Namche Bazaar is a town in Solukhumbu district of north-eastern Nepal. It is situated at the altitude of 3,440 m above sea level. The settlement of mostly Sherpa cast is in Namche who have built modern as well as traditional houses in the side of hills. Namche Bazaar is the main trading center of Solukhumbu district. There are a lot of government offices as well as private institutions are opened and in running in Namche. It is more popular and developed than the headquarters of Solukhumbu, Salleri. The main occupation in Namche is providing service to tourist so tourism is flourished in Namche. It is pretty well developed even though it is located in remote part of Nepal. The only two ways of reaching Namche is 9-day trekking from Jiri or the airport 13 km south of the town.
Namche Bazaar is one of the popular towns of Nepal as it is the gateway to the high Himalayas. Mostly it lies in the route to Everest so the town is very well known. It is the first acclimatization point while doing the Everest trek. Many tourists spend a couple of days in Namche Bazaar before moving up ahead. Your body needs to be familiarized with the low oxygen level in that altitude. This way you don’t get altitude sickness easily and enjoy your trip more. Namche Bazaar has a lot of restaurants and hotels to provide trekkers service. You can even find some delicacies that are hard to get on the trail of Everest. There is a good facility for electricity and communication. So, you can easily spend some days in Solukhumbu enjoying the facilities that are going to be scarce higher up. Namche bazar is also a flourishing market where you can buy from Tibetan handicrafts to trekking gears. Namche Bazaar is situated in a slope of a mountain shaped in an arch so the mountain view can be seen every time of the day.
Mostly Sherpa people have dominance in the number of populations in Namche Bazaar. As Sherpa people live in higher altitude Namche has become a haven for those who want to involve themselves in tourism. Most of the population in Namche is involve in tourism or trade and very few in the agriculture sector. There is some house that are centuries old as well as modern building proving accommodation to tourist. Sherpa culture and the Tibetan culture is still intact even after the exposer to so many cultures and nationality. It is a historic trade hub where people from a neighboring village and traders from Tibet gather to exchange and sell goods. Namche is famous for its homemade yak cheese and butter. You will get to buy local handicrafts and Tibetan art and souvenirs in Namche Bazar. There are shops that sell the hand-woven clothes made from local wool. People of Namche bazaar still follow their ancient culture and beliefs. Tourism has surely helped to increase the living standard of people of Namche Bazaar.
Sherpa museum is located above the Namche bazaar. It holds the ancient artifacts, daily used tools and information on Sherpa culture. You will also get the information on the flora and fauna of the Solukhumbu region. Many people visit the Sherpa museum to acclimatize themselves with the higher altitude than the Namche bazaar altitude.
Namche monastery is right in bazaar but secluded and peaceful. You can hear the chants of the monks and religious music coming from the monastery. The prayer flags fluttering with the wings and cold wind passing the valley clams the minds of travelers visiting the monastery.
It is a small library with a good selection of books. Mostly there are English book but you might find something good to read. There are books on mountains, mountain climbing and trekking that might come in handy during your trek. You can learn about the culture of the mountains and places around Namche in the library. But, you cannot take a book from the library off the premises of the library.
You will get information on the Everest national park. It lies in the top end of the village so you can visit on their day you are acclimatization. There you can get the information on flora, fauna and geography of Solukhumbu area and Sagarmatha national park.
There are a lot of shops around Namche bazaar. You can buy foods, clothes, souvenirs and last-minute necessity items before leaving for your trek. Every Sunday there is a huge market where Sherpas from surrounding village gather in Namche with their agricultural products. Traders from Kathmandu also arrive with the electronics and other tourist goods during this day. The yak parking is what attracts most the tourist. Enjoy Sunday watching market place gather with people and yaks and busy with buying local goods.