Namche Bazaar is a village of the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality in the Solukhumbu district of north eastern Nepal. Situated at an altitude of 3,440m (11,286ft), Namche Bazaar is at a distance of 25.6 km from the Everest Base Camp, one of the most popular trekking routes of the Himalayas.
The town is developed to be a bustling large hub for trade as well as facilitation of tourists resting in the area. Full of lodges, restaurants, guest houses, shops and markets to cater trekkers and climbers visiting the location, Namche Bazaar has it all.
Although it is a standard stopover location there is much more depth to the village than being just that so, here is a list of all the things you can do while in Namche Bazaar:
Sagarmatha National Park Visitor Centre
The Sagarmatha National Park visitor center located in Namche Bazaar holds strong significance in terms of its establishment. The visitor center is not just an information outlet but also a cultural and environmental archive.
It holds information on the local flora and fauna of the region, alongside the rich culture of the Khumbu Sherpas. It helps educate visitors on the unique ecosystem of the Everest region and why it must be preserved.
The tourists can collect valuable information on trekking trails, weather conditions, essential gears, safety and security while also diving deeper into local customs and traditions that makes the area unique.
Sherpa Culture Museum
The Sherpa Culture Museum is another compelling location in Namche Bazaar. Meant to provide tourists with a realistic experience of what Sherpa households actually look like, the museum is extremely unique both in its build and content.
The museum itself is built in traditional Sherpa architecture; both from the outside and the inside, the place looks like a home where you would see actual Sherpas untouched by the whims of modernization, living in.
It consists of a family room where a lot of old artefacts common in a traditional Sherpa home can be found. There is also a separate room dedicated for prayer providing visitors an insight on the Buddhist cultural mannerisms. The ground floor is the animal stable, with yak dung, piles of hay, and a wood storage unit, perfectly reflecting a typical Sherpa home.
The museum is open to all visitors who wish to study and learn more on what life is, and was like for the Sherpa’s. From old ancient articles to ordinary basic items, the museum is a sanctuary for it all.
Sagarmatha Next Centre
The Sagarmatha Next centre is an exceptional step towards the achievement of sustainability in the tourism scene of the Himalayan region. The project built 3,775m high, close to Namche Bazaar, right on the trekking trails of Syangboche Solukhumbu, is the best location to visit if you’re an environment enthusiast, and a lover of art.
With the increase of tourist engagement and facilities in the Khumbu region, there has also been an inevitable rush in terms of contamination. In this day and age, waste management is a concern widely talked about. Sagarmatha next however doesn’t just limit themselves to shelving and traditionally ‘controlling’ the waste, they ‘create’ from the waste.
The centre works to raise awareness on how waste can be reformed, reused and re-established as an item of value if worked with properly. There are exhibitions full of wasted items molded into profound pieces of art, workshops where visitors themselves can experiment with waste, and informative conferences that can be attended on topics like climate change.
Sagarmatha Next allows locals and visitors to experience and learn the process of upcycling and transformation while also providing them with the opportunity to create pieces themselves after enlistment. Visitors can take in souvenirs and create wonderful memories in a space that allows them to both learn and enjoy.
Namche Bazaar Viewpoint
Namche Bazaar viewpoint is undeniably one of the best viewpoints in the Everest region. It is a popular destination among trekkers and mountain climbers for stunning views of the Himalayas, its offerings in terms of service and the utter grace with which its people carry themselves and their environment.
It is known to boast one of the most incredible views of the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest (8,849m) alongside incredible mountain peaks like Lhotse (8,516m), Nuptse (7,861m), Ama Dablam (6,812m), Kangtega (6,782m) and Thamserku (6,608m).
Namche at an altitude of 3,440 m (11,286ft) is a small town bustling in between the mountains surrounding it. The culture, unique to its people, allows visitors to indulge in acts of humble and happy living. The place is also known for short treks helpful for acclimatization. Thus, it is an absolute package on its own.
Shopping for trekking equipment and souvenirs
Although not as heaving as markets in the city, Namche Bazaar has its own fair share of market qualifications to help it excel and keep up its name.
Given its reputation as a market town, the place is wonderfully equipped with a variety of shops and stores where trekkers and visitors can purchase all essential items, and souvenirs.
There are stores selling trekking gear, which includes items like sleeping bags, hiking boots, trekking poles etc. Basic supplies like toiletries can also be easily found.
In terms of souvenirs, visitors can buy local handicraft items, snacks like yak cheese, dried fruits, nuts, and traditional clothing like scarves and hats and many more.
When in Namche, strolling around the markets is an absolute treat as it allows you to get to know more about the lives of local people, their customs and way of life.
Local Eateries: bars, pubs, restaurants, coffee shops
Namche Bazaar is known to host the best facilities in the entire Khumbu region. With its reputation of being so exceptionally catering to its guests, Namche goes very strong with its food game.
There are various local eateries that provide insight into great Nepali and Sherpa cuisine as well as international dishes to satisfy all needs of the visitors.
There are also great coffee shops for amazing coffee all day round, bars and pubs for getting exotic drinks with the best accompaniment of food and dishes that are unique to every taste in the world.
Namche Bazaar and photography enthusiasts almost always go hand in hand. The picturesque town nestled in between the Himalayas offers the most stunning cultural and natural beauty to click into.
The village is decorated in prayer flags that flap along the valley, adding a wonderful touch to the already beautiful amalgamation of deep rooted shade unique to Namche. It is also surrounded by several high peaks, including the worlds tallest, the landscape is out of this world.
The local life, the Sherpa people, the markets, the traditional homes, Namche Bazaar offers up the best scenes to preserve forever in your photographs.
Namche Bazaar Monastery
The Namche Bazaar Monastery or the Namche Monastery is a beautiful establishment located right in the Bazaar. Holding a lot of the village’s cultural and religious weight, the monastery is said to be built in the Nyingma style of Tibetan Buddhism.
The views outside the monastery are just as breathtaking as the inside. The place is said to have several paintings and murals on the walls of its main shrine. Standing at the serene and peaceful north of Namche, the monastery allows visitors the best experience for peace and cultural appraisal.
The Dumji festival celebrated around the month of June/July, is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in the Solukhumbu region.
The festival is dedicated to honour and celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, through various rites and rituals, prayers, dances, and merrymaking.
The festival is an opportunity for the Sherpa community to come together and strengthen their brotherhood and bond. When in Namche Bazaar being able to witness this amazing celebration of faith and culture is an opportunity to never miss.
Hike to Hotel Everest view
Another exciting activity to do while in Namche Bazaar is taking a hike to Hotel Everest view. Standing at an elevation of 3,962.4m, the place is not just known as the highest altitude hotel in the world but is also famous for its views.
While in Namche Bazaar a lot of trekkers looking to acclimatise find the Hotel Everest View hike perfect for their little adventure. The hike is typically short and can be completed in a few hours.
The hike presents visitors with panoramic views of beautiful, high mountains like the Mount Everest (8,849m), Lhotse (8,516m), Nuptse (7,861m), Ama Dablam (6,812m), Thamaserku (6,608m), Kangtega (6,782m), and Taboche (6,495m).
Syangboche Airport is a small facility located near the town of Namche Bazaar inside the Sagarmatha National Park. It stands at an elevation of 3,750m above sea level.
Serving as one of the major entry points for trekkers climbing to the Everest region, including the Everest Base Camp, the airport basically caters to helicopters and chartered flights from Kathmandu or Lukla.
Popular as an acclimatisation point for various trekkers, the airport is also a well-known destination for tourists who enjoy taking scenic flights. The travelers can book short scenic flights from Kathmandu or Lukla to Syangboche Airport, taking in the breathtaking views of the Himalayas, the luscious hills & scenery.
Khumjung is one of the most prominent villages of the Khumbu valley popularly known for its people, their culture and stunning mountain views.
The village stands at an elevation of 3,790m and is also another famous spot for acclimatisation, only a few hours walk from Namche Bazaar. This village is a flat land located just below the sacred mountain Kumbila.
The small Khumjung village leaves its visitors in awe not just in terms of the exceptional vistas of mighty hills and mountains but also from just how the entire village stands in uniformity of colour and culture.
Here are some of the key attractions of Khumjung village:
As one of the major village attractions, the Khumjung Monastery is a historical monument standing at an altitude of 3,970m. It is one of the highest standing monasteries in the Khumbu region known for boasting panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks including Mount Everest.
The Khumjung Monastery is a very important establishment for the Sherpa’s in the community, responsible for safeguarding the region’s religious and cultural artefacts, statues and a collection of religious texts.
Among everything in the Khumjung Monastery, the existence of the alleged Yeti Scalp kept on display inside the Monastery has been a point of scrutiny for many years. Here, Yeti also called the “abominable snowman” is a legendary ape-like creature said to inhabit the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. The truth about the scalp, although flimsy, is worth a visit for all the significance it holds for the people of Khumjung.
Khumjung Edmund Hillary School
This school founded in the year 1961 was a collaboration project between Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa locals. It is a renowned educational institution that has been for the past many years providing quality education to the Sherpa children encouraging them to build a bright future for themselves.
Sir Edmund Hillary, the famous New Zealand mountaineer and philanthropist was the first person to successfully ascend Mount Everest alongside Tenzing Norgay in the year 1953; after which was when he supported the establishment of the school named after his own in the village of Khumjung.
The school that has been continuously uplifting the standard of Khumjung and Sherpa life is a standing example of Sir Edmund Hillary’s dedication towards the wellbeing and development of the Sherpa people.
Visitors can tour the school and look closely into how much of an impact the school has and is making in the education of young Sherpa children. Surrounded by such a serene territory, the experience comes to be both exceptionally devotional and alluring.
Local mountain life and agriculture
The Khumjung village, unlike many other commercialized towns in Solukhumbu, stands to be the most in touch with its traditional roots.
Still true to their ancestors, the Khumjung people earnestly devote themselves to agriculture; they farm vegetables and crops like potatoes, wheat, and barley. While using the same traditional means, they rely on manual labour and animals for ploughing their fields. A lot of them are also into livestock farming, where they raise yaks and other domestic animals mostly for milk and meat.
Visitors can indulge themselves into the same activities, observe and together with the local community they can learn more on the ways of their remote life.
Another destination to explore when in Namche Bazaar is the Khunde Village further up from the very location, directly adjacent to the Khumjung Village.
At an elevation of 3,840m, Khunde is famous for housing several sacred monuments in the Khumbu region. It is also known for its beauty and astounding proximity to the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest.
Khunde Village, similar to other of its neighbors, offers basic accommodation facilities to trekkers and climbers passing on their way to the Everest Base Camp or other famous peaks.
The main attractions of the village are:
Founded by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1966, the Khunde hospital is a community hospital. Known for his generosity and charitable endeavours, Sir Edmund Hillary’s establishment provides essential health care and aid to the people of the region and also the seasonal workers and trekkers who happen to visit the area.
The Khunde Hospital allows visitors to observe and study the operations, management, challenges and impacts of its existence in the region.
The Hillary Viewpoint is an absolute must-visit location when in Namche Bazaar. As an ideal place for day hikes from Namche, Khunde, or Khumjung, all places alike with bearable variations in the time of travel, the Hillary Viewpoint is famous for its scenic beauty.
Visitors can enjoy the picturesque views of majestic mountains like Mount Everest (8849m), Lhotse (8,516m), Nuptse (7,861m), Ama Dablam (6,812m) and other prominent peaks.
The Khunde monastery is another location where visitors can strip themselves off of all the superficial convictions they have had to carry around. The monastery, a centre for religious rites and ceremonies, allows guests to explore its intricate architecture and the murals beautifying it even more.
They can enjoy leisurely walks around the establishment relishing in the beauty around the place, the mountains and hills that surround them while also enjoying the peace they are bestowed.
Hike to Thame
Thame is a small Sherpa village just 4-5 hours trek away from Namche Bazaar. Visitors staying back in Namche should definitely hike to Thame for a total one-of-a-kind experience.
At an elevation of 3,820m, the hike to Thame is an excellent experience for visitors who want to explore local traditions and beautiful mountain monasteries. The trail is peaceful and contains some of the best views of wondrous peaks you might have never seen.
The following are more reasons as to why Thame must be visited when in Namche Bazaar:
Childhood home of Tenzing Norgay
Thame is also home to one of the best mountaineers that Nepal has ever had, from Tenzing Norgay, the first person to conquer Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary, to Apa Sherpa who held the record for ascending the summit of Mount Everest more times than any other climber, the place holds a lot of historical and glorious significance.
As the oldest monastery in all of Khumbu region, the Thame monastery holds up major cultural and religious importance to the people of the region.
Standing at an altitude of 3780m, it is nestled amidst the beautiful Himalayas making it seem much more mystical than it already is.
Among many festivities that the monastery tends to hold, the Mani Rimdu festival is one of the well-known ones. It is the Tibetan lunar calendar that is used to determine the festival’s date. Mani Rimdu is celebrated with traditional dances, rituals and various cultural performances.