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Shopping

Unique items to purchase while in Bhutan:
1. Himalayan antiques from Tibet, Nepal, and northern India
2. Bhutanese crafts:
  • weaving products made from silk, cotton, yak hair, & wool • wood bowls, cups, masks, & carvings
  • religious paintings called thangkas
  • jewellery
  • paper making or desho (coming from the word “de” referring to the Daphne plant)


Bhutanese consumables include tsheringma tea, honey, apple products, etc. Best selection of shopping is done in Thimphu. Shops on the street will accept Ngultrum, the Indian Rupee (at par 1 to 1 with the Nu), and the US Dollar. The only credit card accepted at shops (limited shops) is Visa. Banks will not perform cash advances on credit cards. There are no ATM machines available for international transactions. Traveler checks can be cashed at banks within the previously listed currencies. It is illegal to export or remove Bhutanese antiques from Bhutan. If uncertain, certificates are available from the Department of Antiquities to determine if the item is a true antique and where its origin is from. An antique is defined as a religious item 70 years old or more. All other items 100 years old or more.

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