Are you one of those who loves going to a market? Are you one of those travellers who always wants to have a look around the local market to get a sense of culture and people? Then this is the post for you…
On the last day of my stay at Taj Tashi, Thimpu, sometime during August, we got a chance to visit the Weekend market Thimpu.
Location of weekend market Thimpu –
The weekend market is a very popular destination for the locals as well as the tourists. So in case you ask your hotel or any locals, you would get the location – to the north of Changlimatham stadium. The stalls are put up both on the East and West Banks of Wang Chu river.
Centenary Farmer’s market on the west bank
I did not go here with my camera so no pictures as per say. I had gone here to pick up some ezze and local cheese and local chilies. You can read how these were put to use to make Ema Datshi, the national dish of Bhutan. These are permanent stalls over the double storied buildings and it’s said that the sellers come along from various parts of Bhutan like Lingshi, Tashiyangtse, Sarpang, Dagana and Tsirang and other places. They reach here normally on a Thursday night and leave on Sunday evening. One can find various types of chilies, home made cheese, cauliflowers, red and white rice, lettuces, buckwheat, mushrooms and ferns various types of fruits etc. In this world, trend of primary producers and local producers and interaction with them this is an ideal example.
Weekend market Thimpu on the west bank of Wang Chu river
This is the place which I visited first and spent maximum time. I needed to pick up small gifts for friends and family and also gifts for my kids and where else one can get both but here. One has to cross the cantilever footbridge Kuyendeling Bazaaam to reach this market. Don’t miss out on the views on both sides of the bridge and once you climb down the stairs to the other side, it’s like a huge courtyard surrounded by fixed stalls. Most of the time, you will find the shopkeepers with families being present inside the stall. So what do you get here? As said, this is an ideal place to pick up all your memorabilia. On entering the left hand side, one can get artifacts like prayer wheels, cymbals, ornaments, bags, refrigerator magnets, bow and arrows, large prayer drums etc. On the right hand is the garments section. Bhutan being a cold country, one can get some wonderful deals on woollens, jackets, trekking gears, shoes etc. One can also get lot of fancy branded stuff which is worth checking out. Most of the shopkeepers are local women, who may be managing the stall with her kids sleeping at the corner of the shop. Don’t forget to bargain and bargaining is the norm.
Why am I writing about Weekend market Thimpu ?
It’s a market but it’s also a reflection of the country and society. I came across many interesting profiles / faces worth to be captured. As a photographer, this place is a must visit as the colour spread of the artifacts in the shops and people around make an interesting combination. Must say here, the people aren’t that much camera friendly, so unless you are buying or even if you are buying, they may not come in front. Most of the time, looking at photos it may look very easy but one can never imagine how much effort has gone behind that image. Ask anyone carrying a DSLR camera and check out the answer.
My best photograph and my best memory
I love clicking pictures with kids and everywhere I have travelled, the father in me pushes me to speak with a child, go down on my knees and shake hands and make friendship with kids. This kid was looking at my camera for a while. i had already clicked his sister with his mother and then clicked him and showed him his pic. He was initially reluctant to get a picture clicked but then he did finally. In addition to the gifts that I picked up for Tugga and Brishti, this was the best gift that I could have got for myself.
This is what I wrote in Instagram