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Please don't be afraid to venture into more local venues and try the local food if your medicine kit contains the goodies to protect you.

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Music of Nepal

Music is an integral part of Nepali life and Nepali culture. None of the cultural, social or religious event is complete without musicians and without the sounds of music in Nepal. Traditionally, there is special caste of people in Nepal called the 'Damais' and the 'Gaines' whose main duty in life is playing musical instruments and singing in all kinds of functions and celebrations. Going side by side with their ethnic diversities the people of different ethnic groups have their own musical instruments and dances viz. 'Lakhe' dance of the Newars and 'Rodi' of the Gurungs to name a few. 'Ropain'(Rice planting) is also considered a special occasion that is always accompanied by songs and dances.

The influence of Indian and other forms of oriental music in Nepal has been always very strong due to the cultural and religious affinities that exist between the people of these two countries. So don't be surprised if you hear Hindi film songs being aired on FMs, T.V. and discothèques. The shops are full of CDs of Indian music including 'Bhajans', Film Songs and Classicals.

But of late, it is the western music that has been able to appeal and influence the young minds of Nepal. Like elsewhere in the world, western modern music like pop, rock and rap are the latest craze. It is no wonder that a large number of clubs and musical bands have mushroomed up in every nooks and corners of not only Kathmandu but in other big cities as well. '1947 A.D.' and 'Robin and the New Revolution' are amongst many other popular musical bands. You can also listen to classic Nepali songs sung by well known singers like Narayan Gopal, Tara Devi and Natikaji. If you are interested in pop music you can always listen to Nima Rumba, Nabin K. Bhattarai and Sabin Pokharel. Or if you are a die hard classical music fan, then Sur Sudha is the best choice.

To get a taste of western music you can always visit Thamel - the tourist center of Nepal. Restaurants in Thamel come alive with all kind of music ranging from Blues, Rock, Heavy Metal and Rap.

Night life is another great opportunity to indulge yourself in the course of your stay in Nepal. Major cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara and Dharan come alive with night clubs, discos, lounges and bars that stay open till the wee hours of the night. Discos are becoming extremely popular among the younger generation and there are a number of restaurants with dance floors. You might also be surprised with the number of dance restaurants in the city. Many areas in the city are also known for its infamous dance bars and dance restaurants that are often under police raid.

But if you want to get a feel of the local or ethnic taste, book your seats at the 'Bhanchaghar' or the 'Bhoechen' that hosts live cultural shows every night with ethnic music, dance and food.

You must take extra prevention to ensure safety. Do make sure you do not travel alone at night. During night time it's always best to go to a restaurant or a pub that is just a walk away from the hotel you are staying at. You do not get public transportation after certain hours during night time. Taxis are always stand by but can be very expensive.

With these few points in mind, dance away to the tunes of Nepali folk as well as modern day music that is so welcoming and entertaining for all ages and time.

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