Namche Bazaar, Nepal
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Nepal: Wandering in Namche Bazaar

If you ever do a trek in Nepal’s Khumbu region – the Everest Base Camp route or the Gokyo Lakes trek for example – it’s likely you’ll spend a few days in Namche Bazaar.

This mountain village in Nepal has been transformed by the trekking industry, with satellite TV dishes and cyber cafes springing up almost as you gaze at Kongde Ri, the local mountain.

Namche Bazaar, Nepal

Namche Bazaar is a good place to address any deficiencies in your trekking equipment, get a hot shower and work on your acclimatization when trekking in the Khumbu. Enjoy the attempts at pizza and croissants while walking higher and then dropping back down to the village each day.

One such acclimatisation day trip from Namche Bazaar is to the Everest View Hotel, Namche’s version of fancy accommodation. Guests are helicoptered in here (suffering altitude-induced headaches) to stay in rooms with views up both the Gokyo and Lobuche valleys. But you can have a drink on the verandah and enjoy the view for the price of a cup of tea.

Namche Bazaar, Nepal

On another day I wandered above the village in the other direction, into the crop-growing area above Namche Bazaar, passing a colourful Buddhist Monastery and a series of Stupas.

Pint-sized Sherpas struggle manfully and womanfully up and down the steep trails around Namche Bazaar, couriering all sorts of equipment from food supplies to building materials.

Namche Bazaar, Nepal

One afternoon I met eight laughing men negotiating an industrial-sized oven down from Syangboche airfield above the town.

Namche Bazaar, Nepal

The more traditional Bazaar part of the name comes into its own on Saturdays, when Nepalis arrive from miles around for the weekend market in Namche Bazaar. People, animals, produce and goods make for a colourful cacophony.

Namche Bazaar, Nepal

When the sun slips away at the end of the day the temperature plunges and beside the warm fireside of the guesthouse kitchen there is a happy buzz of multi-cultural trekker discussion in the air.

By Natasha von Geldern

Have you been trekking in Nepal? What did you think of Namche Bazaar?

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  1. Sounds like a fascinating place to spend a few days, just watching life. (Would the Gokyo Lakes trek be good for an 11-year-old, btw? – looking into doing a not-too-long trek with my daughters.)

    • Natasha von Geldern

      I certainly hope we will be doing treks like that with our daughter when she is 11. On the Gokyo trek we met a British couple with an 18-month-old! The great things about trekking in Nepal, apart from the stunning scenery and fascinating culture, is that you hire a Sherpa to carry your bag (just carrying a daypack) and also that you can’t walk for very long each day because you can’t ascend more than 300m in altitude per day. So often days were only 2 or 3 hours of walking then an afternoon enjoying the food by the fire in a guesthouse. The Gokyo trek is wonderful – EBC is really a busy highway and you get just as good a view of Everest from Gokyo Ri peak as Kala Patar. We took 16 days to do the Gokyo trek – important to take your time to acclimatise and not have to rush. I did get headaches above 3,500m and the last push to the peak feels tough because of the altitude. I think I didn’t drink enough water – they say you should drink enough water so that you “piss gin-clear”… But even if your daughter didn’t do the final peak just getting to Gokyo Ri village is wonderful. It’s all very easy to organise when you get there. Can probably put you in touch with our lovely Sherpa if you do end up going to Nepal. Great for kids to get to know a local person!

    • Natasha von Geldern

      PS the Annapurna Base Camp trek is a shorter one – 10 days – and also very beautiful.

  2. Sounds truly amazing. Visiting Nepal and trekking like this is very high up on my life list 😀

    • Natasha von Geldern

      Nepal is trekking heaven for sure!

    • i know. porters get paid rs. 10/kg/day and it’s a loonooog way from lukla (where most things are dropped off by helicopter) to namche or dingboche or lobuche or gorakshep so i met guys carrying, i’m not kidding, 200kgs. of rice. the legal limit, i think, is 20kg for female porters and 30kg for male porters. and then, they are last to be fed/given a corner to sleep in at the lodges “dinning halls” though they do get free rounds of tea which cost rs. 90 to other trekkers. anyway, i could go on and on except to say that simply saying “sherpas/nepalis are strong” doesn’t mean shit. ensuring they are paid a fair amount so they don’t have to painfully step through the path on chinese chappals is what ought to be done ..a few places are making efforts to ensure this, right?

      • I completely agree – they must be paid a fair wage and not be overloaded. Our sherpa carried our 18kg pack and I felt guilty! He was always treated well in the guesthouses. We gave him spare clothes and sunscreen and a few other bits and pieces. He was a wonderful guy and we’re still in touch on Facebook!

  3. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    I would LOVE to get to Nepal one of these days. Especially now that they have satellite TV. 🙂

  4. Wow I would love to go trekking in Nepal… but I think I need to probably start working out more,,,… and eating less cheese and wine1

  5. Interesting. I never thought of there being such a large market in the foothills of Everest. I like the peaceful image of the colorful monastery with Everest in the background.

  6. Amazing pictures, and I’m so jealous about your trip in Nepal 🙂 Amazing!

  7. Namche is one of the best place in the world. The place where you can Mt. Everest which would look like just across the mountain. Great pictures, and great experience.

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