- Silver Note that jewelers
from Bangkok come to Kathmandu to buy
wholesale silver with Indian-processed
semiprecious gemstones. The wholesale
price of silver is published on the front
page of the "Himalayan" newspaper
(1 tola= 11.6 gm) so buyers can get an
idea of the metal cost of the piece, apart
from the labor cost. Silver is almost
invariably near the stamped "92.5%"
sterling, as claimed.
- Clothing Kathmandu
is a great place to shop for clothes.
Flowing hippie gauzes, Monk's robes in
saffrons and maroons, funky neon trancewear,
hemp clothings, dozens of elegant silks
and 'suiting and shirting' are available
in all qualities and prices. Tailors can
be hired at reasonable fees and quality
is high. Handwoven Nepali fabrics are
$1-3/m and available in endless patterns
and colors. Anything, from bags to mountaineering
equipment to cocktail dresses can be made
to order and tailored to perfection. The
alleys around Indra Chowk, between Thamel
and Durbar sq., have dozens of fabric
shops and tailors, much more dedicated
to customer satisfaction than the hurried
and expensive shops in Thamel. Warning:
If having clothes made to wear later at
home, get measured BEFORE trekking, if
you want them to fit when you return to
your normal size!
- Cultural artifacts
Be advised that there are a lot of counterfeits,
sly salesmen, and plastics presented as
wood. Most real antiques are illegal to
export. Genuine antiquities may have been
looted from temples. Patan, sister city
of Kathmandu, is known for the quality
of her bronzes. Read "Shopping for
Buddhas" available in book stores,
if you are.
- Pashmina (the South
Asian word for cashmere) scarves and shawls
can be purchased for a fraction of the
price of those in Europe or North America.
Look for those produced by the Tibetan
refugee camp just outside of Patan or
other charitable organizations.
- Electronics A lot
of people find Kathmandu a good place
to buy a camera or other electronic device
due to the lack of sales tax and import
duty on electronics. There are shops in
Thamel, and around New Road