If you like shopping you’ll love Nepal’s many and varied markets. These lively bazaars are packed with vibrant wares and hard-haggling hawkers. Popular buys include locally made garments such as pashmina scarves, sweaters, topis (lopsided caps), mittens, socks, Tibetan dresses, woven shawls and multicoloured jackets.
Other common items include the Khukri (the national knife), saranghi (a small, four-stringed viola played with a horse-hair bow), papier mâché dance masks, Buddhist statuettes and bamboo flutes. Teas and spices are also popular.
With its burgeoning arts scene, Kathmandu and Patan are exciting places to shop for traditional and modern paintings and sculptures. More practically speaking, Thamel and Lukla are packed with outlets selling outdoorwear for those thinking of heading into the mountains.
Sunday through Friday, 1000-2000 in most tourist areas.
Antiques cannot be taken out of the country and must be inspected by the Department of Archeology.
Nightlife in Nepal
Kathmandu's nightlife may not be considered wild, but there are plenty of late bars, live music spots and nightclubs in which to have a good knees-up. Most are located around Thamel and near the city's 5-star hotels. Many restaurants put on traditional Newari dance shows for tourists – particularly in Pokara – and there are a couple of casinos for those who fancy trying their luck.
In Thamel Hollywood blockbusters are shown in bars and restaurants, while local cinemas play a range of Bollywood films. In Pokhara, the nightlife centres around snooker halls and dance bars, which play Bollywood pop music until the early hours.
Live music is ubiquitous in Lakeside, and drinks can be found on the cheap throughout the day. Nepalis do like to drink, so if that’s your thing you will make friends easily. In mountain towns near Lukla, if you stay up late enough, you can toast with porters and guides who will muster the strength to wake up early and lug large loads up the mountain despite putting back glass after glass of Kuhkari rum late into the evening.