Namche Bazaar – Mt Everest, Trekking, Sherpa Lifestyle, Khumbu Culture
Namche Bazaar is one of the touristic destinations of Nepal, which is also widely popular because it is a gateway to the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest.
Namche Bazaar lies in Solukhumbu district in province no. 1 in the Eastern part of Nepal at an altitude of 3440m from the sea level. It is 137 KM to the Northeast from Kathmandu.
The bazaar, which literally means a marketplace, is a major hub for tourists trying to summit Everest or trekking to various routes around Khumbu region. Even though the place is small in size, its beauty doesn’t fail to amaze tourists with its peculiar dense circular shape.
One can easily get access to facilities of foods and accommodation, souvenirs, trekking equipment and any other necessary materials. This bustling town witnesses quite a lot crowd since most of the tourists stay a day or two for acclimatization.
Namche Bazaar is a junction from where different trekking trails of Everest region diverge. The tourists can see the glorious views of mountain range day and night from Namche Bazaar.
Map of Namche Bazaar
How to reach Namche Bazaar?
In order to reach Namche Bazaar, one has to take a flight from Kathmandu until Lukla. There are plenty of regular flights to Lukla on a daily basis.
From Lukla, the experienced tourists can reach Namche Bazaar in a day.
But hey! Just the experienced ones.
The beginners might get altitude sickness and also it’s challenging. Two days of trekking is recommended.
If you don’t want to take flights, there is also an option of going to Namche Bazaar by bus. There is no direct bus going to Namche but you have two options.
First, you can take a bus until Shivalaya and then trek for about 5-6 days. And the second option is taking a bus until Salleri, which is about 9-10 hours drive from Kathmandu and then trek for around 3 days.
In Namche you will have to submit two documents; one is TIMS card and another is national park ticket.
Namche Bazaar Weather
Since Namche Bazaar is at an altitude of more than 3000 m, it’s obviously cold and dry. However, the summers are a bit warmer as compared to winter.
The average temperature of Namche Bazaar during winter in the month of January is -1 degree Celsius and that of summer is 11/12 degree Celsius during the month of July. During the night in winter, the temperature falls between -6 to -8 degree Celsius.
The beauty of traveling to Namche during winter is clearer sky presenting more opportunity for travelers to see the clearer picture of majestic mountains.
Similarly, summer might witness persistent mists, which also means an unclear and blurred view of mountain ranges.
In the time of monsoon, the temperature is moderate, however, the trails get muddy because of frequent rain.
The best time to visit Namche would be during the month of September to November and also during spring.
Namche Market/ Saturday Market
Every Saturday morning, Namche Bazaar relishes in its heart with a weekly market. Before being noted as a tourist hub, Namche was once known for trading hub between Tibetan people and other villagers.
In these markets, Traders from Tibet and surrounding come up with electronic goods brought from urban areas, agricultural products, and cultural arts trying to persuade travelers/trekkers to buy them.
This market vividly presents the local life of Khumbu region people and might also be an opportunity for travelers to get souvenirs.
Saturday market is also a chance for tourists to buy trekking gears if you’ve missed out any because you will get the best deals at the cheapest price. Do not forget to bargain while you’re trying to buy the products there.
Dumjee/ Dumji festival
Dumjee/Dumji festival is one of the greatest festivals of Sherpas in Khumbu region. Dumji festival falls in the month of May or June every year.
The purpose of this festival is to commemorate the Guru Ringboche’s birth on Lotus flower marking some customary rites and rituals.
Sherpas gather around, dance, drink, eat and celebrate this festival.
On the final day of this festival, people unite and a great celebration is held in Namche Monastery.
Syangboche airport, also known as Syangboche airstrip, is another major highlight of Namche Bazaar. This airport is situated at an altitude of 3780m, which is at the highest elevation in Nepal.
The airport is not opened for a commercial purpose because of its unsafe infrastructures. Also, newer travelers will have difficulty adjusting to the higher altitude.
Syangboche airport doesn’t have a safe place for landing an airplane as well. However, Chartered flights, helicopters and STOL aircraft (short takeoff and landing) fly to Syangboche from Kathmandu once in a while.
The main purpose of this airport is for the people of Namche or nearby in order to reach Namche at the earliest. A flight from Syangboche to Lukla takes around 7-11 minutes from a helicopter.
Syangboche is the perfect place from where travelers can see a 360-degree view of mountain ranges including that of mighty Mt. Everest.
Glorious view of Mt. Everest
When you reach Jorsalle, which is below Namche Bazaar, you will be able to see a beautiful view of Mt. Everest. But the view is partial from there and also not so vivid.
Right when you reach Namche Bazaar sometimes later, your heart is left spell bounded when you get to witness majestic Mt. Everest and that too in panoramic view.
Walk a bit further until Everest View Hotel and you will be able to see even clearer and jaw-dropping panoramic view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Amadablam, etc. among others.
Hotels in Namche Bazaar
A traveler will have a wide range of choices of hotels at Namche Bazaar. Ranging from basic hotels to well-facilitated hotels with a higher price, Namche offers diverse accommodation to its travelers.
Things to do in Namche
Besides seeing mountain ranges, witnessing Sherpa and Tibetan culture, Namche Bazaar has more in its store to attract tourists.
Some of the other attractions of this place include healing center, Namche Library, Namche monastery, bakery shops, handicraft shops, etc. among many others.
Also, Sherpa museum is another beautiful attraction of Namche. Sherpa Culture Museum is located above Tengboche and the museum showcases Sherpa culture, tradition, and architecture.
This place presents the traditional cultural lifestyle of Sherpas before modernization and tourism affected this place. The museum is open for all including travelers, expeditors, researchers and other people.
Namche Bazaar trek will surely be once in a lifetime travel.
Addition to that, the spectacular view of Mt. Everest will surely leave you speechless.
Want to go there soon?
All the best and Happy traveling!