Night Way Of Life Ushers In Nepal, Thanks To The New Generation And Fun Enthusiasts
By Phurpa Sherpa, KATHMANDU: Not so long ago, a typical Nepali day used to be all about your activities from “sunrise to sunset” – do all activities during the day time and stay home right after the sunset. Time is changing now, as more and more people are opting for outside fun in the lounges, bars and dance clubs rather than staying home in the evening. This trend is getting more common in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, which is also the largest financial hub of the country.
Just a few years back, the number of night clubs could be counted in fingers. They were mostly centered in Thamel, the largest tourist hub of Kathmandu, and used to lack variations in their services.
Today, the number of night clubs are on a constant rise as per people’s demand and as never before, and they are bringing variations in their services, too.
A large number of frequenters to the night clubs, lounges and bars consists of the young boys and girls, who have crossed their legal age. The other large number of frequenters include the mature men and women, who get bored with the daily stress of life and are looking for some refreshment.
Besides these two local groups, the third group consists of the international visitors or the tourists who come to Nepal – a major and niche tourist destination of the world – for fun and good time.
“We are in this business for the past eight months. Business is really booming and getting more popular,” said Robin Shrestha, the chief executive officer at the L.O.D. (Lord of the Drinks) lounge bar and club in Thamel.
L.O.D. came into limelight a few weeks ago when former king of Nepal, Gyanendra Shah visited this night club with his family members including former princesses Himani and Prerana. The ex-royals were surrounded by celebrities like Rima Biswokarma and others.
“Everyday we get around 1,500 to 2,000 customers. We get more crowded on Wednesday and Friday nights,” said Shrestha.
“People generally start coming at around 11 pm in the evening and stay here until 4 am in the morning. Eighty percent of our customers are Nepalese, while 20 percent are international travelers or visitors. Customers have to be 18 plus to be eligible for an entry. Boys wearing slippers and half jeans and who are already drunk, are not allowed to enter.”
To keep customers’ massive flow intact, L.O.D. organizes various live programs inviting a host of new as well as old singers, dancers and celebrities, offers VIP seats to classy individuals and tries to provide services at par with an international night club. It has arranged a full-fledged security (of seven star bouncers) and has employed around 40 “strong muscled” bouncers to maintain security and to keep any foreseeable situation under control.
Ramesh Gurung of Gokarna, Kathmandu loves to go to Thamel area once or twice in a month with friends, as he wants to reduce the stress of daily life and reverberate the refreshment a night life can offer to him.
“Our Nepalese society would not accept hanging out in the night time before, nor it would allow dancing closely with the girls. But time has really changed. These things are common now and gradually being accepted by our society,” said Gurung.
“Not just young people but I see senior citizens, too, hanging out to different night clubs with their families and friends. I think we should visit night clubs sometime, as hanging out in the night time does not mean involving in criminal activities or doing bad things. It all depends as to how we deal with the situation.”
Nabin Yonjan is from Boudha and is not scared to visit night clubs in Thamel and other areas because of the well-managed security arrangements and a plenty of capable bouncers to tame the bad guys, as and when required.
“Because of the bad guys, for me it was really scary to visit Thamel area in the night time before. But now it is amazingly safe to visit for family dinners, hang out and enjoy the night life. The night clubs have trained-bouncers and the police forces are literally all over the streets that give you a sense of safety,” Yonjan said.
The Metropolitan Police Circle in Pakanajol, Kathmandu has a similar observation as Yonjan’s in terms of the improvement in peace and security situation in Thamel and other areas.
“Thamel is still the first choice of international travelers and visitors coming to Kathmandu. Criminal activities here have drastically fallen down to a negligible level, while we are working round the clock to provide 24 hour security to this and other destinations,” said an officer at the Police Circle.
As “Visit Nepal 2020” is approaching near, night clubs, lounges and bars, among other tourist service providing facilities, are hopeful that this will add to their businesses and promote tourism in Nepal.
“We are ready to give Nepal’s tourism sector a boost. We are undergoing an extensive preparation,” said Yogesh Bhattarai, Nepal’s Minister for Tourism, who is inviting tourism ministers from 40 countries to grace the beauty of Nepal during the inaugural ceremony on January 1, 2020.
During “Visit Nepal 2020”, the mountainous and hilly republic of Nepal, sitting on the lapse of the snowy Himalayan range, with no dearth of plains in the Terai, aims to welcome as much international visitors as possible with a minimum threshold of 2 million visitors for this year.
Along with the night life of Kathmandu, the offers in the menu include: rafting in the sloppy mountain rivers, getting acquainted with the rhinos, tigers, red pandas and wild buffaloes of Nepal, enjoying life in the lake cities of Pokhara and Jumla, paragliding from Bhedetar, visiting the “all red” rhododendron forest in the Tinjure-Milke hills and escalating up to the base camp of Mount Everest – the tallest point on Planet Earth.