5 drinks and a meal in Thamel

By Royal Mountain Travel December 14, 2012

Thamel at night

Thamel is far from the only place in Kathmandu so make sure you get out and see other parts of the city. But if you’re set on spending an evening in the tourist hub then maybe this will help you be more decisive. You can often spend too much of the evening scratching your head on a street lined with restaurants and bars unsure of where to go. If you’d rather not linger in this position for long then make a plan and stick to it:

Reggae Bar

As the sun sets make your way over to Reggae Bar.  his venue is nocturnal and operates as a loud speaker for live music at night. That’s why it can be a welcome change to wind down there before the darkness and crowds descend. You can still head back there late at night if you’re in the mood. The terrace is spacious, as is the bar. Being high above the horns and bustle of Thamel might give you some perspective before you ease yourself into an evening that could go on until quite late if all goes to plan.

Electric-Pagoda-edit

Satisfied with your ‘un-yogic’ salute to the sun slide back into the side-stepping traffic below. The best way to chase a drink on a terrace is to have one as close to the ground as possible no? Let gravity pull you towards the Electric Pogoda, which is tucked away in a central corner of Thamel. Grab a cushion and gather around a low-lying table. The music is hard to describe, it meanders through psychedelic and ambient sounds with a library of wobbly and soothing effects. If you can’t contain your hunger then order yourself a plate of nachos. They’ll arrive with a hefty and possibly unhealthy layer of cheese and salsa, just the way it should be.

So you’re halfway through the evening and by now the nachos sandbagging your belly have been flooded with another few drinks. It’s time for you to grab something to eat without completely killing the momentum. You need sound, but not noise, atmosphere but not a crowd and decent, easy comfort food. When you hop from one venue to another in Thamel you’re hardly on the move for more than a minute until you’re shuffling yourself around a table in a new venue. Make your way through the streets to New Orleans to line your belly in a moodily lit courtyard enclosed by old style buildings. If aren’t vegetarian the Lemon Chicken is usually where my finger hovers when I talk to the waiter. If you are a vegetarian though try the spinach pancakes, I’ve heard only good things about them and more importantly it looks like a runny hamburger in a fluffy green bun.

Sam's Bar

For your second last stop of the evening try to find a seat at Sam’s Bar. You probably won’t as it’s usually pretty rammed. Even so, park up at the bar and have a glass of whatever it is you like. If you’re a beer person don’t order imported lager, have an Everest (crisp and light) or a Gorkha (a bold Heineken-esque brew). If you want a glass of red wine and like it dry be sure to mention that as you could end up with alcoholic, sweetened grape juice.

Purple Haze

By now (after possibly having had something strong to drink) you’re hopefully teetering and smiling significantly more than you were earlier. Forget tomorrow and climb the steps up to the recently opened Purple Haze. Even if you’re notably drunk you won’t miss it. It’s a blurry purple flare of shuddering glass and live music. The stage is taller than the average human and the venue itself is like a double story warehouse. Rock and Metal are big genres in Nepal and the white walls have artistic tributes to bands past and present.  Have a final drink in here and think of it as a welcome party in a stadium celebrating your successful trek around Thamel.

Fire-Club

PS If you still aren’t satisfied when last orders are called you have 3 options:

  1. Go home and on the way get the taxi driver to stop at shop that sells alcohol and have one at home
  2. Do the same but stay and drink at the shop with some of the characters that decorate it
  3. Go to Fire Club and dance until the early hours of the morning (just a heads up…I wouldn’t unless I was seriously desperate and could withstand trashy music and steep prices for more than 2 minutes.)

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