Things to buy

Thangkas are Buddhist paintings, usually on canvas. Traditionally, they are mounted on a background of brocade and hung by a stick sewn across the top. You can also buy an un-mounted painting.

Hand-woven cotton fabric is the most traditional and useful item you can buy in Bhutan. The quality is almost always good, but the price will vary depending on the intricacy of the design and whether any expensive imported silk is used in the weaving.

Other Items
Brass statues and Buddhist ritual items, such as bells, cymbals, trumpets and dorjees are available form specialist shops. Jewellery and other silver items are best purchased from a reputable shop or from the artisans themselves. Excellent wood pieces can be bought. Useful items such as picture frames and furniture is available, as are wooden masks similar to those used in the tshechu dances. Wooden bowls, either plain or lined with silver, are a speciality of eastern Bhutan.

Bamboo work is available in most of the handicraft shops and sometimes at roadside stalls. The round bangchung baskets are a typical Bhutanese item. Another unusual item are the large bamboo pipes covered with weaving that is used for carrying local liquor.

Handmade paper
Handmade paper is available in large sheets and is packaged into handy packets of letter-writing size.

Carpet manufacturing
Carpet manufacturing is recent innovation in Bhutan.

Bhutan boasts a variety of high quality handicrafts.