Hand-woven textiles, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper products, finely crafted metal objects, thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps are the items mostly purchased by travellers in Bhutan. In Bhutan, the buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden.
Bhutanese currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.). The ngultrum is on par with the Indian rupee (both the nu and Indian rupee can be used in Bhutan) but INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and 1000 are not accepted in Bhutan. Tourists are advised to carry their money in the form of travellers checks (preferably American Express) and cash (US dollars), as the ATM facilities for foreign currency is limited to just few towns including the capital city Thimphu. Visa and American Express credit cards are widely accepted.
Today we have a number of banks that caters to the needs of the people. Some of the banks that you can avail services and facilities while in Bhutan are the Bank of Bhutan Limited, the Bhutan National Bank, the Druk PNB and the Tashi Bank. Many of these banks provide you with SMS and internet banking facilities. Traveler’s cheque can be easily withdrawn and exchanged into local currency. It is also possible to have funds wired with the services of Western Union but funds cannot be accessed in all locations, and are limited in amounts and days of availability.
Cash and Travelers Cheques exchange facility is available for most of the main currencies including the US dollar, Euro, Indian Rupee, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, Pound Sterling, Swiss Franc, Hong Kong dollar, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Singapore dollar, Danish kroner, Norwegian kroner, and Swedish kroner. Exchange rates vary.