Unsolicited advice: Lodges on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Want to know a little more about the lodges on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek before you decide to do it? In this article, we will try to give you an impression of what awaits you there.

What are the lodges like?

Each lodge has a common room, some chairs to sit outside, any number of rooms between 5 and 30 and shared bathrooms. The rooms can be locked and there are two to four beds in each of them. There is really not much more than that but it is not like you are going to spend a lot of time in that room. They do have electric light, they are clean enough and they provide shelter in cold nights. The price per room is fixed (it was somewhere around 5 € per night) and is the same all along the trek, even though some of the lodges may offer a discount in the shoulder seasons. Food is served in the common room in the mornings and evenings while lunch is generally done in the outdoor sitting areas.

Dangers on the trek
Please be aware that trekking in the Himalayas is a potentially dangerous activity. Access to medical treatment and mountain rescue is poor. Risks include injuries caused by tripping but also sudden weather changes. Several hikers died in a unexpected snow storm in October 2014. Nepal is also in an area with a seismic activity. A devastating earthquake shook the country in April 2015. As of this date (April 27, 2015) it is not save to walk the trek. Please check the conditions before you go, and please do not walk alone.

What are the bathrooms like?

The bathrooms are shared. Some lodges also offer a few rooms with attached bathrooms or showers. Most of them have squat toilets. If you are not used to them, try to keep in mind that they are not so very bad – they do have advantages in terms of hygiene. Some of them have a flush but a bucket of water is also a frequent solution. Up to a certain level, hot showers are included in the price of room. Once you move beyond the permanent settlements, you will have to pay extra for the shower (if you want a hot shower, cold showers are still included). We did not see any shower at all at our lodge at the Annapurna Base Camp.

And the food?

All the lodges have the same menu – apart from some who add special items to attract more guests. It is all vegetarian. Dal Baat is a good choice if you are very hungry since you will get free seconds. There is always fried rice with vegetables and eggs and there is pizza. There is also garlic soup – an instant soup with lots of raw garlic added – which is said to protect against altitude sickness… For breakfast, there is muesli, pancakes or a two-eggs-any-style breakfast.

Are there any differences between the lodges at all?

While the general layout is always the same, there are large differences in terms of cleanliness, quality of the food and availability of hot water for showers. It is a very good idea to ask other travelers for recommendations. We liked Jinhu where all the lodges looked very well cared for and where we visited the hot springs. The chocolate cake in Chomrong was really good and we had rooms with mountain views there. The young guy at our lodge at Machhapuchhare Base Camp (which is not a base camp at all) was a very good cook – his Dal Baat was the best we had in Nepal.

What should I pack if I want to stay there?

You need your own sleeping bag for sure. Most lodges can also give you a blanket but the nights are cold and you would not want to rely on that. We have a full packing list here.

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This article was published on perelincolors.com

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