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For trekkers in Annapurna Circuit Trek, food and accommodation are vitally important. They are equally important if not more than the breathtaking views and amazing routes along the way. Thankfully Annapurna Circuit Trek is no short of many quality lodges and restaurants.
The iconic treks take you to the beautiful Annapurna region. You will trek through cultural settlements, lush forests, barren landscapes, and old monasteries. During the trek, you will come across stunning views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Fishtail Mountain concluding your trek in Thorong La Pass.
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Thorong La Pass is the highest pass in the world located above the altitude of 5400m. Annapurna Circuit Trek is not an impossible trek but it is one of the challenging trek. You have to cover several distances for 12 days walking several hours a day.
Hence during the trek, you need proper food and accommodation services. These are essential for you to keep going and not be sick. So if you are interested in the food and accommodation of the ACT, then let’s delve into it.
Foods During Annapurna Circuit Trek
Foods and drinks are very essential to gain energy during your trek. As the trek requires plenty of stamina and energy you must eat protein and carbohydrate-based based food. It is important to know you might get an unlimited menu in cities area but the options are limited in remote areas. So let’s take a look at some common foods you will eat during your trek.
Breakfast is a very important meal of the day simply because it is the first. It helps to kickstart your day on the trail which will be long and tough. Breakfasts are normally served at the place where you stayed overnight. To have a complete breakfast you have to wake up early. Generally, treks start quite early since you don’t want to trek in the sun.
Enjoying your delicious breakfast while basking in the sunrise among the panoramic view of the mountains will be quite an adventure. So let’s take a look at some of the options you can get on your breakfast menu.
- Tibetian Bread or Chapati
- Omlett or Boiled Egg
- Hash Brown Potatoes
- Corn Flakes
- Hot Beverages like Tea or Coffee
Along with these breakfast sets, you can also have some additional menus for your breakfast. Dishes like Paratha which is an Indian Flatbread. These paratha are served with either meat, egg, or vegetables.
Cereals are also on the menu for your breakfast. Some of the types of cereals you will be eating are porridge, muesli, and cornflakes. You can mix these cereals with either milk or yogurt to make them even more tastier.
Pancakes are additional dishes that can be in your breakfast set. They are especially liked by trekkers who love eating sweets. There are several flavors of pancakes like banana, chocolate, vanilla, and plain pancake.
Lunch is the second meal you will have during your trek. They are also a very important meal in your trek to give your body a refuel after a few hours of difficult trek. The trekkers will take a break in the middle of their adventure to have their lunch.
There is no fixed time to eat your lunch based on the availability of the teahouse in your route. You can have your lunch anytime between 11 AM to 1 PM. The lunch break is also time for you to rest or get a nap if you want.
It generally takes up to 2 hours to cook your lunch. The lunch spots are also mainly selected on the higher vantage point. This is to enjoy your lunch along with a stunning view of the mountains which can eliminate your fatigue on the spot.
Some of the menus that you can find in your lunch are:
First, Dal Bhat, or local rice and lentils is a common menu in your ACT Trek. Rice, lentils with pickles, green vegetables, and certain non-vegetarian or veg items are more common. The trekkers like to eat less Dal Bhat as they have to trek more. Dal Bhat also tends to make you drowsy so be careful how much you want to eat but they are instant sources of energy.
Roti or Flatbread is another common lunch option during the trek. They are as common as Dal Bhat and are a source of power to keep you going. They are not as heavy as rice so you won’t feel drowsy and lazy after having roti. Furthermore, they are also served alongside vegetables, pickles, or even hot drinks like tea.
Thukpa or Noodles
Thukpa is a very popular noodle soup that you can eat for either lunch or dinner. They can be either vegetarian or nonvegetarian.
Dinner is the last course of meal in a day during your trek. They are as important as the other two meals to refill your energy. You will eat dinner at your new place and stay overnight.
After ending your trek in a day you will either settle in a teahouse or lodges. You can take a brief break or go on local sightseeing before joining others for dinner. Generally, dinner takes place from 8 PM to 9 PM.
Some of the menus that you can include in your dinner are:
- Dal Bhat
- Pizzas and Burgers
- Fried Rice
- Spaghetti and Macoroni
Accommodation During ACT Trek
Accommodation during the ACT Trek changed a long time ago. Before it was common for tourists and trekkers to trek, there were no lodges. There were very less teahouses and people wouldn’t trust outsiders. So these trekkers had to camp and bring their tent to sleep overnight.
But now, the situation has changed, as there are many hotels, lodges, and teahouses in operation. Now, you don’t have to carry tents and even sleeping bags since you will have an adequate place to stay overnight.
So let’s talk about the current state of lodges and teahouses during your ACT.
Lodge and Tea Houses
Annapurna Circuit Trek has plenty of tea houses and lodges for your benefit. In city areas like Kathmandu and Pokhara, you will have options from budget hotels to expensive five-star hotels. However, as you start trekking towards isolated areas, you will find budget lodges to tea houses.
In tea houses, you will find the option of getting a twin bed and your bathroom is attached. This means you have to share your room and toilet with other trekkers. If you are a single female trekker then you will get a single room without paying more expenses.
Since it is colder during the night you will get warm blankets, bedsheets, and pillows. You can even ask for extra blankets or pillows to make you even warmer. In these tea houses, you can either stay with your trekking partners or strangers. You can talk about different adventures or even make plans to extend your trekking days together.
In the case of lodges, they are more cozier but expensive than teahouses. You can get private bathrooms and hot showers in almost every lodge which may not be in teahouses. You will not find lodges in small remote areas but will find them in large town areas.
Unlike in teahouses, you can get some extra services like free WIFI, hot water, and hot showers for free in lodges.
Apart from teahouses and lodges, you can also stay in homestays. Some parts of the Annapurna region have homestay facilities where for a certain price you can stay with homeowners themselves. They will cook you natural local food and will give you a room to stay overnight.
Features of Lodge and Teahouses
Annapurna Circuit Trek lodges and teahouses are everything you will expect when you hear about them. They are simple and budgeted places to stay overnight. They are not expensive but also do not have extra services. Teahouses have even fewer facilities than lodges in towns. So let’s take a look at some of their features.
Rooms in teahouses and lodges are simple but effective. They are not as big as three-star or five-star hotels but they still do their jobs. In lodges, you can find a single bedroom which might cost more than two bedrooms. But in teahouses, you will only get twin shared bedrooms. However, if you are not in peak season then you can find yourself alone in these teahouses where you will be able to get a single bed. You will get all the necessary items to keep yourself warm like bedsheets, blankets, and pillows.
Bathrooms and Toilets
Bathrooms and Toilets in lodges and teahouses are attached unlike in expensive hotels. In lower altitude areas or towns, you can find Western-style bathrooms with running water. However, in the secluded area, the toilets are traditional where you have to squat. There is also the problem of running water in some village areas so you have to take water in a bucket.
Hot showers are also only common in lower-area lodges. But if you pay extra then they might give you hot water for showers in teahouses.
Internet and WIFI
You can’t completely rely on the free WiFi provided by some lodges. The free WIFI at lower elevations is usually limited and inconsistent. Therefore, it is recommended to use mobile data wherever there is network coverage.
Before you go on a trek, it’s best to buy an NTC or Ncell SIM card in Kathmandu to make sure you can access mobile data at all times. With this, you can use mobile data without any interruptions or worries while you’re on the go.
You can spend $5 for 7 GB of data and $12 for 12 GB of data in Ncell and for NTC you can take unlimited data for the day for just $10.
Some Accommodation Tips
We have mentioned in the above section about your accommodation in lodges or teahouses during ACT. If you are experienced trekkers you might be familiar with the routes lodges. However, if you are a beginner it is wise to know about some simple accommodation tips.
- Always carry one extra sleeping bag in case your bed is not as comfy as you have hoped for.
- If you are planning to trek in peak season, always book your lodges or teahouses in advance.
- Do not overestimate the services that lodges and teahouses provide in higher altitudes.
- You might have to pay extra for hot showers, charging pots, and internet in teahouses. There are some exceptions where they provide them for free.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the popular trekking destinations in Nepal. They are breathtaking and challenging but equally doable if you follow basic instructions. Several factors determine the difficulty of Annapurna Circuit Trek. Let’s explain them below:
Duration and Distance
The length of Annapurna Circuit Trek ranges from 150km to 250km. You can complete the ACT within 12 days to 22 days which means you have to cover 15 to 20 km daily. Furthermore, the trek is not straightforward on a pitch-black road. Instead, you have to trek in very complex twists and turns, rocky road, and must climb 3000 steps.
The trek route is full of ups, downs, twists, and turns, and is covered with stones. If you are an experienced trekker, ACT might be moderately difficult but if you are a beginner it is quite challenging but still doable.
Another factor that makes ACT challenging is the possibility of altitude sickness. During the trek you have to trek upwards of 5000m altitude so the possibility of sickness is quite high. You have to recognize your symptoms like dizziness, headache, fever, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, nausea etc.
To prevent altitude sickness you must not rush to the higher altitude quickly. So it is always recommended to gradually ascend and descend the trails. It is also wise to keep yourself warm all the time by wearing appropriate clothes. Also, drink plenty of water to not suffer from dehydration as it is also one of the causes of altitude sickness.