Namche Bazaar is a tiny town at 3,440m / 11,286 ft being the final town of Everest Region Trek. Namche Bazaar is located at Khumbu Pasang Lhamu in Solukhumbu District of Province 1, Nepal and the Himalayan Region of Nepal as Nepal is divided into three regions: Himalayan, Hilly, and Terai. Though it is termed as a town, it is a small village with less than 100 dwellings. It has the facilities and services of a bank, pub, bakery, various stores, trekking gear shops, snooker pool at such high altitude in the Everest Region so it is termed as a town. One can reach Namche from Lukla on a day but it is dangerous for visitors due to the high altitude however, locals usually do it.
Namche Bazaar is the staging point for expeditions to Everest along with other Himalayan peaks of the Everest Region as well as for trekking in Everest Region. It is unbelievable to see the set up of Namche Bazaar. Namche village is located on crescent-shaped hilly slopes that offer stunning views of community and mountains across the valley.
History of Namche Bazaar
In ancient times, Namche village was a point for trading yak cheese and butter in exchange for agricultural goods of lower altitude. After, the successful expedition of Mount Everest in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, Namche Bazaar felt the new wave of climbers and trekkers with a new demand. In the 60s and 70s, the flood of tourists entirely changed their bartering system and lead to the tourism industry. Namche Bazaar is a junction of trekking trails of the Everest Region which also supported upgrading as today’s popular town at high altitude and best serving the meet of travelers. Additionally, Namche is the 1st place in Khumbu trek that is above altitude sickness doorstep so trekking/ expedition is continued after spending a couple of nights at Namche Bazaar. This enables travelers to cope with high altitude and reduce the risk of altitude sickness. Travelers tend to explore Sherpa village-like Syangboche, Thame, Khumjung, and Khunde while staying at Namche. Despite the village’s popularity and high demand, geographical restraints have paused its growth in terms of settlements (housing).
Namche Bazaar Today
Every year travelers around the globe pass by Namache Bazaar to complete their 15 Days Everest Base Camp trek or expedition of Mount Everest and other trekking and trails within the area which makes Namche Bazaar the prosperous village of Nepal in terms of nature as well as wealth. According to Nepal Government statistics, it is the wealthiest district with 7 times the average national income and twice that of Kathmandu. Namche Bazaar not just has abundant hotels and restaurants but also has museums, the stupa, monastery, cafes, snooker pool house, and stocked stores that aid in their economic prosperity. Yet Namche still retains the ancient culture, traditions, and warming hospitality. You can observe Tibetan cultural artifacts to trekking/climbing equipment and everything you might need during the trip.
Things to Do at Namche Bazaar:
- You can take a short hike to nearby villages (like Syangboche, Thame, Khumjung, Khunde) for views and acclimatization.
- You can visit the Sagarmatha National Park Visitor’s Centre for information related to wildlife in the region and some interesting photographs.
- You can explore the Museum of Sherpa Life to know about Sherpa culture as well as the fauna and flora of the region.
- Go to the Museum of local medicinal plants and Tibetan herbal medicine to explore herbal medicine and Tibetan medicinal process through artifacts and posters.
- If you are a bookworm, you would love to be at Namche Library
- You can observe Namche Monastery.
- Every Saturday morning, the Namche market is carried out where you can see the real local market of villages in the area and enjoy the chaos of locals for selling and buying.
- If you are planning to visit Namche in June, you should not miss the Dumjee Festival of the Khumbu Region. Dumjee Festival (lunar calendar fifth month 9-17) is about Sherpa Lama showcasing lama dances, traditional Sherpa dances, and traditional ceremonies.
- You can purchase woolen items made locally or other handicrafts carried over from Tibet.
- You can add your necessities for the rest of your trip, exchange currency (low rate than Kathmandu and Lukla)
- You can try traditional dishes as Rigi Kur (potato pancakes covered with yak butter, a sauce made of cheese and spices named Sorma, not listed in the menu but you can request at your hotel), Tzen (heavy pate of millet and flavored spices), Thukpa (hot soup with noodle), Thenduk/Thenkthuk (hot soup with hand-pulled noodle), Yak cheese items.
- You can also go for movies related to Sherpa and Mt.Everest.