In the temperate zone at 3,000+ meters

Khumjung Travel Blog

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Stupa at start of Namche Bazaar 3440m

Namche Bazaar – 3,440m

The trek from Jorsale to the famous Nachem Bazaar was quite a long was quite a long one, trekking up the mountain only to trek down on the other side, crossing the river to another mountain and then trekking upwards again. We had to cross three suspension bridges across the river and the most challenging one was the Larja Bridge after the village of Larja Dobhan (2,830m). This narrow suspension bridge was not only the highest but also the oldest. Because this bridge was very high above the rushing Dudh Koshi, strong winds were blowing across from all sides which made the crossing very exciting.

Namche Bazaar is a big town with plenty lodges, restaurants, stores selling a variety of things, good bakeries, internet cafes, many tourists and in general a bustling place.

View of Namche Bazaar from room in Zamling Guest House, best lodge in Namache
It is magnificently sited in a horseshoe shape with terraces. All the houses were built on terraces and the height difference between the lowest and the highest level of Namche Bazaar is approximately 400 meters. After the exciting long trek, we were ready for a good rest but had still to trudge on for another hour through the village and up the terraces to our lodge nearly at the top of Namche Bazaar.

We stayed in Zamling Guest House, a splendid lodge overlooking the entire Namche Bazaar and the high mountains on the other side. Run by a hospitable Sherpa family, the Zamling is supposed to be one of the best lodges in Namche. With a large dinner room downstairs and bedrooms with private bathrooms upstairs, it was indeed very comfortable and a far cry from the simple lodges that we have stayed for the previous two nights.

Overlooking Namche Bazaar, 3440 meters
The owner, Tsedam Sherpa, had also a superb collection of Everest mountaineering artifacts and memorabilia in the dining room.

It was nice to stay in the best lodge but going to town was quite a pain, having to walk up and down the terraces. My trekking partner was starting to suffer from the effects of altitude and had occasional headaches. Hence, we spent two days acclimatizing and resting in Namche. We trekked up to Jaro, 3925m the next day. From Namche, it was a continuous trek up the mountain with an ascent of about 500m.

We passed by the defunct Shyanboche airstrip that was originally planned as an entryway to the Khumbu region for wealthy travelers where they could fly in from the lower altitudes and follow a trail to the hilltop where the famous Hotel Everest View is located.

Yaks carrying goods up the mountains
This hotel, at 3,962m, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s highest altitude hotel. This was a popular attraction but many guests had problems with headaches and nausea due to the sudden shift in elevation. Although the hotel offered oxygen in each room to alleviate the condition, there were still too many cases of high altitude sickness and the entire project was never successful. The hotel still functions but is an indulgence with rooms priced at over US$250 per night.

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Tesing – 3,380m

From Namche, we proceeded onwards and made our way to Tesing where we stayed another two nights at the splendid Everest Summit Lodge. Owned by a German, it was a luxurious lodge with standards far better than anything else available in the area and had the amenities of a modern hotel.

Human and yaks crossing a suspension bridge
At US$100 per night, the rooms came with hot showers and western toilets, warm beds with thick blankets, heating, comfortable lounges and bedrooms as well as a good variety of dishes for the set meals. We decided to enjoy the comfort while we still could as the lodges on the higher altitudes would be just bare, basic and cold.

With my intake of at least 3 liters of water every day, I was having no problem with headaches or altitudes but my trekking partner still had constantly throbbing headaches, so bad that he had to take Ibuprufen. Hence, it was good that we had enough time to further acclimatize before proceeding to higher altitudes.

Deboche – 3,710m

Our next overnight place was a simple lodge in Deboche. The original plan was to proceed and find a lodge in Tengboche, 3,860m but upon arrival there, we felt fine and decided to proceed onwards.

Giving way to the yaks on the narrow trail

Tengboche is the spiritual center of the Khumbu Valley. The Tengboche Monastery is the most important gompa in the Sherpa region and is the home to the abbot and the training center for new monks. Surrounded by spectacular mountains, the triangular summit of Mount Everest at the head of the Khumbu Valley could be seen from the monastery.

As it was a cloudy day on the ascent, we did not have a view of Mount Everest from here but on the descent where we stayed overnight here, we were treated with a glorious and magnificent sunset view of the spectacular peaks in the whole of the Himalaya including Mount Everest, Lhotse Nuptse and the beautifully shaped Ama Dablam, known as one of the world’s most beautiful mountain.

While we were taking a rest and enjoying a break at one of the teahouses in Tengboche, our guide came and told us that there were some Singaporeans at another teahouse.

At the defunct Shyangboche airstrip, 3950m
We went over to say hello and were pleasantly surprised to meet Singapore’s national hero, Khoo Siew Choo, who was there with his Malaysian partner Vincent on a summit attempt in May.  

This Everest summit attempt would be Khoo's second attempt and this time without supplementary oxygen and a first attempt for his partner. Although we completed our trek in early April, we followed their progress and they successfully summited Everest that May. Heartiest congratulations!

Weather was getting a lot colder as we proceeded above 3600 meters and it started snowing at night too. After all the comfort of the lodges we had for the previous nights, we had to get used to the simple lodges once again where the tiny rooms were just four wooden plank walls with two wooden plank beds. Heating was only available in the common dining room while the toilets were outside some distance away from the lodge.

At the defunct Shyangboche airstrip, 3950m

Pangboche – 3,930m

Leaving the snowy Deboche the next morning to proceed towards Pangboche, we had our first view of the Mt Everest peak. The walk towards Pangboche was very pleasant, mostly through Rhododendron forest, although the flowers were not yet in blossom on our ascent. On the ascent, we had beautiful views of Ama Dablam. On the descent around mid April, the weather had already turned warmer and the Rhododendrons were already in full blossoms.

Pangboche is a huge village and has plenty of terraced fields and a school for the children in the neighbouring villages. We had lunch in one of the lodges and since it was still early, we proceeded onwards to Shomare.  

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Stupa at start of Namche Bazaar 34…
Stupa at start of Namche Bazaar 3…
View of Namche Bazaar from room in…
View of Namche Bazaar from room i…
Overlooking Namche Bazaar, 3440 me…
Overlooking Namche Bazaar, 3440 m…
Yaks carrying goods up the mountai…
Yaks carrying goods up the mounta…
Human and yaks crossing a suspensi…
Human and yaks crossing a suspens…
Giving way to the yaks on the narr…
Giving way to the yaks on the nar…
At the defunct Shyangboche airstri…
At the defunct Shyangboche airstr…
At the defunct Shyangboche airstri…
At the defunct Shyangboche airstr…
In Tesing, 3380m
In Tesing, 3380m
5 star Everest Summit Lodge in Tes…
5 star Everest Summit Lodge in Te…
The luxurious Everest Summit Lodge…
The luxurious Everest Summit Lodg…
At the gate of Tengboche, 3860m
At the gate of Tengboche, 3860m
Monastry in Tengboche, 3860m
Monastry in Tengboche, 3860m
Monastry in Tengboche with mountai…
Monastry in Tengboche with mounta…
Tengboche, 3867m. Khoo and Vincent…
Tengboche, 3867m. Khoo and Vincen…
Ama Dablam (6812m) seen from Tengb…
Ama Dablam (6812m) seen from Teng…
View of mountains and Everest peak…
View of mountains and Everest pea…
Sunset over Ama Dablam (6812m) as …
Sunset over Ama Dablam (6812m) as…
Sunset over the Everest range as s…
Sunset over the Everest range as …
Prayer stones with Buddhist script…
Prayer stones with Buddhist scrip…
Stupa along the way. Ama Dablam in…
Stupa along the way. Ama Dablam i…
Ama Dablam in background
Ama Dablam in background
View from room in Deboche, 3820m, …
View from room in Deboche, 3820m,…
On the way from Deboche to Pangboc…
On the way from Deboche to Pangbo…
Fields of Pangboche,3930m
Fields of Pangboche,3930m
Gate of Pangboche, 3930m
Gate of Pangboche, 3930m
Rhododendrum tree in blooms at 390…
Rhododendrum tree in blooms at 39…
Rhododendrum trees in blossoms in …
Rhododendrum trees in blossoms in…
Prayer wheel drivern by water
Prayer wheel drivern by water
Women working in the fields in Pan…
Women working in the fields in Pa…
Yaks carrying things to Pangboche
Yaks carrying things to Pangboche
Porter carrying wooden planks up t…
Porter carrying wooden planks up …
Musk deer
Musk deer
Musk deers
Musk deers
Khumjung
photo by: mountaingirl