Bhutan is the realm of endless joy. It is the quest of pilgrims and peace seekers, culture freaks, wanderlust photographers, road trippers, daredevils. The country that intentionally kept itself aloof from the outside world imbues curiosity in every traveler that seeks to discover more of the intriguing kingdom. Bhutan has been well known for casting its spell on its guests who step into its domain. Much of its beauty and authenticity has been seen and has been spoken about since it has opened itself to the outside world in 19 70s. Bhutan is not just a destination for sightseeing, adventure or pilgrimage; it caters as an excellent shopping destination for the shopaholics and to those that are on a quest for something precious and exotic.
So, while you’re sketching your itinerary, save some time and budget for the shopping as well. It is certain you will fall in love with some of the exotic Bhutanese goods and you will fail to resist from purchasing. Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan is the best place for indulging in shopping activities. The city has plethora of charming goods on display. From souvenirs to masks, and from attires to stamps, Bhutan caters beyond the expectations of a shopaholic. So, here is the list that contains the best places for shopping and Thimphu, and the best things to buy in Bhutan.
1. Norzin Lam Crafts Stalls:
It is one of the most sought-after Bhutan shopping places in Thimphu by the travelers across the world. It is the best place to purchase handmade goods and crafts. It is the delight of the shopaholics and travelers who love to discover more about the beauty of the exotic crafts.
Location: Norzin Lam, Opposite Taj Tashi Hotel, Thimphu Bhutan
Things to buy: All types of local crafts, embroidered boots, handmade papers, etc.
2. Philatelic Bureau:
Bhutan’s most unique gifts can be availed from the main post office from Bhutan. You can bring your favorite photo, or have a portrait taken on the venue and the staff will print you a sheet of stamps with your photos imprinted on them. The procedure costs Nu. 200, the actual cost o the stamp and will take just a few minutes time.
Location: Dremton Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Things to buy: Postcards, first edition stamp sets, etc.
3. Sephub Gyeltsen Tsongkhang:
Are you looking for Thimphu’s best clothing store? You’re at the right place! You can get the traditional attires made of cotton-wool lends, silk-look varieties. Costing would start fro, Nu. 400- Nu. 6,000.
Opening hours: 8 am – 9 pm
Location: Norzin Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
What to buy: Traditional Bhutanese attire for men and women
4. Handicrafts Market:
Located on the other side of the Weekend Market, it’s a gaiety place where you can find all sorts of handicrafts, such as mala beads, wooden howls, etc.
Location: Chhogyel Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
What to buy: wooden bowls, printing blocks, yak tails, amulets, etc.
5.Tarayana Rural Products:
Bhutan’s 4th king’s wife, Dorje Wangmo founded this NGO to help rural communities across the country through sale and marketing of traditional crafts. Everything you purchase here is of high quality.
Location: Norzin Lam, Thimphu Bhutan
What to buy: Handwoven scarves, paper products, nettle placemats, hand-woven bags, etc.
6. DSB Books:
Located on the ground floor of Jojo’s Shopping complex, it is the best place to find Thimphu’s best selection of books, newspapers, magazines, etc.
Opening hours: 9 am to 8 pm
Location: Chang Lam, Thimphu Bhutan
What to buy: Books on Buddhism, magazines, books on Bhutan, newspapers, etc.
7. Choki Handicrafts:
Paintings, souvenirs, masks, thangkas, painted Bhutanese furniture; it is one of the most coveted destinations for shoppers. Many of the products are supplied form Choki Traditional Art School.
Location: Bhutan Handicrafts Centre, Thori Lam, Thimphu Bhutan
What to buy: Souvenirs, thangka, paintings, masks, etc.
8. National Handicrafts Emporium:
This souvenir emporium is operated by the Government. It has fixed rates on goods and accepts credit cards. You can find a wide variety and range of products under one roof.
Opening hours: 9 am – 1 pm, 2 pm- 6 pm (closes early from November till February)
Location: Norzin Lam, Thimphu Bhutan
What to buy: Festival masks, traditional boots, Bamboo baskets, etc.
So, enjoy the delightful shopping in the most promising shopping destination in Thimphu Bhutan. If you wish to explore more then you can even try the remaining shopping destinations, such as Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre, Yarkay Central Building, Above Himalaya Trekking Store, Junction Book Store, Lungta Handicrafts, Sachok Enterprise, DD-Shop, Nado Poizokhang Incense Showroom, Sangay Arts & Crafts, and Hong Kong Market.