Namche Bazaar

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Namche Bazaar- the Gateway of Everest situates at Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality (previously Namche Village Development Committee) of Solukhumbu district of Province no 1, eastern Nepal. The town of Namche elevates at 3440m (11286 ft) above sea level.

Populating the sides of a hill Namche Bazaar is the staging point for expeditions to Everest and other Himalayan peaks of the Khumbu region. It has developed into a small, colorful market town selling everything from Tibetan artifacts to trekking and climbing equipment and everything you might need during your trip.

Earlier, Namche Bazaar was a trading hub for the locals of nearby inhabitants. Once a major trading center of the Khumbu region, Sherpas from neighboring villages and traders from Tibet would gather to barter goods displaying exotic traditional arts and crafts. After Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's successfully climbed Mt. Everest in 1953, the dynamics of the Namche continued as a trading hub. Now Namche Bazaar is the main trading center for the Khumbu region with many Nepalese officials, a police check post, internet cafes, luxurious lodges, and branches of some banks with ATM lounges.

Besides, as Namche is in the first place on the Khumbu trek that is above the altitude sickness threshold, most travelers prefer to spend at least two nights here in order to acclimatize. Immediately west of Namche is Kongde Ri at 6,187 meters (20,299 ft) and to the east is Thamserku at 6,623 meters (21,729 ft).

It is wise to halt here for a couple of days to get acclimatized by walking up and down in the vicinity as acclimatization is a slow process. A visit to Syangboche or some Sherpa villages like Thame, Khumjung, and Khunde just a few hours walk from Namche are good options for whiling away your time, which also helps you get acclimatized.

Every Saturday morning, Namche Bazaar gears up for the weekly market fair which lights up the place. This fair puts the spotlight on the middle of the town, where traders from Tibet and neighboring villages display their wares and essential goods to attract potential customers.

Presently a significant gateway to Everest, Namche Bazaar has become a bustling traveler center where climbers and adventurers can do last minute shopping for basics.

Weather and Climate conditions in Namche Bazaar

The climate and atmosphere in Namche Bazaar are influenced by its elevation and geography. Spring (March to May) and summer (June to August) are comfortably warm. In spring the colorful blooms of rhododendron and cherries make your trip awesome. Precipitation occurs during monsoon (June/July). In the autumn (September to November), this region encounters somewhat temperature with humidity and wind. In winter (December to February), the temperature declines up to - 15 to – 30 and it turns a little hard for trekking in this region.

Culture tradition and lifestyle in Namche Bazaar

Sherpa and their descendants are the dwellers in Namche Bazar for hundreds of years. People believe that these Sherpas were migrated here from Tibet, an independent part of China. They came here trekking over the northern mountains and began staying around. Progressively, Namche got one of the principal business center points in Khumbu.

Trekkers can witness the busy lifestyles in Namche Bazaar. Individuals in Namche are merry, loyal, and helpful. They are remarkable in view of their astonishing customs and culture that they have been rehearsing for ages. All of them are decorated with their cultural dresses. Most of them are found articulating Buddhist mantras while spinning their prayer beads.

 Opening the window of the teahouses, you can see the panoramic views of the Himalayas, landscapes, and greeneries around. The lodges are full of beautiful pictures, drawings, and the traditional objects used for decorations.

Available services: Banking and Health Facilities

Namche is popular for its busiest trading hub for the climbers, expeditioners, trekkers, and locals. Some of the amenities related to banking and health are available now. Some banks have extended their branches there. Siddhartha and Kumari Bank have kept their ATM machines there. Some local clinics are built and one can get good health care there. Namche Dental had been established there which is only a dental clinic entire Khumbu section.

How to Get to Namche Bazaar from Kathmandu

Amid a couple of other options, most of the travelers fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and trek Namche from there. In the peak months, the flights may redirect to Ramechhap’s Manthali airport which takes 4-5 hours to drive from Kathmandu. Most of the flights to the Himalayan section operate in the morning. For those who are short on time, you can still take a helicopter from Kathmandu to Lukla.

Landing at Lukla, Namche is still several hours' walk away. Most of the trekkers spread it over two stopping at Phakding for the first night. From here you need to pass a steep trail so is quite a challenging day's walk. But the rewards are also high and include the high Hillary Suspension Bridge and your first glimpse of Everest through the trees.

Another option to get Namche is ‘By road and on Foot’. Trekkers who want to avoid the flight to Lukla and enjoy more time trekking, can take a Jeep to Jiri or Phaplu from Kathmandu (about a day's journey), and then trek to Lukla and following the Dudh Koshi river gorge to Namche Bazaar spending 6-8 days.

One more choice to land Namche Bazaar is using a helicopter. Travelers who are eager to explore Everest Base Camp and the whole Khumbu region can use an itinerary of the Everest Heli Tour.  Traveling from Kathmandu to the Everest region by helicopter is an unforgettable experience. You’ll leave from the domestic terminal of Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport, and arrive in Lukla less than an hour later. Then the helicopter takes you to Everest Base Camp and will get back to Namche for breakfast. This is the easiest way to get to Namche Bazaar.

Things to do in Namche Bazaar

Visit oldest Sherpa house

Trekkers can explore the oldest Sherpa house in Namche which is popular as Khangba Ningbo. A two-story stone house Khangba Ngingba is nearly 150 years old. This house has preserved some of the antique drawings, ancient appliances,s and a temple inside a room of the house.

Explore Namche market

Namche Bazaar is a market as its name reveals. Every Saturday morning, local traders from the nearby settlements spread out their agricultural products, trekking gears, clothing, electric and electronic goods carried from Kathmandu on land above the main path into town. Some of the gears and equipment kept for sale may be useful for the visitors as well. If they lack some obligatory gears, can buy there although they cost higher. Check out the yak "parking area" above the market - though don't get too close. Yaks are notoriously ill-tempered.

Sojourn Sherpa museum

Sherpa Museum is located beside the military compound at 3555m. You can walk through and learn about Sherpa culture and the way of living. A massive statue of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and an astonishing view of Mt. Everest and its neighboring peaks makes the journey special. Most of the trekkers visit here on their second day of acclimatization at Namche Bazaar.

Hike to Shangbouche Hill

Elevating at 3900/ 12795 ft above sea level, Sangbouche Hill offers the perfect views of the mountains. You can witness stunning views of Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, Thamserku, Khumbila, and Konde Ri. As the atmosphere around here is quiet and peaceful, trekkers spend a couple of hours soaking up the mountain sceneries.

A side trip to the Everest View Hotel

Everest View Hotel is established to view the highest peak of the world- Mt Everest and its neighboring peaks as Ama Dablam, Lhotse, and Nuptse. This popular hike begins with sheer climbing via stairs and continues via fir woodlands. In spring, you will be welcomed by the blooming rhododendrons.

This hotel offers an aerial view of Mt Everest from every room. It is a luxurious hotel which charges $164 doubles, with meals. For travelers who cannot afford to accommodate in this hotel, the terrace is available to view the mountains.

An interesting fact of this hotel is it is the highest altitude hotel in the world and is enlisted in the Guinness World Book of Records.

Hike to Thame Village

Trekkers wishing to experience a new culture and lifestyles of Sherpa people take a sidewalk to Thame village. This village situates at 9.2km away from Namche Bazaar. You need to have some physical strength to reach there because the way is somehow jig jagged and wild.

The traditional village of Thame is home to some of the Nepalese mountaineers of Nepal.

If your bucket list includes experiencing a new culture, prepare to mark it done with a visit to Thame village. Meeting the locals, you can ask about their lifestyles cultural performances, and the traditions they do-follow. Sanasa, a historical marketplace to buy handicrafts from the sellers around. One more, you can visit Thame monastery- the oldest monastery in the Khumbu region. 

Ascend Khumjung and Khunde Village

Khumjung and Khunde are popular as the twin villages. Rambling around these villages is the perfect option for a day hike. Walking around the village, trekkers can observe the warmth of Sherpa culture, the taste of local eateries; observe several Mani walls and prayer flags along with the astonishing views of the tall peaks from different angles.

Khumjung is the biggest settlement entire Khumbu region elevating at 3,790m above sea level situates at the foot of the sacred peak Khumbila. Here, you can visit Khumbu School, a well-known school in the entire Khumbu region which was established in 1960.

Khunde, a neighboring village lies just above Khumjung village and elevates at 3850m. The views from Kunde are even better than the previous village. Aside you can find Khunde Hospital built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1996 and has been serving numerous patients each year.

Final Say

Namche Bazaar is a great place to visit which contains many bakeries, great coffees, internet cafes, and bank and health services with fantastic views of the mountains. This village has been undergoing a facelift for the last some years and it keeps looking better and better keeping with its natural surroundings. In Namche one can find lots of accommodation available and plenty of stores for last-minute shopping required for your trekking before continuing on the journey. This village also has the last ATM to withdraw cash. Namche Bazaar is also a junction and plays an important role for trekkers, going to EBC trek or Gokyo Lakes Trek or the Everest high passes trek.

Krishna Sapkota

Krishna is a content writer and tour guide of Holy Mountain Treks. As a guide and a writer, he has paid a visit to almost all the touristic destinations in Nepal. He has also been to major Trekking termini in Nepal. By means of his personal knowledge and experiences, he responds all your interrogations, creates blogs, articles and develops itineraries for your trips.

Krishna has been working in tourism sector since 2017, as he was running his Masters' degree. Afterward the accomplishment of his graduation, he is fully keen in this industry.

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