Bhutan in Winter – 15 Reasons for Travelling Bhutan in Winter

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If you have heard that travelling Bhutan in winter isn’t a good thing, you have heard it wrong. They have told you only looking at a fact of Bhutan being in Himalayas and assuming temperature must be cold. Of course it’s quite cold. But not unbearably very cold.

Winter is a tourist off season in Bhutan. If you’re travelling Bhutan in winter, you can have Bhutan almost to yourself. During winter daily tariff fee is at minimum. There are also other advantages of travelling Bhutan in winter.

#1 Cheap Travel Season

Bhutan Tourism Council mandates tourists to pay minimum daily package. In other seasons, tourists have to pay USD 250 per day. But during winter, it’s USD 200. You can save USD 50 per day!

SeasonsGroup of 3 or moreGroup of 2One person
Winter & SummerUSD 200USD 230USD 240
Spring & AutumnUSD 250USD 280USD 290

In winter, hotel rental and other travel related expenses will be low. If you are solo traveller in Bhutan during winter, you can save quite an amount.

#2 Less No. of Tourists

Tourists usually don’t travel Bhutan in winter. Therefore, officially it’s a tourists-off season. They are held back by the fear of extreme coldness, which is not true.

Tourists during Paro Tshechu

If you want to explore Bhutan well without being bothered by crowds, travelling Bhutan in winter is an excellent plan. Taktshang Monastery, which is usually crowded in other seasons, will be free with only few travellers.

#3 Good No. of Choices

Travelling Bhutan in winter, you are going there when there are good choices – starting from tour operators to hotels. They’ll be able to provide good and customized tour services when tourists are less.

Popular Paro Farmhouse or Homestay

In other seasons, not only tourist hotels will be full but also various Bhutan farm houses. But during winter, you can have good choices of hotels and homestay farm houses.

#4 Snowfall Experiences

Bhutan usually receives snowfall in winter. This means you get to experience snow in Bhutan in December. But don’t worry of extreme coldness. Sitting by a bonfire, sipping Bhutanese traditional tea Suja and wearing warm clothes, you can easily beat cold.

Travelling Bhutan in winter

During first snowfall, King of Bhutan declares government holiday. So you get to experience not only snowfall but also Bhutanese celebrating snowfall as a symbol of prosperity in their own terms of cultural traditions.

#5 Landscapes and Skies

You won’t be able to see mountains of Bhutan due to clouds and fogs in other seasons. But in winter, you can see beautiful snow-capped mountains of Bhutan well. It’s also best time to visit Bhutan from India when temperature down there is still hot.

Bhutan in winter

Tourist destinations like Dochula Pass, Chelela and Phobjikha are in their best during winter. Moreover, the probability of road blockages will be low during winter. In Bhutan, you would experience more beautiful and bright days in winter than in other seasons.

#6 Winter Trekking

If you don’t like coldness, there are various low land trekking routes in Bhutan that are best for trekking activities in winter. In central Bhutan, Nabji-Korphu and Kheng Buli Lake are popular trekking travel packages.

Trekking to Dodedrak

If you want little warm temperature, you can travel less visited places like Samtse, Gelephu and also Manas National Park. There are various tourist attractions in winter.

#7 Winter Festivals

One of the popular tourist attractions of Thimphu, the Dochula Tshechu happens in December every year. This festival celebrates historical victory of Bhutanese soldiers. It’s observed at Dochula; a scenic pass in Thimphu.

Preparing for Royal Highlander festival

If you travel eastern Bhutan, Trashigang Tshechu, Mongar Tshechu and Khaling Tshechu also happen during winter. There are also few festivals in Bumthang that also happen in winter.

#8 Black-Necked Cranes

Black-Necked Cranes is one of the endangered species of birds. They come to Bhutan during winter from Tibetan Plateau. These birds are special in the hearts of Bhutanese. They celebrate their arrivals with various festivals and mask dances.

Bhutan birds watching

If you travel Bhutan in winter, you can have a rare opportunity of watching these birds. Bumdeling in Trashiyangtse, Phobjikha in Wangduephodrang and Chumey in Bumthang are popular places in Bhutan for watching Black-Necked Cranes in winter.

#9 Outdoor Camping

Otherwise for little coldness, you can enjoy outdoor camping in winter. Sleeping under a tent and gazing a clear starry sky will be a good experience in Bhutan.

Punakha camping

In other seasons, usually outdoor camping cannot be taken. Weather will be unpredictable and you won’t enjoy outdoor camping much under patter of heavy rainfall and foggy weather.

Phajoding Monastery, Lampelri Botanical Park and Manas National Park are some of the popular camping places of Bhutan that are favourable in winter.

#10 Helpful for Youths

If you are someone who is so much interested in spending time with youths; listening their problems and dreams, winter will be the best. All students will be on their winter vacation.

Bhutanese students on hike

You can participate in various programs of youths like art exhibitions, talent shows, youth-related problems awareness campaigns. You might be able to come on a volunteer VISA – where you don’t have to pay full tourist fees.

#11 Good weather

This is quite obvious. Bhutan doesn’t experience unpredictable weather in winter. If there is snowfall, little drizzle will welcome it. But they won’t be that problematic to make fuss over any of your travel plan.

Bhutan in winter weather

If you are travelling Bhutan in winter by plane, what will be a better season to watch views of beautiful Himalayan Mountains from airbus windows than in winter? Winter altogether gives a different beauty to Bhutan.

Tourists entering Bhutan from various land routes can also have memorable road trip to Bhutan in December or other winter months. Road block cases will be very less.

#12 Marriage Ceremonies

There are many tourist couples who travel Bhutan to conduct their wedding ceremonies and revive their marital vows in Bhutanese ways.

Tourist marry in Bhutan

Photo courtesy: AlwaysBhutan.com

If you want to have marriage ceremony according to Bhutan’s tradition and culture of marriage, winter is the best season. Bhutanese marriage ceremony is in such a way that so many cultural activities happen outside.

Therefore, travel Bhutan in winter to have a marriage ceremony like a royal couple and tighten vows in accordance with Bhutan’s culture and traditions.

#13 Bhutan Textile Tours

If you are travelling Bhutan in winter, you can have a great Bhutan textile tours. Khoma in Lhuentse is the birthplace of traditional handloom weaving practices of Bhutan and growing textile industry in Bhutan.

weaving crafts in Bhutan

People of Lhuentse Khoma will be busy with their farm works in other seasons and visitors won’t be able to experience best of their traditional weaving culture. They won’t be able to see the original brains of Bhutanese gho patterns which are on Bhutan fabric for sale in Paro and Thimphu.

In winter, a group of elder women along with students will be in an open space learning the art of weaving the much sought-after Kishuthara. Along with students, you can also learn various Bhutan weaving patterns that you usually see on Bhutan textiles for sale online or online images of Bhutanese Kira.

#14 White River Rafting

Rivers in Bhutan are fast flowing ones. So sports like rafting and canoeing are usually not undertaken during monsoon season. However, during winter when water level decreases, these games become a source of fun for tourists.

Punakha river rafting

You can experience white river rafting in Mochu at Punakha, Pachu at Paro and also in Manas River of Zhemgang during winter. These rivers are safe for such games in winter.

#15 Farm House Experiences

Tourists who travel Bhutan in other seasons with a plan of spending a night or so in a Bhutanese homestay farm house don’t get good opportunities. Even if they do, the probability of instead landing up in a commercialized and superficial farm houses is very high.

In winter, not only commercialized farm houses will be available but also you can go out and spend a day or two with Bhutanese family in their houses.

Dhur village

In winter, they won’t be busy as their farm works will be over. You’ll be welcome to experience their household culture and traditions. Paro Penlop Dawa Penjor Heritage Farmhouse is a popular farm house in Paro. There is also farm house in Phobjikha.

Therefore, travelling Bhutan in winter is indeed more advantageous – financially. Bhutan has its charm in winter. Indeed outdoor camping, Bhutan textile tours and Black-Necked Cranes watching are popular tourist attractions of Bhutan in winter.

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About Author

An auditor by profession, but a traveller, blogger and photographer by passion. This site was created to share travel stories of various destinations within Bhutan and also travel tips of travelling to Bhutan. Read More>>

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