Bhutan limits the number of tourists in the country and thus, it has a small handicraft industry too. You can buy handicrafts such as carpets, colorful masks, jewellery, silver, bronzes, hand-woven bamboo items and Bhutanese wooden products at Thimphu as souvenirs and gifts for your family and friends though. Hand made wooden bowls or dappa are ethnic and practical souvenirs. The two halves of these bowls fit together so tightly that they can be used to carry cooked food and you can use them as salad or cookie bowls at home. Dappa can be purchased anywhere in Bhutan but is considered a speciality of the Trashi Yangtse region. Similarly, bamboo reeds are woven into small baskets and are used just like dappas. They are the specialty of the south of Bhutan and come in beautiful designs.
Unique Himalayan beads that are oblong in shape and available in brown and cream colors are known as Dzi beads. Jewellery made of Dzi beads can be ver expensive and is considered precious, ever since wealthy Taiwanese people took a liking to them. There are cheaper fake versions of these beads and their jewellery is available in the market too. Bhutan is famous for its stamps and has a worldwide reputation as the 'philatelist's paradise'. Bhutanese stamps have detailed images and bright and vibrant colors. Recently, collectors have been attracted to the series of Bhutanese stamps that pay tribute to Walt Disney characters. Other famous stamps that have been rated high by the philatelists include the commemorative stamp for the 1994 World Cup and the stamp that marked German Unification.
You can visit the Central Post Office at Thimphu and look at the collections and 'First-Day Issues' on sale there. Even if you are not into stamp collecting, the beautiful stamp collections in Stamp Collector's books can make unique presents for someone back home. You can also buy rich fabric; silk, handmade paper products, Buddhist paintings and thangkas or religious paintings at Thimphu. You can find cheaper carpets at Tongsa, which is the best place to buy yatras too. Yatras or Yethras are colorful strips of woolen cloth, dyed with natural colors, that is used to make different fabric items ranging from blankets to jackets, bags and rugs. It is considered to be the specialty of the Jakar area. Bhutanese woven cloth is famous all over the world and can be used to make apparels, wall hangings, tablemats and rugs.
Bhumthang honey, jams and comfitures are loved by connoisseurs and make original presents. You may want to buy traditional clothes as souvenirs such as Gho and Kira. Bhutan has a thriving liquor industry and Bhutan Mist is something, alcohol-lovers would like to taste. You may find print film at Thimphu but slide film is difficult to find in Bhutan. You can grab some good deals at the picturesque and colorful weekend markets held close to river on Saturday and Sunday. Besides traditional Bhutanese handicrafts, you may also find Indian jewellery here. Do not purchase antiques in Bhutan, as you are not allowed to take them outside the country.