Shopping in Bhutan

Thimphu, Paro and Phuentsholing are the major centers for shopping in Bhutan. Travelers can seldom stay away from shopping for antiques or other indigenous items produced in the country. The vivacious cultures of the dragon kingdom surely appeals foreign tourists to buy ethnic stuff and carry back home after their trips. The weekend markets and the small-time bazaars in Bhutan’s cities and townships put on display a range of fascinating, unusual products at too-good-to-be-true prices. Here’s a list of the most favorite souvenir products that most visitors buy and take home:

  • Woven bags and fabrics
  • Stoles
  • Traditional and Gold-Silver jewelry
  • Handmade Kira and Gho (the traditional Bhutanese costumes)
  • Brassware
  • Yak-bone jewelry
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Masks
  • Thangkas
  • Finely crafted metal products
  • Wooden bowls and cups
  • Cane and bamboo products like utensils, baskets, bow & arrows, floor mats, storage containers, cane hats, wall hangings, tea strainers, etc.
  • Handmade paper, jackets, containers, blankets, etc.
  • Hand woven textiles like Adang Rachu, Adang Mathra, and Adang Khamar.
  • Himalayan beads (Dzi Beads).

However, the few shopping malls and departmental stores in the city areas of Bhutan may not sell the above articles. Instead, you will find these places stuffed with branded items and accessories including mobile phones, iPads and laptops. These stores also sell electronic appliances, jewelry, fitness equipment, cameras, watches and wide variety of garments, shoes, music systems, toys, kitchenware, perfume and a whole host of household items.

While shopping in Bhutan, most of the shopkeepers in the major tourist areas accept the local currency as well as US dollars and Indian rupees. Market places usually remain open from as early as 9 in the morning and closes past 7 in the evening. Some of the prominent places for shopping for the favorite souvenirs and indigenous articles in Bhutan are:

  • Norzim Lam Street, Thimphu
  • National Textile Museum, Thimphu
  • Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Center, Thimphu
  • Adang Village, Wangdue Phodrang
  • Tashi Industries Carpet Factory, Phuentsholing
  • Bhutan Art Gallery, Thimphu
  • National Institute of Zorig Chusum, Thimphu
  • National Handicraft Emporium, Thimphu
  • Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, Thimphu
  • Cheencho Handicraft, Paro
  • Lunga Handicraft, Thimphu
  • Centenary Farmers Market, Thimphu
  • Tea Market, Phuentsholing
  • Yoser Lhamo Shop, Jakar
  • Authentic Bhutanese Crafts, Thimphu
  • Town Square or Clock Tower Square, Thimphu
  • Wood Turning and Lacquering Cluster, Trashi Yangtse
  • Choki Handicrafts, Paro
  • Sorji Jewelry Gift Shop, Thimphu
  • Hong Kong Market, Thimphu
  • Yanki’s Sales, Paro
  • Yarkay Central Mall, Thimphu
  • Weekend Market, Thimphu
  • Lama Tshering Dorji General Shop, Paro
  • Thinley Dhendup General Shop and Handicraft, Trashi Yangtse
  • Kuenphen Terzoed Weaving and Handicraft House, Paro
  • Ethno Metho Plaza, Thimphu
  • Tarayana Rural Craft Outlets, Thimphu
  • Bhutan Traditional Archery Shop, Thimphu
  • Sephub Gyeltsen Tsongkhang, Thimphu
  • Yuesel Handicrafts, Paro
  • Thinley Choden Handicraft, Trashigang

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