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Kathmandu has much to offer shoppers with its many open markets and shops. Westerners will find that they can get great bargains on a number of items there including cashmere (Kathmandu is the capital of the pashmina scarf), hand-crafted goods such as wooden carvings, Tibetan carpets, paintings and hand-made paper products. Bargaining is recommended but bear in mind that the country has recently suffered a huge dip in tourism and needs an injection of travellers and their cash! Bear it in mind when you find yourself haggling over 50 cents.
Shoppers should also be aware that Nepal does have some laws and regulations regarding what can be taken out of the country by visitors--visitors' home countries may also have guidelines as to what can be brought in, and shoppers should be aware of these before they buy. One significant regulation of Nepal's is that no antiques are allowed to leave the country. Too many have been plundered already. People who purchase them (even unknowingly) will have them confiscated at customs without a refund. Have any purchase examined by an expert before buying if there is any question as to its age.
Much better is to have something copied. For example, in Patan, there are numerous stone carvers who will make you a replica of a stone bull. Buddhas are also easy to find in varying qualities.