A small, peaceful town by a beautiful lake. Also the starting point of Annapurna Circuit/Basecamp treks. Has a lot of good restaurants and you can buy all the trekking gear there if you like. Recommend staying here for a few days even if you are not going trekking from here.
Dusty and crowded and not much for the eye. Thamel is the part you want to stay in if you want to be near all the restaurants and shops. Small little streets with hundreds of shops selling trekking gear - be ready to bargain and compare prices!