Namche Bazar, The Home of Sherpas- Things to do in Namche Bazar
Namche Bazar, The Home of Sherpas- Things to do in Namche Bazar
Modified on Feb 6, 2022
Namche Bazar (3,440 m), the famous tourist hub of the Khumbu region is located in the Sagarmatha National Park and covers 1,1248 square kilometers. The town is surrounded by Kongde Ri (6,187 m) in the west and Mt. Thamserku (6,623 m) in the east. It is a bustling town full of trekkers/climbers embarking on adventurous treks and expeditions in the Khumbu region. Moreover, the world-famous Everest Base Camp Trek also involves Namche Bazar in its route.
Habitat to not only rare Himalayan wildlife like snow leopard, musk deer, and red panda, Namche Bazar is also home to the legendary Sherpas. Along with the people of the Sherpa community, you will be meeting Rai, Limbu, Lama, etc. Even though Namche Bazar is home to mountain people, you can see people from all around the world in the peak trekking and climbing seasons, and it is the charm of this beautiful town.
Trekkers usually spend a couple of nights in Namche Bazar to acclimatize before ascending further. You can do many things here and around this town. There are many restaurants, cafes, cyber cafes, regular pubs, and places to play pool in Namche Bazar.
You can hike to nearby villages and relish the breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains along the route or hike to close viewpoints to embrace the beauty of the Himalayas.
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Things to Know Before You Go to Namche Bazar
The trail from Lukla to Namche Bazar is quite challenging. There are numerous steep ascends and descends along the route, so you have to be physically fit.
Don't buy souvenirs if you are on the way to Everest Base Camp Trek. You can purchase late while returning to Kathmandu.
If you are traveling in the peak season, then do book the accommodation in advance if you can.
Don't drink alcoholic drinks or smoke. Drink plenty of water. You have to keep yourself hydrated to avoid altitude sickness.
Things to do in Namche Bazar
Below is the list of our top favorite activities to do in Namche Bazar:
Hike to the nearby villages like Khumjung (3,790 m) or Tengboche (3,860 m). The trail is beautifully covered, with rhododendron forests passing through small settlement areas. You will be crossing streams and bridges on the way. The views are fantastic. Both of these villages are famous because of their ancient monasteries.
Khumjung village houses Khumjung monastery, which is the oldest monastery in the Khumbu region. The monastery holds the skull of a Yeti. Yes, you didn't misread it. Likewise, you can also take a tour of Khumjung School, the first school in the Khumbu region built by Sir Edmund Hillary.
Tengboche village has Tengboche monastery, the biggest monastery of the Khumbu region. During your hike to these villages, it will also help you in acclimatization.
The Saturday morning market of Namche Bazar
Namche Bazar holds a weekly market fair every Saturday morning, which adds more energy to the place. The market is held in the middle of the town, and many traders from Tibet and neighboring villages display/sell their artifacts and goods.
You can find essential goods and traditional antiques in the market. If you can, attend this market. It's nothing like the typical markets of modern cities. This market sells the cheapest trekking and climbing gear. Likewise, you can also see vendors selling butter, vegetables, soap, and other products of the region.
Visit the Sherpa Culture Museum and Everest Photo Gallery in Namche Bazar. Both of these places offer extensive information about the cultural heritage of Sherpas and the information and outstanding photo collections of snow-capped mountains. It is one of the go-to places to know more in detail about the Khumbu region and locals.
You will also get to learn about the flora and fauna of the region. The Sherpa Culture museum is situated above the village on the way to Tengboche village. You can see many artifacts and a special gallery called "Hall of Fame" made for Sherpas, who summited Everest.
Sherpas & Their Lifestyle
We all have heard about the Sherpas, the legendary group of people who are known for their knowledge about mountains, willpower, and strong build. Namche Bazar is home to the Sherpa community. Here, you will get to see their daily lifestyle and have a glimpse of their cultural heritage.
The lifestyle of Sherpas in the high mountain villages is pretty simple. Most of them follow Tibetan Buddhism and are very attached to their roots. They pray and practice their customs in gompas (monastery). Interact with them and get to know them closely in Namche Bazar. We bet you they are one of the most humble and welcoming individuals you will meet in your life.
Hike to Everest View Hotel
It is the most popular activity to do in Namche Bazar. Everest View Hotel is known for the fantastic views of Mt. Everest (8,848 m) and other snow-capped mountains from its hotel windows. Located at 3,962 m, it is around 2 hours of walk to Everest View Hotel from Namche Bazar. The hike may be exhausting, but the heavenly views make it so worth it.
Explore Syangboche airport
Syangboche Airport (3,780 m) is an unpaved airstrip, which is mainly used for the landing of helicopters and STOL aircraft. It is not a licensed airport for commercial operations, therefore there are no scheduled services. The views from this place are very famous among the tourists.
Do window shopping
Shop in the colorful market that sells a range of souvenirs, Tibetan artifacts, paintings, coffee, and climbing equipment. Many traders from neighboring villages sell their exotic goods and traditional art & crafts. Thanks to the tourists, the market has immensely grown and supported locals over many years. The streets are bustling with locals, trekkers, yaks, horses, donkeys & Jhopkes.
Other major attractions
A few other major attractions around Namche Bazar are the Namche Library, Healing Center, and Namche Monastery.
When to Get There
The best time to go to Namche Bazar is from March to April and October to November. It is the peak time of the year so you will see many tourists. You can visit Namche Bazar in winter too, but there can be flight delays and unclear views. Likewise, the temperature drops below 0°C.
How do I get to Namche Bazaar?
You can take a short 35 minutes flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and trek from there to Namche Bazar. It is around 21 km north of Lukla and takes half a day to reach. The trail descends from Lukla to Phakding village and passes by Monjo, the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park. Here, you will register the permit. The trail then ascends through remote villages and dense forests. You will be crossing many streams and suspension bridges along the way.
The second way is to take a private heli ride to Lukla or Syangboche Air Strip and walk. And the last route is to take a long drive from Kathmandu to Jiri and trek to Lukla and follow the same path as before to Namche Bazar.
Accommodation in Namche Bazar
Namche Bazar has a wide range of accommodation facilities, from budget-friendly to luxury. All the lodges are clean and cozy and offer services, like hot showers, WiFi, etc. The price of the lodges ranges from USD 5 to USD 200 e and above per night, depending upon the place you choose to stay. There can be an attached or shared washroom, so do ask before.
Facilities in Namche Bazar
Namche Bazar has many modern facilities, from ATMs to cyber cafes. You can find most of the essentials here, however, they may cost more than the usual price. From here onwards, you may not find essentials and other things, so it is like the last place to buy things before ascending further.
You can get both local and branded products here related to trekking and climbing. Likewise, there are pubs and cafes to spend time in. Window shopping is recommended while returning.
I, Dipendra is an Adventure Specialist and founder of Scenic Nepal Treks and working in Mountain Travel and Tourism for more than a decade.
I have been leading different Hiking groups from all around the World to the Himalayas including Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, and many more. Follow me for my adventure on Facebook and Instagram