The narrow alleys of Thamel is a popular commercial neighborhood in Kathmandu that has a lot to offer to travelers.
The narrow alleys of Thamel is a popular commercial neighborhood in Kathmandu. Starting from the hippie days, which is about more than four decades now, the streets are still crowded with various shops and vendors that are a hot-spot for tourists. Situated in central Kathmandu, the place offers a diversity of experiences that keeps up the decade-old aura alive. Living by both day and night, Thamel comprises a wide variety of tourist requirements like trekking gears, souvenir shops, accommodation, restaurants, chill-out places, casinos, book stores, indoor sports, and many more. This hub is very busy with locals, visitors walking by along with vehicles like rickshaws, taxis, cars, two-wheelers, etc, few roads in the Thamel area were made a traffic-free zone. Also, the entire area is wifi-zone.
The tourist movements slowly began to increase from the initial Hippie days in the 1960s when the place was called Tabitha Bahal. The original inhabitants of the Tabitha Bahal were the Newars. Therefore, all structures of buildings are made in the traditional Newari style. The place is not quite a residential area. Historically, once, Thamel was also a trade route. Moreover, this place holds religious prominence as the traditional Newari people still do have their strong old connection.
Out of numerous experience that Thamel area caters to its visitors, some of the highlights are mentioned below:
SHOPPING IN THAMEL
While you explore the streets of Thamel, you will be surrounded by heaps of different shops that line the alleys. The decorative outlets have everything that you possibly can think of in Nepal. The area is a "touristy place" with higher prices in comparison to other places. If you know how to bargain, you surely are going to have a good shopping experience here.
The Thamel area shops sell everything from pashminas/cashmere, handicrafts, incense, souvenirs, tea, leather, jewelry, weapons, traditional style Nepali clothes, thangka, decorative items, rice papers, books to the travel and trekking gears (also for hiring purpose) for the place is also well known as a pre base station for many tourists.
NIGHTLIFE IN THAMEL
The other aspect that Thamel is known for is the vibrant nightlife it provides. If you are a person who loves live music accompanied by good food, pubs, and bars like Purple Haze, Reggae Bar, Tom and Jerry pub and such many other places will give you the perfect vibe with concerts, bands with their pop-rock and gold rock hits. The live music pumps up the crazy dance floor that you can enjoy from the balcony or a table nearby with some delicious cuisine the place offers. Killing the night with some dancing on the beats accompanying it with a sip of beer/cocktails is what most of the people in Thamel look for.
Also, just taking a stroll around the place with your friends is another fulfilling experience. As even at night, this place is full of life with silent temples, lovers in each other's arms, Rickshaw drivers waiting for the customers, neon lights flashing from the restaurants and bars. There will be fast food joints open for you to catch some sandwiches and burgers. Also, if you are looking for cozy places to hang out, the bars in Thamel are always a good option.
RESTAURANTS IN THAMEL
The mouth-watering flavors and the best taste in the restaurants of Thamel is one of the catchy features of this place. The area has bakeries, street food joints, multi-cuisine restaurants from where you can grab your choice of lunch, meal, or snacks to satisfy your cravings. Among many eateries, you can choose your dish type and visit the restaurants for your kind of specialized meals. With the varied meal plans and their extraordinary aura as a heaven for the taste buds, the place has some remarkable restaurants.
You can visit Flat Iron Grill, Momo Star, La Dolce Vita Resto, Northfield Café, Fire and Ice, Café Mitra, Black Olives, Himalayan Steak house, Roadhouse Café, Burger House for your lunch, meal, or snacks requirement.
If you also love to spend your time with a book and a warm cup of coffee, Thamel has the perfect coffee shops where you can spend quality time looking at the souvenirs or just having your snacks. Everything that anyone would look for, is right here in and around Thamel.
ACCOMMODATION IN THAMEL
As the tourist hub, this place is considered to be a pre base camp for trekkers and backpackers. They prepare for their trekking journey in the Himalayas here. So, the accommodation here is also suitable for travelers of every kind according to their requirements. From small lodges to luxury hotels, the place offers convenient facilities accompanied by the fine hospitality culture of Nepal.
Well fit in budget hotels like Taleju Boutique Hotel, Thamel Hostel, Mitra Garden Inn, Kathmandu Mantra Inn, Shangri La Lodge, etc are also available in the Thamel area. Moreover, the place also has 4-star hotels like Kantipur Temple House, Hotel Mulberry, Hotel Woodland Kathmandu, Hotel Moonlight Hotel Arts Kathmandu, Yatri Suites and Spa, etc. You can also find 5-star hotels like Hotel Yak and Yeti, Hotel de I' Annapurna around the Thamel area.
Though you might find the charges to be a bit higher than in other places in Nepal, the facilities and services are up to the mark that will be worth the stay. Just make sure that you check the reviews of the hotel to ensure the standard of the services.
Apart from the above-mentioned thriving attractions, the cultural importance of Thamel cannot be turned a blind eye on. Though this aspect of the place goes unnoticed amidst the busy streets, Thamel holds a great deal of historical importance with its several cultural monuments as it is already thousand-years-old.
The less known temple Tri Devi is devoted to the Goddesses Jawala Mai, Dakshinkali, and Manakamana. The Sunken Ganesh Shrine is below a pavement in the northern part of Thamel and has a beautiful deity of Lord Ganesh inside it. Gairi Dhara is a natural water source that is still in use. The Shiva Shrine, Ashoka Stupa, Bhagwati Temple, Chhwasal Ajima Sthan, Maitripur Mahabihar Bahal, Bhagwati, Kumari Shrines are some of the other culturally important aspects of Thamel.
This tourist hub is more about exploring and discovering the beauty of the place. The diversity here is a great experience to cherish as you take a stroll through the streets of Thamel.