Trekking the Annapurna Circuit is a unique and rewarding experience that offers trekkers stunning mountain views, diverse cultural experiences, and opportunities to explore the natural beauty of Nepal. Trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit often find themselves in remote areas with few options for food and drink.
It is important to be prepared for this before starting your trek. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your food and drink while on the trail.
Where do you eat?
There are a few different types of places to eat along the Annapurna Circuit. The first is teahouses. These small, family-run businesses provide basic accommodation and food for trekkers. Teahouses are found in most villages along the trail and offer simple Nepali dishes such as dal bhat (rice and lentils), momos (dumplings), and thukpa (noodle soup).
The second type of place to eat is a lodge. These are larger, commercial establishments offering a wider range of food and services than teahouses. Lodges are found in some of the larger villages along the trail, such as Manang and Muktinath.
The third type of place to eat is a campsite. Campsites are found in some of the more remote areas of the trail and offer basic accommodation and food for trekkers. Campsites typically have a kitchen tent where you can purchase hot meals, such as soup, noodles, and rice dishes.
What kind of food can you expect?
The food on the Annapurna Circuit is simple and hearty. Teahouses and lodges typically offer Nepali staples such as dal bhat (rice and lentils), momos (dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), and roti (flatbread). These dishes are usually served with a choice of vegetables, such as cabbage, potatoes, and spinach. While the food is not necessarily exciting, it is filling and will give you the energy you need to hike each day.
If you are looking for something a little more adventurous, you can also find Western food options such as pizzas, burgers, and fries in some of the larger teahouses. However, these dishes are often more expensive than Nepali food and may not be as fresh. It is always best to stick with the local cuisine when possible.
What about drinks?
The most popular drink on the Annapurna Circuit is, of course, tea. Tea houses will offer various teas, such as black tea, green tea, and herbal tea. You can also find coffee in some of the larger teahouses, but it is typically not as good as the tea.
If you are looking for something a little stronger, you can also find beer and other alcoholic beverages in some of the teahouses. However, remember that alcohol can dehydrate you, which is not ideal when trekking at high altitudes. And few drink may not to be suitable to drink during some season too. It is best to stick with non-alcoholic options such as tea or water.
Is meat available?
Yes, meat is available on the Annapurna Circuit. However, it is important to note that most of the meat served on the trail is local yak meat. If you are not a fan of yak meat, chicken and vegetarian options are available in most teahouses and lodges.
However, it is important to remember that most of the meat will be local and may not be processed in the same way as it is in Western countries. It is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to eating meat while trekking.
What about snacks?
A variety of snacks are available on the Annapurna Circuit, such as biscuits, chocolate, and fruit. You can also find instant noodles, which are great for a quick and easy meal. However, it is important to remember that the food options will be limited in the more remote areas of the trail like Thorung La Pass. It is always best to pack enough snacks to last you a few days, just in case.
When is the best time to eat?
The best time to eat is in the evening after arriving at your teahouse or lodge for the night. This way, you can relax and enjoy a hot meal before turning in for the night.
If you are trekking during the day, you must stop for lunch to refuel your body. Most teahouses and lodges will have a lunch menu with simple dishes such as soup, noodles, and rice. you can also find snacks such as biscuits, chocolate, and fruit to tide you over until dinner.
What about food safety?
The food on the Annapurna Circuit is generally safe to eat. However, it is important to remember that the food options will be limited in the more remote areas of the trail like Thorung La Pass. It is always best to pack enough snacks to last you a few days, just in case.
When it comes to food safety, it is always best to err on the side of caution. If you are unsure about a particular dish, it is best to avoid it. Stick with simple dishes that you know won’t upset your stomach.
What Shouldn’t You Eat During a Trek?
There are a few things that you should avoid eating during a trek, such as:
- Tap water ( unless it has been boiled )
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables
- Raw meat or fish
- Dairy products ( unless they have been pasteurized )
- Alcoholic beverages ( as they can dehydrate you )
If you stick to simple, cooked dishes and wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly, you should be able to avoid any problems with food poisoning.
What are some of the best dishes to eat on the trail?
There are a few dishes that are particularly popular with trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit, such as:
- Tibetan bread with honey and butter
- Potato pancakes
- Momos (Tibetan dumplings)
- Thukpa (Tibetan noodle soup)
- Sherpa stew
These dishes are generally hearty and filling, which is perfect for trekkers who need a lot of energy to make it through the day. If you are vegetarian or have special dietary requirements, don’t worry! There are plenty of options available, such as veggie momos and thukpa. Just be sure to specify your dietary restrictions when ordering.
Costs of Food and Drinks on the Trek
The cost of food and drinks on the Annapurna Circuit will depend on a few factors, such as where you are staying and what you are eating. Generally, you can expect to pay around $15-20 per day for three meals and a few snacks. This does not include the cost of lodging, which is typically around $30 per night. If you are trekking during the high season (March-May and October-November), you can expect to pay slightly more for food and lodging.
What should you do if you get food poisoning?
Assuming you have the unfortunate experience of getting food poisoning while on the Annapurna Circuit, you should take a few steps. First, try to identify what made you sick. This will be important information to share with a doctor or healthcare professional. If you can’t figure it out on your own, ask someone who cooked your food or served you.
Next, drink lots of fluids. This will help to prevent dehydration, which can be dangerous. Make sure to drink water or an electrolyte solution like Gatorade. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can further dehydrate you.
If you vomit or have diarrhea, take care to replace the fluids and electrolytes you are losing. This is especially important for young children and the elderly. They can become dehydrated very quickly and may need to be hospitalized.
Food poisoning can be very serious, especially at high altitudes. The best course of action is to descend to a lower altitude as soon as possible. If you cannot do this, you should seek out medical help. Your insurance should cover you for evacuation if necessary.
The Annapurna Circuit is one of the most popular trekking routes in Nepal. It offers stunning scenery, a variety of cultures, and plenty of adventure. When planning your trek, it is important to keep in mind that the food options will be limited in the more remote areas. Pack enough snacks to last you a few days, and be sure to eat plenty of protein and carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up. Most importantly, drink lots of fluids and avoid eating anything that might make you sick. You can have an amazing experience on the Annapurna Circuit with a little planning!
Do you have any tips for trekking in Nepal? Share them in the comments below!