Namche Bazar, Nepal [3440m/11286ft ] The village is located on crescent shaped mountain slopes that offer stunning views of the mountains across the valley. It is a grueling 3 to 4 hour climb up from the river to Namche, and at 3,500 metres, it is possible to suffer altitude sickness here. Therefore, it is advisable to spend at least two nights in the village to acclimatize. Traditionally the village was a trading post, with locals bartering yak cheese and butter for agricultural goods grown at lower altitudes. However, after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's successful climb of Everest in 1953, the dynamics of the village changed forever as climbers and trekkers soon followed in their wake. At first the groups came in a trickle, but in the 60s and 70s this turned into a torrent, and being located at a confluence of trekking trails, Namche was best served to meet their needs. In addition, as Namche is the first place on the Khumbu trek that is above altitude sickness threshold, most travelers prefer to spend at least two nights here in order to acclimatize. Still, despite the village's popularity with trekkers, geographical restraints have contained its growth, and it remains a small settlement with no more than 60 dwellings. Namche has prospered from the tourist trade, and according to government statistics it is the wealthiest district in Nepal, with 7 times the average national income and twice that of the capital, Kathmandu. In addition to an abundance of hotels, the village also boasts three small museums, a stupa, monastery, several cafes (locally known as bakeries) and many well stocked stores. Namche has several official money changing facilities, and as it is the only place in the region to offer this service (besides Lukla), travelers should ensure that they have sufficient cash for the remainder of their journey before leaving the village. NB: The rate of exchange in Namche is much lower than in Kathmandu, and so it is advised to only use the facilities in Khumbu as a last resort or for changing small amounts of money.
The village is located on crescent shaped mountain slopes that offer stunning views of the mountains across the valley. It is a grueling 3 to 4 hour climb up from the river to Namche, and at 3,500 metres, it is possible to suffer altitude sickness here. Therefore, it is advisable to spend at least two nights in the village to acclimatize.