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Sherpa villages accessible by car

3 posts
Sherpa villages accessible by car
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I am in the early stages of planning a photography trip of Nepal. Are there any Sherpa villages accessible by car? We will not have time to trek.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Sherpa villages accessible by car
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Not really, not the famous Solu-Khumbu region Sherpa people, made famous by the Everest expeditions. The quickest way to get there is to fly to Lukla. and then trek for a couple of days to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar. Worth every penny, and you will do some amazing photography in the villages around, like Kumjung (the Edmund Hillary school is there), Kunde, Thame (the birth place of Tenzing Norgay). etc.

All of this need not take more than 4 days all up. Assuming you have no flight delays to and from Lukla, which can happen. Often. But it depends when you want to go.

However, there are many other typical Nepali villages, of other ethnic groups, Tamang for example, which are closer to Kathmandu and accessible by vehicle within 2-3 hours. I can put you in touch with the villagers from Kaaule and Dandakharka. But I am sure you will do your own homework, in this regard.

Edited: 3 years ago
3 posts
2. Re: Sherpa villages accessible by car
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WHen you say 2-day trek, are you talking about a 5-10 trek overnight?

Sydney, Australia
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339 reviews
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3. Re: Sherpa villages accessible by car
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After landing in Lukla, say around 9AM (which is usually an early morning flight), you can walk to Phakding or Jorsale (2 hours, or 5-6 hours respectively. The following day, say you are in Jorsale, you will take 2-3 hours walking uphill to Namche Bazaar. If you are in Phakding, you will do about 6 hours to Namche.

I find it better to walk to Jorsale the first day from Lukla, a longer walking day. So that the second day I only have to contend with the uphil trek to Namche.

Just to give you the altitudes. Lukla is at 2800m - where you land. Phakding is at 2600m, and Jorsale is at 2700m. Namche Bazaar is at 3450m. So the steep part (though by no means technically difficult, as the path is wide and safe) is from Jorsale to Namche, all of 2-3 hours hike, depending on how fast you walk. I suggest take it SLOW, as you adapt better to the altiude.

The way back from Namche Bazaar to Lukla (to catch the plane back to Kahtmandu) you will do in a longish day, maybe 7-8 hours.

IF you have a lot of photographic gear with you, I suggest you step into a better looking lodge/hotel in Lukla, maybe Khumbu Resort, and ask the owner about providing a porter. It should be about 15-20 dollars per day. To carry your gear up and down hill. Make sure you talk to a lodge, do not just get anyone from the aristrip who tout their services. Or, you can hire someone in KTM, if you are willing to pay their flight to Lukla (which is one third of what you pay), If you do that, plese talk to me, and I will put you in touch with Santaman, the guy I have trekked 16 times with. His younger brothers to portering, they know English and they are amazing people.

Edited: 3 years ago
Lake District...
Destination Expert
for Nepal, Kathmandu
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7,038 posts
39 reviews
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4. Re: Sherpa villages accessible by car
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Excelent info posted above and the only thing that I can add is that you can also hire a porter out through a reputable TAAN registered agent in Kathmandu and arrange to meet him there - This saves you paying for his return flight and also makes sure that he has adequate insurance cover.

Have a great little trek

Rob

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: Sherpa villages accessible by car
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The Solu area is accessible by jeep, around Salleri (a large Sherpa bazar for locals), you can reach Sherpa villages such as Junbesi, and you can also see Everest without any hiking by taking the side jeep road at Dhap Bazar towards Pikey Peak.

Edited: 3 years ago
Espoo
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3,887 posts
6. Re: Sherpa villages accessible by car
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I was just thinking the same, why do advisers here forget that even places like Shivalaya or Bhandar, not to mention Salleri and now Jumbesi, Traksindu and Nuntala are Sherpa villages, all accessible by car. There are dozens of villages accessible from those, on foot, in a few hours.

Namche Bazar is much too remote to be a "Sherpa capital", the district capital is Salleri. Namche is a tourism hub, that is certain, but historically it was just a distant market place, bazar, where the Saturday market was held, because of the pass to Tibet is near. In every other way it was just another unremarkable remote village, until the trekking started in earnest in the seventies-eighties.

Surrey, United...
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7. Re: Sherpa villages accessible by car
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I would second the comments of posts 5 and 6. The villages from Lukla and above are massively, fundamentally influenced by tourism. The only real exceptions that I am aware of are those beyond Thame - heading north up the Bhote valley, and west towards Tashi Labcha - these are not really practical for you with your limited time, and all require a lot of walking.

The area round Junbesi etc, from I saw in Dec 2010 and Dec 2015 are much less affected by tourism, and have a very different look and feel to them compared with Lukla and beyond. If you wish to see more traditional Nepali life, then I would strongly suggest avoiding the very touristy areas. I like Junbesi - we even detoured in 2015 to visit it and spend the night there - though there are modern lodges, it is not shaped by tourism as much as the Everest region.

Many of the lodge, shop etc staff in the Everest region are not Sherpas, but other groups (especially Rais). Many of the younger Sherpas are not in their villages at all - kids are often at school in the larger local towns, or in Ktm. Second and third generation lodge owners often do not want to operate the lodges, but to have a more professional type career in Ktm, or overseas.

I trekked Langtang valley for my 4th time 2017-18 - many of the villages were bereft of kids as they were in local towns and Ktm - this takes out a huge element of local life. I have stayed 11 times now in my guides' village and the village of another Nepali I know well, for 44 nights in total. These villages are completely non-tourist, and the kids, wild and cheeky but warm and loyal, are a huge part of village life.

If you want to see more authentic, traditional Nepali life, which is very different from the tourist areas, let alone the "west", then look outside the main tourist areas.

3 posts
8. Re: Sherpa villages accessible by car
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Thank you all for some great information. After the first reply, I was very strongly considering the 2-day trek to Namche Bazaar, but the non-tourist areas you mention in post #7 sound incredible.

Espoo
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3,887 posts
9. Re: Sherpa villages accessible by car
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Around Jumbesi there are also several non-touristy monasteries, also the largest one in the whole Nepal, Thupthen Chholing, 2 hour hike north from Jumbesi. Traksindu also has a fairly large Gompa and smaller nunnery also. The views from the large lodge in Traksindu is quite breathtaking in the evening, you can see the whole wall of high Himalaya from there, lit by the setting sun, or moonlight.

To see real sherpa life and villages, stay away from Namche.

Kathmandu Valley...
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21 posts
51 reviews
20 helpful votes
10. Re: Sherpa villages accessible by car
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Yes we can show you the most beautiful wilderness of ancient native Sherpa villages by 4 by 4 WD jeeps and horses. Though we discourage building roads near mountains, there are accessibility on lower elevation settlement of Sherpa community.

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