I spent a few months in kathmandu and didn't want to be based in thamel all the time because it's all just built and centred around tourists. i chose to live in Asan and think it's great. If you love bustling streets full of life and people and interesting things going on everywhere you look, you will love it too. It's a great area to shop and most of the stall holders will give you a fair price even if you're a tourist - unlike thamel. Come in the early evening for the vegetable market and for the most atmosphere. It's true that it's chaotic but that's part of the fun! I recommend coming on a dry day if possible because things do get a little muddy if it has rained. The streets that radiate off the market square are so interesting and you'll feel far from the tacky tourism of thamel - no one hassling you to buy stuff. If you're a photographer you could easily spend a whole day wandering and discovering.
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