Travels in Nepal #20 Namche Bazar

Namche Bazar, Nepal

Namche Bazar, Nepal

Namche Bazar is an interesting town in the Everest region of the Himalayas in Nepal. This town is at the junction of the main trekking track to Everest Base Camp (five days walk away) and one of the main tracks to Tibet (seven days walk away). During the mountain climbing season there is a lot of traffic through the town. We were there near the end of the trekking season, but there were still quite a number of tourists in the area.

Namche Bazar has the highest income per capita of any Nepalese village. This is mainly as a result of the trekking and mountaineering groups that move through the area. There are many lodges and shops in the town catering for this trade.

Namche Bazar is built in a natural amphitheatre in the mountains. Steep mountains surround this village and flat ground is at a premium. when I was there last January there seemed to be quite a healthy building boom. Despite the political turmoil, this area seemed far removed from the troubles in other parts of the country. Having said that, there was an army base just above the town.

For people trekking in this area, Namche Bazar is an important staging point. Many groups use this village as a stopping over point for the purposes of acclimatization. Climbing too rapidly at these altitudes can be fatal. It can also be fatal to those who know of the dangers and who live in the area. Soon after our arrival the body of a sherpa was carried past our lodge. A sobering reminder of the dangers up so high.

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