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Home Bhutan Tourism Shopping in Bhutan

Bhutan Tourism

Shopping in Bhutan

Few tourist mean Bhutan’s handicraft industry is quite small. However there are plenty of private shops in Thimphu selling masks, carpets, jewellery, Bhutanese wooden products and of course stamps. Bhutan has world-wide reputation for being a philatelist’s paradise. Vibrant colours and vivid images typify Bhutanese stamps; a recent addition popular collector’s items is a series of stamps paying tribute to Walt Disney characters.

Other issues include a commemorative stamp to  the 1994 World Cup and a stamp to mark German Unification. Collections and First-Day Issues are on sale at the Central post Office in Thimphu . This is well worth a visit even for non-philatelists. The Central post office in Thimphu sell collections mounted is stamp Collector’s books; they make marvelous presents. Carpets can be bought in Tongsa and are cheaper than those in Thimphu. Bhumthang honey is considered by connoisseurs to be bought all over country . Other jams and confitures are made in the Bumthang valley and also make original presents.

Many shops in Thimphu sell typical Bhutanese handicrafts and products. The widest selection can probably be found at the Tourist Emporium on Thimphu’s main thoroughfare. Masks, fabric, stamps, thangkas (religious paintings), handicrafts and carpets are all on sale. The store is one of the few to accept at American Express card.

Bhutan has a thriving liquor industry and tourist wanting a tipple of Bhutan Mist or Bhutan Mist of locally produced rum, whiskey or gin will not be disappointed.

A good place to buy religious paintings is the thangka painting school in Thimphu where young students spent their days learning a craft that has been handed down from centuries of strict practice.

Print film is available in Thimphu but in may be difficult to find slide film. Print film can also be developed in capital.

The weekend market is held on Saturday and Sunday close to the river. The market is a good place to pick up masks and handicrafts at cheaper prices than the shops. It is also the best place to watch Thimphu’s residents chatting about the week in a relaxed atmosphere as they do their week’s grocery shopping.

Most of the independent shops and market vendors stock traditional Bhutanese handicrafts and many sell Indian jewellery.


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