Bazaar is a village in the Khumbu region
of Nepal. Namche is located at 3,440
metres (11,286 ft.) (the low point that
is), populating the sides of a hill.
From the bridge over the Dudh Kosi, the
trail winds its way up a "big" hill,
finally cresting at a small building
which also serves as an army/police
Almost everyone trekking in the Khumbu
region will visit Namche Bazaar, as it
is the gateway to the high Himalaya.
Visitors are likely stay at least one
night, if not two for altitude
acclimatization. The village has many
shops and lodges where one can find
almost anything required for trekking
(no camera repair shops), although
prices are higher than in Kathmandu.
However, the higher you go up into the
Khumbu, the more expensive everything
gets so by the time you reach Lobuche
(4,930m/16,175'), the prices in Namche
will seem quite reasonable.
Namche is the main trading center for
the Khumbu region so there are many
Nepalese officials, a police check post
and a bank. Near the top of the village
is the headquarters for Sagarmatha
National Park as well as Nepalese army
Immediately west of Namche is Kongde Ri
at 6,187 metres (20,298 ft.) and to the
east is Thamserku at 6,623 metres
On a hill overlooking Namche Bazaar is
the Shyangboche Airstrip (3,750m /
12,303ft). This is not generally used as
its surface of loose pebbles makes it
unsuitable for fixed wing aircraft, but
it does enable visitors to reach Namche
Bazaar by helicopter.
Many trekkers get up before sunrise and
walk up to the Sagarmatha National Park
Headquarters to take in the impressive
views of Mount Everest, Lhotse,
Thamserku, Ama Dablam (6,856m/22,493')
and other magnificent peaks (though
these can only be seen on a clear day)
and to visit the museum. Pictures of
peaks to the west from this vantage
point such as Kongde Ri, cannot be taken
as the army barracks are between you and
these mountains. The army does not
permit pictures to be taken of the
barracks. Because of the proximity of
the army barracks, the Sagarmatha
National Park Headquarters is surrounded
by a large amount of barbed wire.
A good acclimatisation walk from Namche
Bazaar goes to Everest View Hotel, which
is at an altitude of 3,800m / 12,467ft.
As the name suggests, the hotel gives
good views of Everest (when it is not
enveloped in cloud) and this is
generally considered the best view in
the surrounding area. Everest View Hotel
is a luxury hotel, which has had mixed
success. Although the rooms are
oxygenated, many guests have become
sick. The hotel does, however, have the
only decent restaurant serving western
food in the region.
On Saturday mornings, a weekly market is
held in the center of the village.
People from all around the Namche area
come to sell their wares, to locals and
to visitors alike. The market usually
starts around sunrise and begins to
break up around 11 am. Also, there may
be a daily Tibetan market where clothing
and cheap Chinese consumer goods tend to
be the main articles for sale. Tibetan
merchants come to the market by way of
high passes through the Himalayas.
Namche Bazaar has two internet cafés,
making it the only place in the region
where trekkers can access the internet.
Both internet cafés connect via
satellites and so the resulting
connection speed is slow.
The village also contains a German
bakery, well known in the region for
providing good quality western food,
A dusk to dawn curfew will likely remain
for the foreseeable future as long as
the Maoists insurgency remains
unresolved. While camping in Namche,
headlamps should be pointed down at the
ground and no one is allowed to leave
their campsite during the night.