The traditional garment worn by Bhutanese men and boys. It is presently required, by law, which has increased the unrest among the Nepali minority.

A gho, prior to being put on, looks something like a large, ankle length bathrobe. Machine made ghos are available, mostly in black. Nicer ones may be hand-tailored. The material is usually a rough cotton, though raw silk ones are worn on festival days and for special occasions. They are not easy to wear properly - it often helps to have another person working with you to do it correctly.

The gho is about big enough to cover the wearer's body twice. To wear a gho, one first pulls it on, like a bathrobe. At waist level, the edge of the right side is held at the side seam of the left side. The edge of the left side is then held at side seam of the right side, while still holding the other side. These two points are then pulled to the back, and up, so that the bottom of the fabric is just at knee level, and so a pouch is formed in front. A cloth belt then ties this whole mess together, tightly - it does not hang correctly if it is not tight.

Underneath the gho, one wears a white cotton shirt, designed for this purpose. The sleeves are rather long, so that they can be folded over, to form cuffs. For taller people, cuffs that can be pinned or sewn on are available.

One wears knee socks with a gho. In cooler weather, pants may be worn underneath the gho, tucked into the socks.

The pouch formed by the belt makes the gho a rather utilitarian garment. Because the belt is tied tightly, it is possible to hold a considerable amount of stuff in there. There is space for a wallet, notebook, small camera, keys, etc., and it is rather safe from pickpockets, as one would have to reach almost down the neck to take any of it.

The gho is surprisingly warm - this is due to the way the fabric is layered when it is folded - in some places it is three layers thick.

Yep. I got one on my trip to Bhutan. A massive thing, tailored overnight, probably using a good eight yards of fabric - likely the largest one they have ever made - for about $45. Makes a great bathrobe, now.

A picture of me wearing one can be found at

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