Shopping in Thimphu

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Thimphu

    Tarayana Rural Products

    Bhutan's Queen Mother Dorje Wangmo (the fourth king's wife) established this NGO to support rural communities across Bhutan through the marketing and selling of traditional crafts. These include paper products from Samtse, handwoven scarves, bags and nettle place mats, and the quality is generally high. There's a second shop in the Tarayana Centre.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Handicrafts Market

    Across the Kundeyling Baazam cantilevered footbridge from the Weekend Market, this handicraft market on the east bank sells everything from wooden bowls and mala beads to printing blocks, amulets and yak tails. Bargaining is acceptable, and often needed to bring prices down to affordable levels. Note that many items sold here are actually imports from Nepal.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Sephub Gyeltsen Tsongkhang

    This is one of Thimphu's best cloth and clothing stores, with ready-made gho s (traditional dress for men) costing from Nu 2000 and kira s (traditional dress for women) costing from Nu 850, and all the needed accessories. It's also a great place to buy regional woven fabrics from across Bhutan.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Philatelic Bureau

    This shop below Thimphu's main post office sells Bhutanese stamps, first-day covers and – if you bring in a digital photo of yourself on a USB stick – fully functioning postage stamps bearing your own likeness (Nu 500 for 12 stamps), made on the spot.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Thimphu

    Bhutan Traditional Archery Shop

    This traditional bow and arrow maker at the Changlimithang Archery Ground sells bamboo bows, lacquered and strung to order. Expect to pay Nu 1800 for a bow, Nu 800 for a hand-spliced string, and Nu 800 for a pair of arrows with tips.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    DSB Books

    Thimphu's best selection of magazines and newspapers, as well as coffee-table and other books on Buddhism, Bhutan and the region. It's on the ground floor of the Jojo Building; enter from the lane behind Chang Lam.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Thimphu

    Norzin Lam Craft Stalls

    Dozens of craft stalls line the middle of Norzin Lam opposite the Taj Tashi hotel. It's the single best place in Thimphu to shop for crafts, with stalls selling everything from embroidered boots to handmade paper.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Thimphu

    KMT Yangkhil Book Shop

    One of the best-stocked religious shops in Thimphu, selling everything from Buddhist scriptures and Buddha statues to kangling thigh-bone flutes.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Lungta Handicraft

    This place has two floors of souvenirs from across Bhutan and further afield. The best buys here are larger items such as bamboo boxes, burl-wood dhapa (bowls), carpets, metal ewers, horse saddles and monastic trumpets. The antiques all have stamped seals from the National Commission of Cultural Affairs (NCCA), which means they are safe to take through customs.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Craft Gallery

    Run by the Gyalyum Charitable Trust, a personal project of the Queen Mother promoting traditional arts and crafts, this smart showroom sells high-quality textiles, daphne paper, natural beauty products and other attractively presented craft items. Money from the project funds schools in rural areas.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre

    This private weaving centre at the south end of Thimphu produces expensive but high-quality hand-woven textiles and has a selection of ready-made garments for sale (scarves, belts, jackets, shawls and kira). You can watch weavers at work and photos are allowed.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Choki Handicrafts

    Set in a block of craft shops, Choki sells masks, thangka paintings, local clothing and other souvenirs. Many of the items are produced by the affiliated Choki Traditional Art School.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Nado Poizokhang Incense Showroom

    This showroom sells incense made at the nearby Nado Poizokhang Incense Factory, which you can visit to watch the production process. It's opposite the Sunshine Primary School.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Dolkar Handicrafts

    Opening hours are erratic and the prices are high at this eccentric crafts store, often staffed by a doma -nut-chewing grandma, but there are some genuine antiques on sale among the fading bric-a-brac.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Dhar Tshongkhang

    The best-stocked dhar (prayer flag) shop in town, selling everything from multicoloured strings of flags to the tall, white, pole-mounted memorial flags that dominate the hillsides above Thimphu.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Traditional Boot House

    No prizes for guessing what's on sale at this small shop in a traditional house near the National Textile Museum. Colourfully embroidered tshoglham boots cost from Nu 5000 per pair.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    National Handicrafts Emporium

    This government-run souvenir emporium has fixed prices and there's a good range of masks, paintings, textiles, and carved wooden items such as traditional food bowls and arra pots.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Above Himalaya Trekking Store

    The best trekking-gear store in town sells and rents sleeping bags, tents, wet-weather gear, solar battery chargers and even bottled oxygen. It also sells traditional basketware backpacks.

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Dorji Gyeltshen Tshongkhang

    The family-run and well-stocked places has shelves piled high with bolts of Bhutanese fabric and ready-made gho and kira (traditional dress for men and women).

  • Shopping in Thimphu

    Junction Bookstore

    A bookshop with a community feel (and a weekly reading club), Junction has a small but well-chosen selection of books about Bhutan, and there's a little cafe upstairs.