The weekend craft market near the Centenary Farmers' Market on Chogyal Lam is still a little under the radar for many tourists, who don't always know that the long, corrugated metal shed on the other side of the river is someplace they might want to visit.
There's lots to choose from if you're looking for souvenirs, often at better prices than you'll find at the handicrafts stalls along upper Norzin Lam. Heavy locks with deities in relief. Prayer wheels on sticks. Brass incense holders, metal teapots, boxes and bowls of all sorts. Masks and carved wooden dragons. Kiras, scarves, and jewelry. And bunches of Buddhist ritual items: statues, offering bowls, incense burners, phurbas, thangkas, human thigh bone trumpets, cymbals and bells, drums. Using your eye for quality, you can find some unusual pieces here amidst the usual stuff created for tourist consumption.
To get there, cross the road at the east entrance to the farmers' market. Cross the wooden bridge and veer left after passing the momo man at the far end. To the right is the people's market selling mostly clothing, none of it traditional — a fun place to get looked at instead of look). The crafts market has similar hours to the farmer's market: every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from about 9am to 5:30pm.
Insider tips: For a better selection of ritual items and kiras, you may want to visit one of the Dharma-goods-only and kira specialty shops in town instead. On your way out, grab some organic produce on the second floor of the Centenary Farmers' Market — where you'll also find high-quality local incense, cheese, and honey from bee cooperatives.