Thamel area has recently emerged as the most popular tourist area of Kathmandu. Thamel is a 15 to 20 minute walk from the center of Kathmandu. Thamel has clean narrow streets full of mushrooming lodges, hotels for budget travellers. Restaurants, bars and other tourists oriented shops can be seen bustling with activities.
Thamel has been a top hotspot for tourist in Nepal since the 1960s. It is the tourist district of Nepal, located at the center of capital city Kathmandu. It took me just 10 minutes ride from the Tribhuvan International Airport to reach Thamel.
The first thing travelers and trekkers alike notice in Thamel is its peculiar sound, smell and sight. The maze of winding streets decorated with all sorts of business ads is filled with travel agents, trekking guides, beggars, drug peddlers, mobile vendors etc. Thamel is chock-a-bloc with traditional building, modern skyscrapers and traditional temples. You will have much to appreciate the queerness and griminess of Thamel as much as loathe its blaring sound of cars, traffic congestion and pollution. And if you are into environmentally sound living, then ride a pollution free rickshaw, use hemp clothes, go for herbal tea or take part in cleaning activities.
Thamel is centrally located. Kathmandu Durbar Square, a world heritage site, is within a walking distance from here and so is Swoyambhunath, another popular world heritage monument. Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square are also easily accessible.
The idea of staying in Thamel is quite appealing. A range of budget to star hotels caters to travelers of every pocket size and interests. There are also local restaurants as well as those that cater international cuisine such as Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Continental, to North American and Southeast Asian. I recommend trying pizza in Fire & Ice, Coffee in Java or Chikusa and steaks wherever you feel like.
For every step you make there is a shop offering varieties of items from handicrafts and singing bowl to sleeping bags and pashmina outfits. In fact tor shoppers who are waiting to discover and be enthralled, there is no better destination than Thamel. During night you can absorb the nightlife: pubs, live bands, a soiree of LGBTs and echo of traditional music being played by Gandharba, Nepal’s minstrel.