Bhutan is much more than the land of unsolved legends, mysteries, and rich cultures. The intriguing country is an ideal destination, rendering all you seek under one roof. From adventure to rejuvenation, gaieties to seclusion, amazement to peace, Bhutan tourist attractions will leave you completely enthralled. The country preferring Gross National Happiness over GDP, embracing culture and traditions in the modern era, Bhutan is unique in every context. Aptly called the Last Shangri La, the last Buddhist kingdom of the world is not just about Bhutan top tourist attractions, but also offers the promising experience of Shopping in Bhutan. Arts and crafts are an integral part of the culture and their way of life. Venturing into shopping in Bhutan enables you to get a clearer insight into the people, their devotion towards culture, their skills and craftsmanship, architecture brilliance and sophistication.
If you’re fond of Bhutan souvenirs intricately carved on woods, metals, then here is the list of things to buy in Bhutan, which are exquisitely beautiful and worth the price.
1. Brilliantly carved colorful masks
Festival is an essential part of the Bhutanese culture and the spirituality. The traditions of wearing masks began in the 8th century and it has immense significance for the mask dance during Tshechus. Colorful masks are the reasons why the mask dance festivals in Bhutan appear to be appealing. Masks are usually carved out from the woods and redecorated with brilliant colors, beads matching with the costumes of traditional mask dancers or performers. You can buy one as a Bhutan souvenir for yourself or give as a gift to someone who is fond of cultures.
2. Items made of cane and bamboos
The items made of cane and bamboos are widely used by the Bhutanese on regular basis, and it is also mostly purchased items by the tourists. After the harvesting period when farming work is less, Bhutanese people devote their time to making these cane and bamboo items. These handmade items are worth buying, such as baskets, ropes, carpets, wall hangings, utensils, bows and arrows, mats, hats, and many more.
3. Dzi Beads- Himalayan Beads
Himalayan Beads or Dzi Beads are the kinds of beads used in making bracelets and necklaces. These beads are believed to spiritually beneficial, made by gods, and wards off evil, bringing luck and fortune. The beads from ancient era and made from natural agate are very expensive. Coming in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and on varied symbols and patterns, these beds are some of the expensive beads available in the world.
4. Fancy ornaments, Gold and silver jewelry
Jewelry made of silver and gold, fancy ornaments are widely worn by the Bhutanese. Mesmerizing silver and gold items, jewelry are used by the Bhutanese on daily basis. Skilled craftsmen make elegant and intricate ornaments using precious stones, silver, gold, bronze etc. The exquisitely beautiful embellishments like hairpins, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, arm ornaments, etc can be taken as gifts and souvenirs in Bhutan.
5. Dappa- the handmade wooden bowls
Trashiyangtse, a district in Bhutan is popular for the handmade wooden bowls, however, it can be purchased anywhere in Bhutan due to its wide usability and availability. Dappa is a most famous traditional and practice souvenir in Bhutan that you can purchase. Even bamboo reeds are used in weaving Dappa in Southern Bhutan, and it comes in various colors, sizes, and designs.
6. Hand-woven textiles
Textiles in Bhutan are woven with silk, cotton, raw cotton, which is woven with intricate motifs on clothes. Adang Village in Wangdue Phodrang district is famous for the textiles like Adang Khamar, Adang Rachu, and Adang Mathra. World famous Yathra and Bumthap Mathra textiles are woven from yak hair and sheep wool, by the Bumpthaps people in Central Bhutan. Korphu and Nabji in Trongsa are renowned for textiles woven out from nettle fibers. Travelers can purchase traditional Kira and Gho as gifts or as the souvenirs in Bhutan for family and friends.
7. Wooden products
The intricate and artistic items found in Bhutan are nowhere else to be found on this earth. Any intricate decorative items of the Bhutanese are comprised of wooden carvings with the diverse pattern. Local Bhutanese craftsmen use soft, semi-hard, and hardwood to carve the decorative items that are hand carved and brilliantly painted. Wooden products like tables, mirror frames, jewelry boxes, cooking utensils, cabinets, masks, etc are artistic things that are worth procuring.
8. Sculptures and Buddhist Paintings
Bhutan is the last Buddhist kingdom in the world, and in here, Buddhism is not just a religion but a way of life. Sculptures and Bhutanese paintings are an integral part of Bhutanese culture. Locally called Ihazo Bhutanese paintings are made with mineral paints and religious centric. Bhutan is also famous for its stunning sculptures made of clay. Traditional arts and crafts are taught to students at renowned institutions of Bhutan. Sculptures are the largely demanded by the tourists as souvenirs in Bhutan.
9. Bhutanese handmade papers
Bhutanese papers or Daysho is highly acknowledged worldwide. Owning extensive forest cover of more than 72%of the total land area, papers are made with the bark of Daphne or edge worth found in the Himalayan region. The country produces 100% natural products from papers. Papers produced in Bhutan are mostly used in printing scriptures, legal agreements, and painting manuscripts. Amongst the tourists, handmade gift wrappers, Diaries, greeting cards, notebooks are highly in demand.
10. Swords, Bows, and Arrows
The art and tradition of making swords are called “garzo”. Swords are mostly sold as gifts and souvenirs in Bhutan and given as gifts for honoring purpose, and achievements. Bows and arrows, on the other hand, are made from specific bamboo and mountain trees, which are nationally and internationally famous and are in high demand amongst the tourists. It is an essential tool for the archery tournaments, the national game of Bhutan.
Thimphu and Paro are the two major hubs for shopping in Bhutan. A diverse range of arts and crafts, souvenirs, traditional gifts items, paintings, sculptures, clothing items, books, etc can be purchased. Remember, Bhutan is a no budget-friendly destinations as far as shopping is concerned, yet the items that you purchase in Bhutan are authentic, handmade, and worth the price.