Recommendations on what are the best parts to stay in besides Thamel?
Depends what you are after of course. I normally stay in this backpackers lodge https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/Hotel_Review-g293890-d6840773-Reviews-Kathmandu_Garden_House-Kathmandu_Kathmandu_Valley_Bagmati_Zone_Central_Region.html in Paknajol, less than five minutes walking from Thamel but there are literally hundreds of options.
Boudhanath, Patan, Lazimpat...many options. What kind of location are you looking for?
I did stay at The Museum in Lazimpat , a new great little hotel , but its about a 45min walk to Thamel ,
Neighborhood was quiet .
Thanks so much....I am looking to be close to shopping for local handicrafts...I heard all the shopping for that is in Thamel?
Thamel does have handicraft shops so staying in Thamel means these are accessible. However, there are there are areas close to Thamel that also have a range of hotels. These include Chhetrapati and Paknajol which are a;most indistinguishable from Thamel in that you do not leave the touristy area, the tourist shops, cafes and hotel thin out a little. Lazimpat is a little further away but walkable to Thamel (it's 15 minutes from the hotel I use).
Besides proximity to handicraft shop, there are other factors to consider such as convenience for any other things you want to see and do (but T and the other areas mentioned are well-placed for the the KTM & valley sights) and how lively you want it to be. Thamel is busy and can be noisy particularly if the hotel happens to be close to a bar or music venue. Other noise such as dogs and traffic can happen any where but Thamel has an added nuisance: the chorus of metal shutters opening and closing.
All the areas have a range of hotels in terms of prices and standards and I'm sure people will make recommendations if you ask. Letting people know your preferred standards & facilities and budget (bearing in mind hotels can be still be good value in KTM) will help get appropriate suggestions.
Handicrafts will be available in other places probably more cheaply. I can't give specific suggestions other than to suggest the Indra Chowk and Asan Tole area where locals shop. Others will know better, I think suzie r buys such things at wholesale.
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