Bhutan is known for its natural beauty, forest conservation, gross national happiness, great culture & heritage and biodiversity. Bhutan covers 72% forest area of the country which is one of the large biodiversity places in the world. Discover your happiness here by exploring untouched Bhutan, its heritage, flora and fauna, adventure activities, religious festivals, spirituality & wellness, traditional food and of course, experience shopping.
Thimphu, Paro and Phuntsheoling are the major centres of shopping in Bhutan. Tourists can buy Woven Bags, Stoles, Traditional Jewellery, Handmade Kira & Gho, Brassware, Yak-Bone Jewellery, Hand-Woven Bamboo Items, Carpets, Masks, Thangkas, Handmade Paper and finely Crafted Metal products.
How one can forget to buy souvenirs from Bhutan while visiting it? Though the government of Bhutan is conscious about its untouched regions to preserve the culture and tradition, selling of locally produce things is the essential matter to promote the culture and heritage all over the world.
Some of the traditional handicraft items are described below which should be bought from here as souvenirs.
1. Bhutanese Handicrafts
Bhutan has developed a perfect science to make arts and crafts where the skills represent the tradition, culture and history of Bhutan. Local people are manufacturing wonderful crafts such as Wooden Bowls and Cups, Cane and Bamboo Products, Woven Fabrics, Handmade Paper, Jackets, Containers, Rugs, Wall Hangings, Bags, Blankets, Wooden Masks and many more things.
They have developed mainly thirteen categories which are known as ‘Zorig Chusum’, represent the history, culture and tradition of Bhutan. One must buy these things, available in major handicraft shops, as souvenirs while visiting Bhutan.
2. Hand-woven Textiles
Bhutanese textiles are woven from cotton, raw cotton and silk with intricate motifs woven into the cloth. Raw cotton, silk and woven cotton are some handmade textiles famous in Bhutan. Some traditional textiles are bura textiles produce at Rahi and Bidung villages, Kushithara made in Khoma village, Dungsam Kamtham, a cotton fabric made at Pemagatshel. Adang village in Wangdue Phodrang is known for textiles like Adang Rachu, Adang Mathra and Adang Khamar.
Bumthap Mathra and Yathra textiles are woven from sheep wool and Yak hair, famous worldwide and made by Bumthaps people in central Bhutan. Textiles woven out of nettle fibres are the speciality of the people of Nabji and Korphu in Trongsa.
Tourists can buy traditional clothes such as Gho and Kira and gift as the souvenirs to their friends and family. Choose from wide varieties of Blankets, Colourful Rugs, Clothing, Sweaters and Warm Minks.
3. Gold & Silver Jewellery
Jewellery is widely worn by Bhutanese women. Mind boggling gold and silver utensils, as well as, jewellery are utilised on daily basis and on ceremonial occasions. Made by using precious stones, silver, bronze and gold, skilled craftsmen create intricate ornaments.
A community of goldsmith makes articulate things like Betel Nut Containers, Mugs, Cups, Vases, Unique Bowls, Lights, Sheaths & Swords and Adornments like Arm Ornaments, Pins, Necklaces, Ear Rings, and so many things that hold up the ladies.These beautifully crafted ornaments can be taken as souvenirs or gift at special events.
4. Himalayan Beads (Dzi Beads)
Dzi beads or Himalayan beads are the types of beads used in making necklace or bracelet. It is believed that it provides positive spiritual benefit. Most expensive beads are from the ancient time and made of natural agate. The beads come in various shapes and composed of ovals, circles, squares, waves, stripes, zig zags, lines, dots, diamonds, and other symbolic patterns. These beads are the most expensive beads found on the earth.
People believed that Dzi beads are created by the gods which bring luck and ward off evil. Though they are expensive, one can find cheaper one from markets of major cities of Bhutan.
5. Handmade Wooden Bowls (Dappa)
Dappa, the handmade wooden bowl, is the most popular souvenir one can take from Bhutan. Trashiyangtse, a district of Bhutan, is famous for buying Dappa. However, it can be bought from anywhere in Bhutan. The two halves of bowl fit together firmly and local people used it to carry cooked food.
Handmade wooden bowls are the practical ethnic souvenirs buy from Bhutan. Bamboo reeds also function as Dappa, woven into small baskets and speciality of the southern Bhutan. They are available in bright colours and wonderful designs.
6. Cane & Bamboo Items
Cane and Bamboo items are most commonly used products in Bhutan for daily use as well as vastly shop by tourists. Interestingly, all cane and bamboo items are made by hand only. Local people better used their time to make those products after harvesting season when they have less farming work. Most popular products one can buy from here are Food Utensils, Bamboo Baskets, Ropes, Carpets, Wooden Baskets, Wall-Hangings, Bows & Arrows, Bamboo Floor Mats, Storage Containers, Plates, Traditional Cane Hats, Tea Strainers and many things.
Generally, natural dye like lac and turmeric are used to make all hand-made craftwork, especially cane products.