NEPAL, KATHMANDU: THAMEL
by Marco Petruzzelli www.tvreporter.it Thamel is a popular tourist destination in Kathmandu, Nepal. Thamel has been the centre of the tourist industry in Kathmandu for over two decades, growing up between two of the original hotels, the Kathmandu Guesthouse and Hotel Utse. Even though Thamel has been referred to as the "ghetto" by some, most low-budget travelers consider it a tourist haven. Its concentration of narrow streets are lined with small shops selling everything from food and provisions to clothes, walking gear, cakes, pastries, music, DVDs (mostly pirated), handicrafts, travel agents and budget hotels. The area has some very good restaurants. Although prices tend to be significantly higher than non-tourist areas, food hygiene is generally a lot better too. Thamel also acts as the pre-base camp for mountaineers. It boasts a wide range of mountaineering gear shops, foreign money exchange booths, pubs, clubs and nightlife along with the numerous travel agents,and guest houses. All in all, Thamel is home to a wide range of audience of the nepalese population for entertainment and employment purposes. Thamel acts as Nepal's Red Light District in terms of accommodating erotic services for gentlemen seeking pleasure.