I didn't really pay attention to the specific names of any shops, but Thamel area is full of small, privately owned shops selling trekking clothes, felt bags and hats, scarves, meditation bowls, paper lanterns and all sorts of other things made from handmade paper, Buddist statues, jewelry, clothes, anything you can imagine. Everyone is willing to bargain. The advice given to me was to offer half of the price you are quoted. I've been told that before and it was not good advice, but it seemed to work here, especially for the trekking clothes. But be reasonable. If the price is already cheap, like for the paper lanterns I bought, don't insult them by offering half. I didn't bother to haggle over a couple of dollars, but if I had, admittedly my rupees would have gone a lot further. They still went pretty far though. Shopping in Thamel is fun, the people are friendly but not pushy, and there is a huge selection of great things to buy!!!
What to buy: meditation bowls, trekking clothes, anything Ganesh or Shiva, handmade paper, jewelry
What to pay: You can find anything from 1USD to 10,000 USD in Thamel I think.
There are many shops in Thamel that sell plain and embroidered pashminas and jackets.
What to buy: Some embroidered jackets are made of wool or wool mixes and some are made of raw silk. This one caught my eye!
What to pay: About 7,000 rupees (one hundred dollars)
In Thamel, you can find travel gears, accessories, clothes, laundry shops, money changers, restaurants, book shops, gifts shops, cafes, travel agents, almost everything. Dont be surprised if someone comes up to discreetly and says "Hashish? Dope? I got the best stuff. Wanna buy?" A simple "no, thanks" or a shake of head will do. Also, if you are not gonna buy anything, don't waste the retailers' time asking for the 'best price'. Have a look around the 1st time so you know what you want and where to get it from. The 2nd time round, go knowing what you want and get it. If its affordable, buy it - its that simple. The Thamel shopping area can be reached by a 5-min walk from the hotel I recommended in my hotel tip page.
The North Face outlet on Tridevi marg is the only official dealer in Nepal. That means, most of the other North face stuff is either second hand or fake. In my opinion North Face isn't a particular good brand for my uses, but I occasionally buy clothes there in lieu of anything better. Too much fashion, too little function, occasionally.
The stuff here is mostly surplus production sent over from factories in Asia, and you may not find the items in contemporary catalogues. They will normally not have the same products coming in again if they have sold out. Nearbu is the sherpa Outdoor store, a local production just as good and the moeny stays in the country... , and United Brands and a few others. So you can compare goods and prices.
What to buy: I like their shirts.
What to pay: The price level is at the high end on the Nepali market, but fairly cheap from an American or European point of view. You can equip yourself for half the price of what you do in N. America and Europe.
MapPoint Nepal in the turn of the road just up from Tom&Jerry's carries the best selection posters that I have found in Kathmandu. That is, if you like mountain panorama posters.
What to buy: There are some spectacular Himalayan sceneries to choose among. Beware of quality, they fade quickly if hanging exposed to sunlight when you return home.
Get them rolled up in a cardboard tube for the trip home.
What to pay: 150-1500 Rs depending on size and quality.
Thamel is a very good place to buy fake North Face or Columbia mountaneering gear, but it´s also a good place to buy handicrafts (Tibetan Paintings, wooden statues, puppets, etc), maybe you can get lower prices in other stores outside Thamel, but you won´t find the diversity of shops.
You will most probably find everything you want to buy in Nepal in Thamel. There are many, many shops selling souvenirs, clothing, jewellery, carpets, books etc. There are also a fair amount of bakeries and supermarkets for everyday needs.
There are many shops selling similar goods, so do shop around to get the best deals.
What to buy: Clothing
Books etc etc
What to pay: Haggle!
Thamel is mostly shops, there's really only about 5 kinds of shops and they're repeated all over the neighborhood - pretty much the same, so if you see something you want, no need to look further.
What to buy: T-shirts
Any visitor visiting Nepal/kathmandu/thamel ought to visit this cool store called "Khukuri House" in thamel area. Kukris/khukuris are the coolest gifts to take away from Nepal as they are unique and the most useful gift one can give and its worth collecting if you are a knife fanatic. Try buying the kukri what the soldiers carry because they are the army that made them famous using them in world war I - II scaring away germans and japanese. Buy the kukri called the "Historic". It only costs Nepalese Ruppes Rs.1150.00 (US$17.00).
I am treasuring it now.
What to buy: Gurkha knives called kukri-khukuri are must to buy from Nepal. Its the knife that put Nepalese warrior in history book and now popularly known as Gurkha soldier.
What to pay: Nepalese currency Rs. 1150.00
Thamel is a great place for some shopping. Most of the shops seemed to be open quite late, i wandered round at night and some were still open well after 8pm. Discussions on price are very much in order, i dont think i payed the asking price on anything.... it was all fun though and i think both parties end up with a fair price at the end.
Traditional Nepalese arts and crafts are everywhere aswell as things like books, dvd's and cd's. Lots of shops sell trekking gear if you need any for a trip.... most of which seemed reasonable, and definitely cheaper than trying to buy it while you are on your trek e.g. Lukla or Namche Bazar. Some of it is fake though, and not sure if i would be able to tell the difference on all of it..... be careful!
Quite a few people trying to sell things on the streets aswell, bracelets, food, drugs... most of which, if you say "no thankyou" will respect that and move on.
Found a great shop for the Ghurka Khukuri knives... "Khukuri house" quality knives and really quite cheap!
Pashmina is sold in a lot of shops there.... good present for the wife or girlfriend. :-) Tibetan style painted Thangkas are also available in lots of shops... some of which really were fabulous, but the good ones are quite expensive because of the amount of work that goes into them.
What to buy: Nepalese arts and crafts... prayer wheels, flags, paper goods, jewellery, pashmina goods, khukuri knives, Tibetan thangkas.
Cd's, dvd's and books. All really cheap!
Trekking and mountaineering clothes and gear.
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