What to Buy When You Visit Nepal
Shopping for souvenirs and gifts is the most exciting part of travelling. The things you purchase remain long after the trip and will always serve as a fresh recollection of your time spent somewhere.
When visiting Nepal, you may be overwhelmed by the number of choices for everything. You will get countless different recommendations for places to visit, foods to eat, gifts to buy and adventures to dive into. But there is only so much time and money you have. You have to be mindful of what you spend them on.
To remind you of your stay in Nepal, spend on things that you will find exclusively in Nepal. You can buy a pretty dress anywhere in the world, but nothing will speak of Nepal like our traditional art, handicrafts, locally made tea, jewellery and even books.
So, here’s a list of 10 best souvenir/ gift items you should buy when you visit Nepal:
- Pashmina clothing: Pashmina (aka cashmere) products are the finest forms of craftsmanship that are made from the hair of Chyangra (a kind of mountain goat). Pashmina shawls are especially very famous among tourists and can be found in various qualities priced differently. These shawls are colorful, delicate and luxurious and make great gifts.
- Hand-made jewellery: Stone and bead jewelries are found at all tourist destinations. They are beautiful, colorful and mostly handmade. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings made from these stones and beads are very popular among Nepali people and tourists alike. Rudraksha jewelry is mainly popular among Indian tourists. These are affordable and also the finest of local antics you can buy as gifts and souvenirs.
You have to watch out for Chinese imports of these items that are nearly worthless compared to authentic products.
- Prayer wheels: Prayer wheels are cylindrical wheels on spindles that hold tremendous religious and cultural significance in Tibetan Buddhism. Prayer wheels are very famous among tourists on pilgrimage or religious trips to Nepal. They are beautifully crafted from stone, metal, leather, wood or coarse cotton. It is hard to miss them on trekking routes around stupas and monasteries. They can also be found on streets of Thamel.
- Singing Bowls: Singing bowl therapy is a 2500 year old Tibetan technique practised to soothe the body, mind and soul.
Singing bowls are artificially or handmade bowls made from metal that produce a deep and rich tone when the wooden stick is rubbed around the rim in a circular motion. They can be found at antique stores in Thamel in Kathmandu or any other tourist destination. Or you can buy them online at Himalayan Merchandise.
Himalayan Merchandise is an online Nepali marketplace that aims to sell authentic and sustainable products from talented local artisans. We ship internationally at an affordable price and sell in bulk for traders as well.
- Masks and statues: Nepal offers a wide range of unique handicrafts like traditional masks, pottery items and puppets that are painted and decorated in excellent detail. Wooden carvings, boxes and vases are also good choices.
Original antiques are hard to come by, and so pay extra care when buying these items.
- Tea and coffee: If you’ve stayed in Nepal long enough, you are probably addicted to our ‘chiya’. The taste and smell of the organic and locally made tea products are evidently pleasing. Tea is produced in the Eastern region, where Ilam is especially popular to buy real and local tea products. We offer varieties of flavors with premium condiments and ingredients all made locally.
Organic coffee products can also be found on any tourist site at an affordable price and premium quality. With tea and coffee, you can take the taste of Nepal with you anywhere and they also make a thoughtful gift.
- Thangkas: Thangkas are traditional Buddhist paintings made on silk or cotton applique usually depicting a deity or mandala art. They can be found in different sizes and hold cultural significance. They are some of the best things you can buy as a souvenir. You can find them in Thamel, Bouddha, Swayambhu and cities like Pokhara.
- Khukuri: Khukuri is the national weapon of Nepal that the Gurkha soldiers used in battles hundreds of years ago. So, they hold a huge historical and cultural significance. Popular for the slashing sharp edges and high quality, they can be used to decorate houses and as gifts.
The best place to buy Khukuri is Bhaktapur. However, travelling with these items is not easy, so be aware of the allowed size limits while travelling.
- Local antics : Nepal also offers an incredible selection of locally made antiques like Ayurvedic soaps, Tibetan/herbal incense and traditional paper products.
The products made from local hemp or bamboo fibre like bags, purses, clothing, shoes, etc are sustainable and support local Nepali businesses.
You can find all of these authentic local antiques and collectables at Himalayan Merchandise at the best price.
- Books: Books are also a popular choice for tourists to take home as books are cheaper in Nepal than anywhere else. These books with the label ‘for sale in the Indian Subcontinent only’ are made sustainably from affordable paper. You can buy any travel guides, books on Nepal’s rich culture and grand history as well as any modern literature.
Books are easier to travel with and are a wise choice for gifts. You can find large and well-equipped bookstores in any city or buy them online at Books Mandala. You can have them shipped anywhere, even internationally.
All in all, Nepal offers a lot of things for its remembrance. It is important to buy things that are made in Nepal to support the local businesses and keep the tourist industry thriving.
Read: Products Made In Nepal And Why They Matter
Prices can be bargained and brought down but remember that the items you buy are all handmade with great details and effort, so sometimes the prices are just right!
Or, if bargaining and wandering busy streets is not for you, visit Himalayan Merchandise to purchase local products at the best price and for international shipping.