Shopping in PatanJawalakhel Handicraft Centre
Anyone who appreciates carpets should visit this Tibetan refugee cooperative, where Nepal’s enormous carpet industry was essentially born in 1960. You can watch the carpet-makers at work (the centre employs 1000 refugees) before shopping upstairs for the finished article. The quality is high, there is a good selection, the prices are transparent and staff can arrange shipping. Carpet quality depends on knots per inch and the price is worked out per square metre. The size of a traditional Tibetan carpet is 1.8m by 90cm (around US$500). They also sell fixed-price cashmere and yak-hair shawls. Credit cards are accepted for a 4% fee.