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Thamel, at Kathmandu.
Thamel is the main hotel, shopping and Entertainment district of Kathmandu. This is the area where most of the hotels located mostly budget hotels and also it is one of the places where you can find mountaneering, Camping and trekking gears on rent or purchase. There are about hundred hotels located in Thamel. Recently lots of restaurants and dancing bars have also come up, where Nepalese youth spend their evenings.
Shopping is also there but most of the things sold out there are very expensive as compared to Calcutta or India. We did not find anything worth buying except for T shirts, or small souvenir of genuine Nepalese origin.
Thamel is where the vast majority of travellers stay in Kathmandu these days.
It has replaced the famous freak street as the main hangout for backpackers and these days it's full of cafes, restaurants, hotels and shops catering to tourists.
It´s very practical to stay there as you can find most of the shops with maps, outdoor gear, books and other things you might need for the trip there.
I would really advice people to also visit other parts of Kathmandu though as you can otherwise come away with the impression that Kathmandu is just one big tourist place and it is not at all.
Many parts of Kathmandu sees very few foreigners and these parts are nice to visit too even if they have less cafes than Thamel.
Thamel is just north of Durbar Square in the very heart of Kathmandu.
- Budget Travel
From Thamel to Durbar Square
I enjoyed it to walk the 2 KM from our Kathmandu Guesthouse in Thamel to the Durbar Square, the centre of the old city.
So idi several times. Mostly I took the road along the small square, Thahiti Tole with its stupa and Shiva temple, and from there south to Indra Chowk, with a courtyard named after the vedic deity Indra.
During this walk I met a rich world of people, shops, streetstalls, streetvendors, temples, stupa's, shrines, all kind of architecture. Every time I discovered new things.
Touristy, but great
Thamel seems to be the tourist area of Kathmandu. It has many, many guest houses, hotels, restaurants, clubs, bars and loads of shopping.
There is a healthy nightlife in Thamel, although the place closes down at around 10h30 – 11h00 pm.
Despite being “touristy”, there are some great shops and services in Thamel. The offers of ‘hash and girls etc’ can be a bit annoying, but usually a ‘no thank you’ was enough not to be bothered too much.
It is easy to find taxis and other modes of transport here, but discuss the fare before you get in.
There are many travel agents in this area where you can organize trips, trekking and airplane tickets.
- Budget Travel
Thamel is the area where the largest numbers of travellers stay.
So we did, in the Kathmandu Guesthouse.
In Thamel are hundreds of hotels, guesthouses, lodges, restaurants, shops (like outdoor, local craft, books) and travel agencies. So this is also the place to meet a lot of fellow travellers.
I liked the cosmopolitain and relaxed atmosphere of this area. I did a lot of shopping, spending my last money (most on buying books at the Pilgrims Bookhouse), before going back to Europe.
- Historical Travel
Shopping Galore in Themal
Themal is a fantastic area (but very touristy) where you can basically find anything you need. There are shops and restaurants galore with every single taste in mind. It is dirty, smelly and extremely busy but that just adds to the atmosphere and excitement of it all.
This is the place where you can book all ongoing travel and treks but bargaining with the travel agencies, buy your trekking gear, send emails home and basically spend all of your money.
Most of the things you buy won't be real, but they're cheap and look like the real thing, so who cares?
I spent at least a full day in Themal and didn't get bored. It's the perfect place who people who have been starved of shopping for any period of time.
Chill around Thamel
Thamel is also know as the tourist ghetto, togehter with freak street.
Freek street was the best location during the 70’s, now it is the turn of Thamel.
Here you will find a lot of chepa Guesthouses, Hotels, restaurant, bars and a lot of shops where yto spend a “not so expensive” nice afternoon, together with thousand of travel agencies.
Walk up and down to Thamel street is also a nice activity, but clearly only if you have an half a day free, and you want to shop for a while and see somethign else!
Everyone who travels in Nepal is coming to Kathmandu. When you are here the Thamel is a really must see.
Why go to the Thamel? Well, this is the place to be for shopping, eating, drinking, walk around or reading and sending your e-mails.
Looking for a book (new or second handed): go to one of the bookstores (you can sell your books too).
I really advise you to buy something at a German Bakery. They have a lot of choice and whatever you choose, it is delicious.
Thamel is a popular touristic destination in Kathmandu, specially for the budget travellers. A good place for great shopping (cheap mountaneering gear shops, handicrafts, etc) cheap hostels, good restaurants and a lively nightlife, it´s also a chaotic place full of vendors and touts. A couple of days are enough to shop and do some sightseing around or you can use Thamel as a cheap hub to explore the wonderful cities of Patan or bakthapur. For some people is a touristic guetto but i like character of the place.
According to me, everything occurs here in Kathmandu. It is the center of the life. All the important shops, cafés, restaurants are here, I think. It is a big shopping district and can easily be named as the center. Thamel was not easy to figure out for me. I still remember it as a labyrinth.
The first time, we went there by bus. Then the traffic gone crazy and we had to walk on a crowded street. With our huge group, it was really difficult to walk in the chaos without lost somebody. We were going to Rum Doodle for dinner and it was dark. I must say the darkness is not the main problem because we tried to reach Thamel from Durbar Square in day light with a smaller group and it was as difficult as the one before. Luckily I had a small plan on my mind after the dinner in Rum Doodle and many people (vendors on the way) know the place of this restaurant.
Thamel is a crowded, must to experienced place in my opinion. But also can be thought as a touristic and overrated. See and decide yourself.
- Budget Travel
Although Thamel is noisy and can be a little bit hassley, I liked it and would stay here again. There are so many restaurants, cafes, bars, supermarkets, stalls and so much accomodation. The location is very handy for wandering into the older parts of Kathmandu, too.
- Budget Travel
Well, in Thamel, there are thousands of things you can buy especially trekkers. Name it, track pants, sleeping bags, bottles, jackets..and etc..etc...every single shop has got it all and what you need to do is to find the one with the best price offer.
A lot of people are complaining about Thamel. Ok, it´s not real Nepal and it can be chaotic, crowded, noisy and even dangerous, but i`ve found it fun and interesting; a nice place to eat well and enjoy a little nightlife after the peace of Phokara or the beauty of Patan or Bakthapur. That´s what vacation´s are for to enjoy all class of experiences.
Nepali Kitchen - Cookery Class
Our trek guide, Amrit, also runs Nepali Kitchen with his wife. He meets you in the morning, and takes you to market to buy the ingredients you'll be cooking. Then back to his home in Thamel where his wife takes over and shows you how to make some very tasty snacks.
We enjoyed the cooking a lot, but also the opportunity to get beyond the tourist stuff and into a Nepali home and family. It's something of an eye opener.
I guess you can also check him out as a trekking guide. We loved his style because he knew so much about flora, fauna and customs.
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
- Hiking and Walking
Visit the Thamel area
This famous area has many shops, hotels and restaurants to cater to the tourists. In fact, I think there could be more tourists than Nepalese in the Thamel area. There are many services, such as adventure tours, internet & e-mail, money changers etc etc.
- Budget Travel
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