Exploring the Historical Hippie Trail of the 70’s - The Kathmandu

in #culture3 years ago (edited)

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The hippie trail was the popular overland voyage undertaken by the members of the hippie subculture as well as other travellers between Europe and Southeast Asia. It became popular from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s and was a form of cost-friendly travel.

The greater trail introduced many westerners to the South Asia milieu. Today, many of those who came and never left still live in peace, reminiscing about the past.

Hippie Culture

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Hippie culture signifies a liberal counterculture, originally a youth movement that started in the United States and the United Kingdom during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. (Wikipedia)

Hippie culture was founded on the idea of unattached living that resembles India's ascetic lifestyle or ' Sanyasis. ' The movement to follow the Hippie lifestyle began in the 1960s among many young Americans and Europeans. They started living communally and followed the common practices of meditation and non-violent movements. Though they were frowned upon by the others for their different lifestyle choices, the Hippies claim it to be a transcendent experience. Let's all thank them for influencing and revolutionizing the art and fashion of the 70s.

The emergence of finding lesser politically active destinations for travelling brought them to the Hippie trail, which began in Europe, passed through the Middle East and ended in South Asia. Then middle east and South Asia was more open for the incoming tourists and were less influenced by the conservative political views against the Hippies.

Hippie Trail

The trail generally started from Europe, mainly from the cities of Copenhagen, London, Paris, Amsterdam etc and passed through the Middle East to South Asia. Bangkok, Goa and Kathmandu were usual destinations in the end. Travelling to Nepal by road from London. It's going to take 7500+ miles ( 12,200+ Kilometers), 33 cities, 14 countries & many cultures.

Thamel - The Mecca Of Tourists In Kathmandu And A Hipster City

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The term "Thamel" derives from Kathmandu ethnic inhabitants ' Newari language, reflecting a flourishing shopping centre in the great region of Kathmandu. In terms of lifestyle and socioeconomic status, the small hipster city has changed dramatically over time. Also known as den tourists, tourist traps of Hippie or Mecca Tourists, Thamel has a different lifestyle from the rest of the greater Kathmandu. The dingy bars, loud western music, stylish trance parties and restaurants give the city a real impression

A famous flea market for adventure travellers, you can buy or rent food products for hiking, trekking and climbing in particular.

The majority of Nepal tourism businesses are here. Such catering agencies from around the world, situated side by side, often in a single house, serve Nepal's local tourism industry. The services are larger than life and fairer, despite their small brick and mortar offices (especially those inspected by regulatory agencies such as the Nepal Mountaineering Association


Originally, the Kathmandu ethnic tribe house - “Newar,” the place received international recognition for its popularity among incoming tourists, mainly hippies during the early '70s and '80s. Thamel saw a large influx of Western tourists, those who seek peace, Eastern spiritual music and drugs. This place assimilated with the cultures of "Flower Generation" and became a hipster city. You can easily find hashish and Ganja (Marijuana) in these streets.

The development of small business, with the establishment of bars and restaurants, has made this place one of the epicentres of commerce in Kathmandu. Among the new concrete buildings, you can still find houses made of mud and stone, temples dedicated to the ancient gods and Hindu goddesses in different corners, settlers wearing high fashion ethnic Newari wandering the streets, and many local festivals held inside of Thamel's premises. The ethnic inhabitants mostly sold or rented out of their homes in Thamel to the companies that did what they are today.

An urban legend is very popular among the inhabitants of Kathmandu, suggesting that rock stars like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison ventured Thamel during its heyday. Today, many stars on the worldwide scene-Jojo Mayer, Bruce Springsteen and Sting are once in a while seen wandering the roads of Thamel.

Bars and restaurants

Restaurants and bars are the prestige of Thamel. A bar called "Rum Doodle" and decorated with photographs of the book "The Rum Doodle Rise" has become a popular stopping point for mountain expeditions & a joint for mountaineers. It serves free food for life to climbers who have reached the top of Everest. Messner, Lowe, Anker and the like have often ventured here.

Other popular joints known to mankind are: Shisha Bar, Purple Haze-Rock Bar, Reggae Bar, Lords of Drinks, New Orleans Restaurant, Himalayan Java and Sandwich Point

Trekking and Climbing Gears

Alpine Shona is one of the most popular camisero is in Thamel, along with many outlets smaller and larger offering speeds trekking at reasonable prices, including Sherpa Adventure Gear ® and North Face ® .

Travel agency

Travel agencies were found to be the number of thousands of people. Oldest of some of the newest establishments, all of them have established their nests in Thamel. It is recommended to choose the company for its experience and diversity of customers it has served. Many can be found or contacted through their websites, such as Regulus, Ace The Himalaya & many more.


Many fine establishments have resided here (except 4 or 5 stars). Finding one that will not be difficult, and most of them come at a reasonable cost. Many of which include, Moonlight Hotel, Hotel Mulberry, Fairfield by Marriott and Manang Hotel


Good to know the Hippie culture in Nepal during 70's.

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