Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thamel: The hub of prostitution

Thamel: The hub of prostitution

Anurag Sharma
Kathmandu, Apr 19 (PTI) Nestled in the heart of Nepal's capital city, Thamel, a favourite tourist destination for shopping has over the years turned into an international sex centre.

With a sizeable flow of foreign currencies and over 3000 different types of flourishing business that provide everything from handicrafts, food items to entertainment to tourists, Thamel now has also become home to over 30 dance bars, all licensed.

The narrow winding alleys of the centre is lined with promotional sleazy posters and houses about 200 massage parlours catering to the needs of visitors looking for sex.

With stiff competition from a large number of existing dance bars, owners of the shops often resort to aggressive marketing strategies. Visitors are frequently accosted on the streets by the staff who try to entice customers.

"There are more than 30 dance bars here. After dusk, many tourists visit us for some good time. We charge only for food and liquor and the rest is for free," says Chen, an employee of "Pussy Cats" dance bar, while looking for clients.

He admitted that the main source of income for most of the dance bars is from prostitution. "From striptease to sex, all the bars are openly running sex rackets to serve the large number of tourists visiting Thamel," he says, adding that mostly girls in early twenties work for them. PTI

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