Bhutan by Season: How to Experience the Kingdom Throughout the Year
Bhutan, the last of the great Himalayan kingdoms, is a land of enchantment and intrigue, steeped in mystery and myth. It’s also a country that can be appreciated for most of the year-round with diverse terrain that ranges from vast snowy mountains to lush central river valleys to subtropical foliage in the south.
BHUTAN BY SEASON:
HOW TO EXPERIENCE THE KINGDOM THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Bhutan, the last of the great Himalayan kingdoms, is a land of enchantment and intrigue, steeped in mystery and myth. It’s also a country that can be appreciated for most of the year-round with diverse terrain that ranges from vast snowy mountains to lush central river valleys to subtropical foliage in the south. Winters can be surprisingly mild — Bhutan has a similar latitude to Rome and Miami — while spring and the fall are prime periods for hiking and exploring the outdoors; summer signals the onset of the great monsoons, but bathes the landscape in a verdant cornucopia of greens. Whichever season, Bhutan always has something special to offer, making it an all-rounder for travelers seeking authenticity, mountain calm, and beautiful scenery.
Beginning in December, Bhutan's winter is blessed with crisp air, clear skies, and snow-capped summits, and the nights offer a breathtaking panorama of stars. Snow will fall in the north, but winter can be milder in other parts of the country, including the central valleys. While temperatures drop after sunset, the days remain warm and comfortable, making it an excellent time to hike and explore the western districts of Paro, Punakha, and Thimphu. The Phobjikha Valley, which can be accessed from Amankora Gangtey Lodge, is particularly enchanting during this season as the rolling plains and bamboo shrublands become a haven for roosting cranes, and nomadic yak herdsmen lead their cattle down from the snowy highlands. Fewer tourists visit Bhutan during the winter months, making it an excellent time to go.
SPRINGAmankora Punakha's private breakfast at Khamsum Yulley Chorten
From March to May, Bhutan experiences its season of renewal, showcasing the stunning beauty of the Himalayan landscape in full bloom. Rhododendron forests in Gangtey add vibrant colors to hiking trails, while the jacaranda trees around Punakha Dzong burst into magnificent clouds of mauve blossoms. The comfortable warmth of the air makes it an ideal time for picnics, and the rivers around Punakha are replenished by meltwaters from the past winter, creating optimal conditions for whitewater rafting. Translating as 'Male' and Female', the Pho Chu and Mo Chu twin rivers flow through rocky gorges, pristine plains, and terraced fields to meet at Punakha Dzong. Amankora Punakha Lodge arranges white-water rafting excursions on both, rewarding adventurers with challenging rapids and unforgettable valley views.
SUMMERLush and green summer landscapes
Bhutanese summer, which lasts from June to August, is characterized by hot but comfortable temperatures, and frequent monsoons. For that reason, we typically advise clients not to travel in the summer, unless traveling in very early June – as flooding can disrupt local infrastructure. That said, it's an excellent time to discover the numerous historic monasteries and dzongs scattered throughout the valleys or to participate in yoga-enhanced spiritual retreats to enhance personal well-being. Eye-opening structures on the Amankora pilgrimage trial include Wangdicholing – the summer palace of Bhutan's earliest kings – beside Amankora Bumthang Lodge; and, attached to Paro's imposing Rinpung Dzong, the traditional cantilever bridge, Nyamai Zampa. During summer, the landscape becomes lush and verdant, and rare ingredients come into season, including Bhutan's famous green chili, which is only available for a few months. Summer is a good time for culinary experiences to delight the senses.
FALLTime your trip to coincide with one of Bhutan's colorful festivals
Spanning September to November, the short autumn period is a wonderful time to explore Bhutan, with cooler, crisp temperatures and clearer skies revealing sublime landscape views. With a mild and dry climate, exploring Bhutan's mountain trails through trekking and biking should be at the top of your itinerary. The season is also perfect for photography enthusiasts as willow trees shed their golden leaves. And the changing light emphasizes the Himalayan summits, including some of the world's tallest unclimbed peaks. In November, the return of Bhutan’s beloved bird, the black-necked crane, is celebrated with an exuberant festival of song and dance at Gangtey Goemba. Life in the Kingdom moves to the rhythm of such celebrations, with every monastery and temple holding at least one festival, or tsechu, every year. The most memorable include the events in Paro and Thimphu, which attract thousands of costumed revelers and are easily accessible from Amankora Paro Lodge and Amankora Thimphu Lodge.
Taking advantage of the pleasant weather, the Aman Jet expedition, A Mindful and Cultural Journey, operates this year from September 29 to October 13.
AS FEATURED IN
The Wall Street Journal • Town & Country • Departures • Travel + Leisure • Forbes • Condé Nast Traveler • BusinessWeek • National Geographic Traveler • Palm Beach Post • Chicago Tribune • Financial Times • BBC • Fox Business News • The New York Times
REMOTE LANDS, INC.120 East 56th Street, Suite 1600 PH, New York, NY 10022 USA
Email: [email protected]
REMOTE LANDS (THAILAND) CO., LTD7/F Mahatun Plaza 888/74 Ploenchit Rd., Bangkok 10330 Thailand
Email: [email protected] Copyright © 2023 REMOTE LANDS, INC.