Tibetan food options at Rongbuk Monastery - trekking to Everest Base Camp


WindhorseTour Travel Team's picture

If you are interested in trekking and feel drawn by the enchanting landscapes of Tibet, then Everest Base Camp (or E.B.C) is the place for you to visit! On your way to conquering Mount Everest, the world's highest peak at 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level, you can enjoy amazing views of snow-capped mountains and star-studded night skies, as well as the opportunity to sample unique Tibetan foods and experience the Tibetan way of life in local tea tents and canteens along the way.

 Rongbuk Monastery, the closest cafeteria and guest house to E.B.C. at 8 kilometers (5 miles) away, offers a variety of Tibetan food options for trekkers, including butter tea and tsampa, which are universal staples for Tibetan people.

Butter tea is a mixture of yak butter and strong brick tea churned together with a wooden stick until it becomes a frothy mixture. The resulting milky beverage is both sweet and salty and will leave you feeling warm and refreshed even on the coldest winter day. Not only that, a bowl of steaming buttered tea is a good choice if you need to restore your energy after a long, tiring day of travel. 

Tsampa is another delicious snack commonly found on the Tibetan Plateau. This mealy treat is made of highland barley which is dried in the sun, fried in the husks, and then ground to flour. If you share many meals with Tibetans, you might be surprised to find that tsampa is served at nearly every meal. Often, buttered tea is served alongside tsampa, and the two are mixed together in a small bowl and rolled into a dough ball by hand and then eaten alongside the rest of the meal.

Besides the two above-mentioned Tibetan staples, a number of other Tibetan and Chinese fare, such as noodles, fried dishes, and rice, are also available at Rongbuk Monastery. Water and ready-made canned foods can also be procured. Outside of Rongbuk, however, there are few food and drink options on the long trek across Tibet to Everest Base Camp.  Therefore, we suggest that you pack some of your favorite snacks and bring plenty of bottled water when you depart for your trip.

In addition to food supply concerns, it is important to note that weather in Tibet can fluctuate quickly and the temperature can drop very low at night regardless of the season, so it is advisable to pack an extra jacket or other layer of clothing for the evenings. Additionally, make sure to carry enough cash with you to cover any contingencies that might arise, because there are no banks or ATMs along the way.

While in Lhasa or other gateway cities, you can easily buy warmer clothing, grab whatever food and money you want to bring with you, and cover any other travel essentials that need to be dealt with before you depart.

If you enjoy tour packages, there are a number of group travel options such as an 8 day tour to E.B.C or an 8 day tour from Lhasa to Kathmadu via E.B.C to make your Everest Base Camp dreams a reality.

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