Shopping in Bhutan
Few tourist mean Bhutans 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 philatelists paradise. Vibrant colours and vivid images typify Bhutanese
stamps; a recent addition popular collectors 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 Collectors 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 Thimphus 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
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 Thimphus residents chatting
about the week in a relaxed atmosphere as they do their weeks grocery
Most of the independent shops and market vendors stock traditional Bhutanese
handicrafts and many sell Indian jewellery.
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