Wednesday, May 29, 2013



By Harry Susilo, executive summary by darmansjah

"Namaste," said one resident warmly welcomes tourists entering Namche Bazaar (3440 meters above sea level). One of the most populous village in the foothills of the Himalayas, Nepal is a gate before climbing Mount Everest.

Everest towering as high as 8848 meters above sea level and become the highest point on earth, visible from above Namche. Hilly village is often a haven for climbers who want to tread the Everest and other high peaks in the Himalayas.

Rows of terraced buildings with windows dominates neatly arranged when we arrived in Namche Bazaar, mid May 2012 then. Dozens of inns and shops lining every corner besieged tribal village inhabited Sherpa, Rai, and Tamang this.

But do not expect to find vehicles in Namche. The only roar is heard coming from the generator owned by residents who used to turn electricity. As a result, this area is still not free from exhaust fumes.

Motorized vehicles in the villages at the foot of the Himalayas deliberately not authorized by the government of Nepal. The reason for the presence of motorized vehicles may threaten the income of local residents.

Full of inn

Even without vehicles, tourism is changing the face of Namche. Lading-potato fields turned into an inn and rocky road that had been deserted by now crowded climbing equipment shops, souvenirs, to the cafe. The economy grew residents.

Nawang spare (31), a resident of Namche, revealed dozens of the inn was built in Namche most used form of kebuh potatoes. Now, people who want to plant potatoes had to go to another village or finding land in a higher location.

Anu Sherpa (53), owner of Himalayan Lodge and one of the community leaders in Namche, storytelling, Namche began to develop in 1981 marked the establishment of the inn and shop. "Lodge was the first stood my wife's called Khumbu Lodge," says Anu.

In 1984, there were five inns in Namche and the number continues to grow as the growing number of climbers who come to the Himalayas. Currently, more than 60 hotels in Namche Bazaar. "Our economy is dependent of the Himalayas," added Anu.

Each year, Namche Bazaar packed with tourists in April-June and Everest climbing season in October-November when the trekking season. In that period also shops in Namche open, whereas in others most of them closed.  "When the quiet months, I usually use to harvest the potatoes," said Pura Sherpa Ang (33) souvenir shop owner in Namche.

Most residents Namche do collect income when tourists arrive. Dawa Sherpa (30), owner of the café, for example, can earn up to 30,000-40,000 rupees (equivalent to 300.3 US. dollars) per day as the arrival of tourists. As usual in turnover around 100 usd per day.

Namche is located in Solukhumbu district does have enormous appeal. With beauty of the Himalayas, the hospitality of the local people's attitudes, and the unique Tibetan Buddhist culture, Namche always crowded with tourists and mountaineers from around the world.

No need to bother about food. Menu food is not far from restaurants in Indonesia in general, such as fried rice, boiled noodles, or steak. It's just that most of the menu using yak meat.

During summer, the weather in Namche range 5-15 degrees Celsius. There is also the winter can penetrate minus 5 degrees Celsius. However, not to worry because the majority of hotels provide blankets and hot shower facilities.

Community Namche mostly migrated from Tibet boned similar to the Chinese people, the slant-eyed, pale-skinned, and the average height 160 centimeters. They are also friendly, smiling, and well known as a strong powerful ethnic Sherpa who used to help the success of the expedition to Everest.

Hillary trail

Namche Bazaar and villages at the foot of Himalya becoming known outside world after New Zealand climber, Edmund Hillary, along with Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, became the first man to successfully summit Everest tread on May 29, 1953.
The expedition is named Britain is recorded as an achievement that is remembered the world.

After its success, Hillary does not directly return to his country. Dai raise funds for the construction of schools, hospitals, markets, and several places of worship facilities. No wonder, when Edmund Hillary was worshiped like a king by the locals for his contribution. "Before Hillary came here there was no hospital and school in Solukhumbu district at the foot of the Himalayas," said Anu.

Hence also traces Hillary easily found in this region as the visible monument statue in a village khumjung senior high school and known by the name of Hillary School. Name Hillary and Tezing also immortalized as the name of the airport in Lukla.

To reach Namche Bazaar, you can climb the twin otter aircraft or Pilate have capacity about 18 people from Kathmandu domestic airport to airport tensing-Hillary in the village of Lukla with elevations of 2850 meters above sea level.

From Lukla, Namche journey within walking distance of about 7-8 hours. While walking at altitude should not be too fast because of being part of the acclimatization process. That way, the body is able to adjust to the low air pressure and the absence of oxygen.

If the trip is not in a hurry, hikers or backpackers generally shelter in Phakding (2,610 masl) before finally proceeding to Namche can be taken approximately 4-6 hours.

All the way from Lukla towards Namche full view of the houses that lined up neatly on the banks of the Dudh Kosi, yak and porter turns crossing the trail while carrying cargo, and the iron bridge connecting between their separated by hills and rivers. The scenery is refreshing eye.

In general, tourists and hikers trekking through the Himalaya using local guides. Travel agents provide a guide to the price of the package, which includes a climbing permit, porter services, the cost of lodging, and meals.

To reach the base camp of Everest from Namche it takes at least 3-4 days walk. Climber or backpacker can stop at some villages to spend the night as Tyangboche (3,960 masl), Periche (4,250 masl), and Gorak Shep (5,140 masl), before arriving at Everest base camp (5,363 masl).

Upon arriving at the base camp Everest, trekking tourists usually just straight back down to the village after take any photos. As for the climbers to make a stop at the Everest base camp to aklimitasi while waiting for good weather before making the climb to the summit.

"Lots of fun and the scenery here. Mountains, fresh air and an amazing culture, "said Adrian (47), wandering the Romanians who came to Nepal with his son.

As one climber. "If you've been to the Himalayas, you always want to come back again."

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