Namche Bazaar: Where the Trek to Everest Begins
If you plan to climb Mount Everest or visit any of its majestic sister peaks, odds are you’ll be paying a visit to Namche Bazaar first. Namche Bazaar is a small but bustling village located on the side of a hill in Nepal’s Khumbu region. From Namche Bazaar, a network of roads, trails and hiking paths fan out across the Khumbu region. Trekkers, tourists and travelers in the area know that most any type of supplies can be found in Namche Bazaar, making it an essential stopover whether you’re coming into the region or leaving.
Namche Bazaar may look up at the surrounding Himalayan peaks but it’s by no means a lowland village. On the contrary: at 11,286 feet above sea level (measured at the bottom of the hill, by the way), Namche Bazaar offers a place for new arrivals to acclimatize themselves to the thin air while their blood naturally builds up necessary supplies of hemoglobin. The local entrepreneurs are well aware of this, of course, and have provided a range of accommodations – none of which can be considered to be cheap.
A short distance from Namche Bazaar and slightly higher in altitude is the Everest View Hotel. Designed to be a luxury hotel catering to the needs of western tourists, the Everest View Hotel is 12,467 feet above sea level. The lack of oxygen in the air has prompted the hotel’s management to provide oxygenation equipment to make the rooms a little more hospitable, but even with this innovation many guests have not been able to continue their stay after coming down with symptoms of altitude sickness.
Those who can get used to the thin air, however, are treated to some of the best views of Everest available when the weather is clear. Namche Bazaar… it’s an appealing mixture of old and new, and even if you’re not going to do any mountain climbing it makes a great base of operations!