One who never leaves Thamel does not get to see Kathmandu. The area of Thamel was created over two decades ago for the sole purpose of catering to trekking tourists. It's a loud and crowded maze of streets filled with travel and trekking agencies, clothing stores, jewelers, bootleg music and DVD stores, trekking outfitters selling fake brand name outdoor gear, Thanka stores (hand painted Tibetan Buddhist paintings), Kashmiri shawl vendors, German bakeries, juice stands, bars with Nepali bands blasting out cover versions of western hits and restaurants that satisfy the craving of anyone's taste buds. Besides that, one is constantly hustled by bicycle rickshaw and taxi drivers, tiger balm and weed sellers and people who want to lure you into one of the countless trekking agencies to get you to sign up for a group trek. Thamel could be almost anywhere in the world and my first impulse is to see what's beyond this bubble.