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Week-end markets of Bhutan

Although you are not buying, it's always interesting to take a stroll through the week-end markets of Bhutan. You will get an insight into the local food culture, while you jostle with the villagers as well as the high-heeled shoppers. 

Week-end markets are only places where locals can buy seasonal fresh and organic produces at the best price. There is also chance locals run-in to their friends and relatives; hence the week-end markets become venue of socialization. 

Depending on the season, there will be stalls of potatoes, onions, varieties of peppers, cauliflowers, cabbages, lettuces, peas, squash, yams, eggplants, asparagus and even mushrooms and ferns from the wild. The vendors also sell rice, buckwheat, spices, many unknown herbs and fruits from local orchards such as oranges, apples, pineapples, bananas, mangoes, apricots, peaches and plums. You may also see dried fish, beef, homemade soft cheese, sausage etc. 

Thimpu's week-end market also has a section for the indigenous goods and handicrafts, but they are primarily for local consumption and you don't find them yelling at tourists, unlike other markets in Asia. Thimphu's week-end market last for three days; starting from Friday opens till late on Sunday. If you miss Thimphu's week-end market, take chance on the Saturday market in Punakha and Sunday market in Wangdue Phodrang and Sunday. These are smaller than Thimphu's market but they have authentic stuffs. 

Ask your travel adviser if he or she can tailor an itinerary to include a week-end market stop during your trip.