Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Entertainment and Nightlife in Nepal

Nepal is an agricultural based society which means most of the locals go to bed early and get up with the rising sun – working like a dog and sleeping like a log but this does not mean that life goes to sleep too. The life is still wide awake and young to many who need to keep themselves fully entertained and you will find plenty of places to fulfill your desire. Most of the restaurants in the main tourist areas like Thamel close after 10 pm but a number of bars stay open until after midnight.

Note that the city laws in Kathmandu means all music needs to be put off by 10 pm and people on the streets should be on their way home. In this magnitude too, you still can be merry in the fascinating action packed Casinos or shake a leg or two in some discotheques.

People travel to Nepal for various reasons and one of the reasons for their travel especially for the South Asian people has been to play in the Casinos of Nepal and try their lady luck smiling upon them.

There are four Casinos in Kathmandu located in the premises of the city’s top hotels which offers 24 hours of non stop fun and games like baccarat, blackjack, flush, poker, pontoon, roulette, and other card games and slot machines. All the games are played in chips and they can be bought with US dollars or Indian rupees. You'll get free food and sometimes a disco if you put some money on the tables. Nepali's are officially forbidden from entering in Casinos.

To keep yourself amused from dawn to dusk, you can get yourself engaged in different things from a short trek, sight seeing, mountain flight, movies to dining in a nice and cozy restaurant that offers cultural programs and witness the diverse and fascinating ethnic and cultural traditions of Nepal. Enjoy your visit to Nepal all the more by visiting in the following entertainment places in Kathmandu:

Casino Nepal - Soaltee Compound, Tahachal, Ph. 4270244
Casino Anna - Hotel de L'Annapurna, Durbar Marg, Ph. 4228650
Casino Everest - Hotel Everest, New Baneshwor, Ph. 4488100,
Casino Royale - Hotel Yak & Yeti, Durbar Marg, Ph. 4225550

Culture Shows - Almost every restaurant and hotel that caters to the non-backpacking, up-scale market hotels, hosts a nightly culture show complete with local dances, music, songs and costumes. Usually starts at around 7.00 PM and costs about Rs 200 per person.

The Himalchuli Cultural Group is a Classical and Folk Dance group, which performs nightly, at 7.00 PM - 8.30 PM, at The Festival Restaurant and Bar in Lazimpat, (behind the Peace Zone English School) Ph. 4415280. The restaurant serves excellent Nepali and Newari cuisine.

In Pokhara many restaurants have a cultural dance show on every night. Sign boards outside the restaurants advertise what’s happening.

Local Bands, the Bar Scene and Dancing - Look for local bands in the cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara that may even get away with staying open past the 10pm curfew. Discos are becoming popular and dancing sometimes breaks out at local bars. Because of cultural attitudes toward men and women contact, local people general dance with the same sex. A general rule: if you see local women dressed in jeans, they've been cultured abroad or family ties extend outside the country.

There are several bars scattered around Thamel in Kathmandu, all close to each other. Each one has its own style so have a look in each one to choose which appeals to you.

Tom & Jerry Pub - upstairs, opposite to Pilgrims Book Store, has been open for along time, it's noisy and has pool tables. Close by on the same side of the road is the New Orleans Cafe - a popular place to eat good food and often has live bands. In the same area is the Jump Club - a popular bar with DJ and a small dance floor. Further north is the Tunnel Club - a popular top-floor place with very loud music and open late hours. Almost opposite is Sam's Bar - a small place with good music that opens after 5 PM.

A well known bar is the Rum Doodle Restaurant & Bar - it's a favorite meeting place for mountaineering expeditions, and you can eat here free for life, but only if you conquer Everest first! The Pub Maya, which is associated with Maya Cocktail Bar - has remained a favorite for along time. Close to Thamel Chowok is the Underground Bar, which always has its music up pretty high. Further along on Tridevi Marg, Studio 54 is currently popular.

Right near Yin Yang Restaurant is Paddy Foley's Irish Bar - a very popular place, especially on St. Patrick’s day!

Kathmandu has a couple of discos, popular with the more wealthy Nepalis. The Moon Sun Disco - at the Heritage Plaza in Kamaladi, Club X Zone near Durbar Marg. Both are open late every night but are probably not ideal for visiting tourists. If you want to dance bars in Thamel are a lot better.
Caution: with over 50 ethnic groups, drunken brawls are not uncommon whenever people are warmed up enough to cut-a-rug.

Movies - The only theaters in the country play popular Hindi movies from Bollywood, mostly without English subtitles. But catching a Hindi movie is worth it since understanding the language is not essential to enjoy these comedy-musical spectaculars. Recently, a few local venues have popped up serving English language movies that are about 6 months behind their market release.

A number of restaurants in Thamel offer pirated videos or laser discs on TV's, almost as soon as they are released at the cinemas in the west. These places usually require you to eat at the restaurant and the movie is included. You'll see the movies written up on chalk boards on the pavements.

Update: The Inter-Cultural Film Society - Starting in March 2000, this non-profit organization promises to "bring diverse feature films from different cultures around the globe ... for promotion of inter-cultural understanding”. Call Prem Basnet or Susi Groeli at: 4481659 or 5537551 for detail information.

There are films shown at the Russian Cultural Center in Kamal Pokhari. They are foreign language films with English subtitles.

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