Lukla Nepal maintains an importance to both Nepali people and visitors because of a great location in the Everest region. The Lukla airport is the second reason the town stays on the map. Yet the town's importance as a base for trekking and mountain climbing isn't the only thing that makes it attractive. To stop, take a deep breathe, and admire at the surroundings means soaking in one of the most beautiful, mountainous backdrops in the region. The teal-green water flanking the base of verdant mountains widening into snow-capped peaks is an incredible sight to see during Lukla travel.
The Lukla airport is very small airport and sits at a whopping 9,800 feet high in the mountains. It is the sole way to fly into the Solo Khumbu, or the Everest region of Nepal. The only other way to approach Lukla Nepal, which some more industrious people do, is to walk a ten-day hike. Most opt to fly into the Lukla airport, which is renowned for offering extremely unreliable flights. Since it is mostly the only option, the only thing to do is grin and bear it when your flight is delayed. It is all dependent on the ever changing weather patterns. The short flight from Kathmandu to the Lukla airport add to the airport's convenience (when flights are not late of course). Lukla airport was renamed in 2008 after Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary, and became Tenzing-Hillary Airport. The two were the first two to ever reach the Mount Everest summit.
Traveling from Lukla to Mount Everest is one of the most exciting experiences for both novice and expert mountain climbers. The sheer size of the mountains is enough to awe just about anyone. On flights into Lukla, planes fly so close to the some of the highest mountains on the planet that some passengers end up pretty petrified. This is yet another experience in Nepal that is not for the weak. This region of Everest is the most popular trekking area in the country and it is also home to the hearty and enduring Sherpas, who are the true mountain people of Nepal. They are often the tried and true guides, the real heroes of the mountains. The often stark poverty throughout small mountain enclaves means these Sherpas are also often tour porters, too.
The trip from Lukla to Mount Everest is one that thousands of tourists do annually and the flight costs are affordable enough they are regular daily flights. Once there, mountain guides are readily available to take trekkers through the mountains, although it's best to make all travel and tour arrangements before heading off to Lukla on a flight. Anyone heading out of Lukla on a flight would be wise to show up at least two hours before departure as the airlines are well known for giving away seats of late arrivers to those eager to fill them up.
Passing time in Lukla Nepal might not be the most desirable situation, but if you find yourself needing to fill up a few hours, there are a few interesting things to do in Lukla and around the town. Aside from the trip from Lukla to Mount Everest, a trip north to Namche Bazaar is a fun way to pass a few hours. Namche is nestled into a saucer-shaped area near a valley leading to the borderline pass of Nangpa La at about 18,000 feet high.
Namche Bazaar has a great market to explore, and there are dozens of small businesses at many local homes where thick yak wool is spun and then woven into sweaters and carpets. Namche Bazaar also has a post office, hotels, shops, a bank and several good dining choices. It can be a good lodging choice over Lukla. It is also the headquarters for popular Sagarmatha National Park. Thyangboche monastery is in this region and is the country's largest and most famous gompa, or temple. There are also a few very famous temples in the Khumbu region deserving a look if transportation can be sorted out. En route to Namche Bazaar is the village of Phakding, another interesting stop if there is time.