It is a known fact that people who love to travel also love to make every trip a memorable one. There are easily two ways of doing it. One, photographs of the place, reminding you of all the places you’ve been to, and secondly, getting a souvenir back to forever remind you of the place. It is easily one of the easiest ways of getting back something and holding onto it, forever, in your memory.
Nepal is such a beautiful place that it defies description. Every street and every corner seems to have a story to tell. The people, their way of life, and their crafts all seem to be as uncomplicated yet immensely beautiful as the people inhabiting there. Such is the experience that, there is no way you want to come back without bringing back something from there that will always jog your memory. Inevitably, shopping in Nepal will make it into your list of “things to do” once you get there. In Nepal, Katmandu seems to be a favorite destination among travelers to shop. Katmandu seems to have everything. From clothes to jewelry, electronic items to artifacts. You name it and Katmandu will have a shop that will be selling it. Some of the things that are very popular among the tourists are clothes, contemporary crafts, and articles, Nepali tea, carpets, handicrafts made from Paper Mache, batik, handcrafted toys, etc.
Famous for their unique motifs and hand embroidery, clothes are a popular buy among the people who visit Nepal. Nepal is very cold, you can get very good bargains on woolen clothes. From caps and jackets to sweaters and mufflers, you’ll find it at a good price in Katmandu. Places like Thamel and Freak Street are famous for their woolen products. Indra Chowk is famous for the Saris and dress materials. Kaftans also make it into most tourist’s shopping lists.
If you have been forever behind a Pashmina shawl, which is the Nepali version of the Cashmere then Indra Chowk is the place you have to visit. They are available in various varieties and also at much more reasonable prices. Tibetian Refugee camp just outside of Patan also will give you great Pashmina products at affordable prices. You might find the local Nepalis wearing a traditional cap or Topis; these are easily available at Ason Tol.
If you love the latest gadgets then Nepal is the place for you to buy them. They are available at a very cheap and affordable rate, the reason being the lack of sales tax and import duties on the goods. The best place to buy electronic goods will be in Katmandu, Thamel, around New Road, and also in Bir Gunj, Biratnagar and Janakpur.
Nepal has its unique set of musical instruments like the sarangi and the bamboo flutes that are easily available at places like Thamel and Khichapokri which are south of the New Road close to Katmandu.
Arts and Crafts
If you love scouring markets for those rare artifacts unique to the place then Nepal is your haven. They are very famous for their jewellery batik work paintings and of course toys and handicraft items. Patan is a must-visit place if you love handicrafts. There is a Traditional Craftsmen Colony that is very popular for all Nepali handicraft items. Durbar Square is very popular for the Thangka which is a Tibetan silk painting with intricate embroidery on them. However, you will also find them in places like Tri Devi Margh and Thamel.
Carpets and rugs are available in abundance and at very affordable prices here. Jyothi line has a shop called “Royal Collections” which has an assortment at various prices. Artifacts need to be bought very carefully here as it’s very difficult to differentiate between the originals and fakes. The rarest artifacts however are not on sale as the government doesn’t allow them. But you can get some really good bargain on the Buddha statues which are sold in Patan. You will find bronze statues of Buddha at various prices and sizes. Bhaktapur is another such place where you will find bronze statues busts and other such artifacts. Another must-buy is Kukri i.e. knives. However, check whether your airlines will allow them back. Your best bet will be to buy either tiny kukris or the ones which look real but are made from other materials but metal. At Pokhara you will find various other artifacts such as flags medals and other memorabilia. You will also find a lot of Newari artifacts here. If you crave more items related to Buddha then a visit to Lumbini and Buddhist sites located in Katmandu shall satisfy your whims.
Nepal is famous for its silverware studded with precious and semi-precious stones. You will also find a lot of junk and chunky jewellery. It is also very popular for glass bead creations. Katmandu has a lot of shops selling this kind of jewellery. Apart from Katmandu, you can find such jewellery in Indra Chowk’s Ranki Bazzar. Patan also sells some unique pieces of jewellery and has several such shops too.
Tea and spices
Nepal has the demography as well as the geography to produce some of the best quality spices and tea. Llam is very famous for its production of a variety of tea. Shops in Katmandu will also have some of this selling in attractive packages.
In Katmandu, you will also find a plethora of spices. Nutmeg, saffron, ginger, and pepper are amongst the most popular spices. You will find exotic spices even in the markets between Asan and Indra Chowk.
Nepal is famous for its paper mache items that are handmade and painted into such exquisite items of display and use. Their handmade paper, which is made from the bark of the Lokta tree, is used to make calendars, writing pads, lamp shades, and even cards. It got such popularity that it’s made use of by UNICEF to produce items and cards which are produced commercially at Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur also boasts of amazing pottery work especially terracotta and decorative earthenware and also unique wooden carvings that are handmade and are a novelty. Books are another commodity that you can buy here. There are several shops which sell books at reasonable rates. Pokhara has a second-hand book market that has a wide range and collection to choose from. Among all the things available there, you are sure to find those few items that you absolutely must have. So when you pack to Nepal, make sure your luggage will allow space enough to pack all that you buy.