekking the Annapurna Circuit is crucial, as this trek requires plenty of energy and stamina. Though you will not get all the choices in big cities, you will get plenty of nutritious, hygienic, and delicious food. Here are some foods you need to try.
Dal Bhat Tarkari - The Staple Dish
Over half of the people around the world eat rice as a staple and Nepal is also a rice nation. The Nepali name for rice is Bhat, for lentils is Dal, and curry is known as Tarkari. Rice is generally boiled and served with lentil soup and curry. The curry is mostly vegetables, but it can include meat. Often, you will also get pickles. Dal Bhat is not only delicious but dense with carbohydrates, making it an ideal choice for trekkers.
Momos (Delicious Dumplings), Noodles and Pasta
Momos are the second most famous food in Nepal. These dumplings are a variation of Tibetan dumplings, and they come filled with a variety of ingredients, such as vegetables and meat (usually chicken or buffalo). They are typically served with a tangy dipping sauce, and Nepalis enjoy momos as a comforting snack or even a meal.
You'll find a range of noodle dishes on the menu at teahouses and guesthouses along the Annapurna Circuit. Whether you prefer classic Nepali-style chow mein or pasta dishes with various sauces, these options provide a welcome change from rice-based meals.
You can also enjoy various international cuisines along the way. In larger settlements, you can order from menus offering pizza, burgers, pancakes, different types of bread (chapati, Tibetan bread, toast), porridge, muesli, etc. These options can provide a taste of home while trekking in the Himalayas.
In addition to the staples, some teahouses may offer local specialties, such as yak meat burgers, buckwheat-based items, and Gundruk (fermented green leafy vegetables). These dishes provide a unique opportunity to explore the regional flavors of the Annapurna region.
Snacks and Energy Boosters
While trekking, it's essential to stay fueled and hydrated. You can buy a range of snacks, including chocolate bars, energy bars, nuts, and dried fruits, to keep your energy levels up during the trek. However, if you are budget-conscious, consider buying these snacks from Kathmandu.
Most teahouses are accommodating when it comes to dietary preferences and restrictions. Vegetarian and vegan options are readily available, and teahouses can often adjust dishes to suit your tastes. However, as you ascend to higher altitudes, your food choices become limited and more expensive.
Drinks: Staying hydrated while trekking
Hydration is crucial during high-altitude treks, as you will be respiring more and losing more water. There are various options to remain hydrated.
Water is the most essential for hydration, and it also helps to avoid altitude sickness. You can certainly buy bottled water from en-route shops and teahouses, but it is not environmentally friendly. Instead, we advise you to carry a reusable water bottle and use water purification methods, such as water purification tablets, or buy boiled water available at teahouses. Please make sure you do not drink from local taps, rivers, or wells because the water may not be potable.
Tea and Coffee
Tea and coffee are popular choices to warm up and relax at teahouses. You'll find various types of tea, including black tea, herbal tea, and masala tea (spiced tea). Though Nepal is a tea nation, coffee lovers can enjoy freshly brewed Nepali coffee or instant coffee. These warm beverages are not just comforting but can also energize you during your trek.
Soft Drinks and Juices
Some teahouses offer a selection of soft drinks, such as cola, soda, and fruit juices. While these can be refreshing, they are a bit more expensive than other beverages due to the logistical challenges of transportation to remote areas.
Along the way, you might encounter local beverages like apple brandy or various fruit wines. These specialty drinks offer a taste of the region's culture and can be a delightful treat, especially in colder weather. However, drink in moderation, as alcohol can cloud your judgment in the rough terrain, which can prove hazardous.
Rest: Accommodations along the trail
The Annapurna Circuit offers a range of accommodations, from basic teahouses to more comfortable guesthouses. Please note that even though Annapurna Circuit is a remote trek, the lodges/teahouses are at crucial trek points, so you do not need to spend nights in tent camps unless you intend to get that experience.
Here is a brief overview of what accommodation facilities are available.
These are the most common and traditional forms of accommodation along the Annapurna Circuit. These rustic lodgings offer simple rooms with basic amenities. Here are some key features of teahouses:
Teahouses typically provide a bed with blankets, a shared bathroom (often squat toilets), and communal dining areas. Teahouse owners are warm and welcoming, and the environment is friendly. You can socialize with fellow trekkers, share your experiences, and find out about trail conditions in the tea houses. Electricity is available, so you must charge your devices here. You can also enjoy warm baths by paying a small fee
Guesthouses & lodges
In larger villages and towns, you'll find more comfortable guesthouses and lodges. These accommodations offer additional amenities, including private rooms with attached bathrooms and hot showers. The rooms are quite comfortable, and most of them have WiFi services. Almost all of these guesthouses and lodges have restaurant facilities, offering local and international dishes. Some lodges provide heating in rooms, which can be a welcome relief on cold nights. Most of these lodges are built in attractive spots so that you can enjoy the rustic mountain views.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is a high-altitude trek, so as you trek higher into the Annapurna region, there are a few considerations you need to make regarding food, drink, and accommodations. As you ascend, your food choices get limited, and food gets expensive. Due to thin and dry air, you will be respiring fast, so you must hydrate yourself frequently. If you are trekking in colder months, you must stay in guesthouses/lodges that offer heated rooms. We hope you now know enough about the food, drink, and accommodation in the Annapurna Circuit Trek, but for the experience, you must do the trek.
Nepalis are very welcoming and hospitable people, so during the Annapurna Circuit Trek, you can learn about local ethnic Nepali culture. Do not be surprised if you are invited to join local festivities.
As a leading trek and tour company, we ensure that our valuable clients make the most out of their treks. Our guides will recommend the dishes for you. We also hand-select the lodges and restaurants in trek regions for quality to ensure your trek is excellent. If you need help booking the Annapurna Circuit Trek, you can call/WhatsApp/Viber us at +977-9840055491 or email [email protected]