Bhutan, the great Himalayan kingdom, is one of the most sought after destinations all around the world. With their ideology of Gross National Happiness, it is a country which welcomes one and all with much warmth and love. Bhutan is a year round travel destination, and each season offers a different experience to its visitors. If you think monsoon in Bhutan isn’t that great an idea, then read on and let us change your notion about it. Monsoon season in Bhutan is that time when one can enjoy a relaxing vacation in the quaint valleys of this lilliputian paradise.
Weather During Monsoon In Bhutan
Monsoon in Bhutan begins from July and extends till September. July is usually the wettest month here while the skies begin to clear out by the month of September. The temperature ranges from 13°C to 26°C and it is hot mostly due to the humidity in the atmosphere. The southern parts of the country receive the most rainfall, while the northern parts see really light showers in Bhutan. Though it might not seem to be the ideal time to explore this little paradise, but the northern parts are good to go and honestly monsoon has its own charm and beauty which one would find in no other weather.
Why Visit During Monsoon In Bhutan
One must be wondering why to visit Bhutan during the monsoon when one is often compelled to stay indoors during the rains. Well here are some reasons for one to visit Bhutan in monsoon 2019 –
- Offseason, therefore accommodation available at lower prices
- Misty morning views after downpours during the night
- Monsoon is the best time to savor sizzling local dishes
- One is often torn between trekking and sightseeing in Bhutan, but monsoons make it easy as trekking isn’t available and one can enjoy the architecture and other major sites in Bhutan
- Lesser number of tourists, therefore serene and peaceful environs
Things To Do In Monsoon In Bhutan
If you are planning a trip during monsoon in Bhutan 2019, then here are some of the things to do and places and attractions to visit. Have a look.
1. Bumthang Valley Tour
Bumthang is one of the most beautiful districts of Bhutan comprising of four mountain valleys these are the valleys of Chumey, Tang, Ura, and Choekhor. It is true that one does not get clear mountain views during monsoons, which is why valleys are the place to explore during this season of the year. Translated as ‘beautiful field’, Bumthang looks all the more beautiful after the showers. Dotted with apple and orange orchards, the already lush green environs, turn greener and abundant. If one is at a vantage point, then the beauty of the fields is unimaginable, making them the best places to visit in monsoon in Bhutan!
Places to visit: Jambey Lhakhang, Mebar Tsho – the Burning Lake
2. Punakha City Excursion
The older capital of Bhutan, Punakha is another town that one can explore on their monsoon trip to Bhutan. The location of the city is such that it receives comparatively lesser rainfall, and thus roaming around isn’t too difficult here. Famous for rice farming, the views of the rice paddy spanning over acres of land looks pristine, especially after rain showers. The misty ambiance adds on to the beauty of this city. Take a tour of the famous Punakha Dzong on your visit to Bhutan and be amazed by its architecture. Another place to not miss here is Chimi Lhakhang Temple. With phallic imagery adorning the walls, it is a bizarre yet interesting place to visit on your monsoon trip.
Places to visit: Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang Temple
3. Relish Ema Datshi
What could be better than a stew of cheese and chillies on a rainy day? Ema Datshi is a famous Bhutanese stew that is prepared using garlic oil, split chilies, onions, tomatoes and yak cheese. Head to any Bhutanese restaurant and order for yourself a spicy sizzling Ema Datshi. The chilli sizzle as it drizzles makes for a perfect combination! Ema Datshi, the national dish of Bhutan should be definitely tried on a Bhutan trip. One can find it easily at the local restaurants or places serving Bhutanese cuisine.
Where to eat: Chang Lam, Dorji Troy Restaurant
4. Shop For Bhutanese Wares
Monsoon might affect a lot of activities but shopping isn’t one of them. One can shop his heart out during monsoon in Bhutan at various avenues in the country. There are local markets in the major cities of Bhutan that sell Bhutanese items. Grab your umbrella and set out to explore the local markets. Some Bhutanese items to get back from one’s trip are woven bags, handmade Kira & Gho, bamboo items, Thangkas, and more. The showers are mostly light, so do not let them ruin your shopping plans in Bhutan. One can buy souvenirs at any of the main cities of Bhutan.
Where to shop: Trashiyangtse, Adang village
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5. Marvel At The Architecture
Bhutan is usually visited by travelers for trekking and hiking. But other than these adventure activities, Bhutan is a beautiful place that deserves a lot more attention than just the trekking trails. And with trekking not an option during the monsoon, one can fully focus on exploring the country otherwise. The monasteries and religious sites are known for the beautiful Bhutanese architecture. Marvel at these elegant structures which are an epitome of royalty and beauty.
Places to visit: Tashichho Dzong, Memorial Chorten, Rinpung Dzong
Tips For Traveling During Monsoon In Bhutan
There are a few things that one should take care of when traveling to a place during the monsoon season, like what to wear in monsoon in Bhutan, what to pack and more. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Long treks are not advisable, one can plan short hikes
- Most hotels would have wifi but for more connectivity one can get a local sim card.
- Carry umbrellas or raincoats, and a hairdryer could be handy too
- Keep medicines and repellants
- Drink bottled water only
How To Reach Bhutan
There are no direct rail connections in between India and Bhutan. One can either take a flight or bus from India to travel to Bhutan.
By Air: One can fly to Bhutan from India, and Paro International Airport is the only international airport here.
By Road: If one is traveling by car, then the borders open to tourists are Gelephu, Phuentsholing, and Samdrup Jongkhar. Buses too run from Kolkata to Phuentsholing and it is an 18 hours journey.
Further Read: Trekking In Bhutan: An Experience Like None Other!
Monsoon in Bhutan might not be the best time to go on an adventurous trek. But it is definitely a great time to have a cup of aromatic and warm tea and enjoy the misty environs of Bhutan. Book your trip to Bhutan with TravelTriangle and have a great time exploring its small towns and quaint northern valleys.
Frequently Asked Questions About Monsoon In Bhutan
A: The best time to visit Bhutan is during the spring months of March to May when the valleys come alive with flowers in bloom. However, if you would like to see the snow capped mountains, the Autumn season i.e from October to November is also quite favorable as it’s generally sunny with some snow at higher elevations. Late November to early March is dry with pre-monsoon showers starting in May.
A: There are certain regions that experience snowfall in winter between December and February. Places such as the northern Dzongkhags (Districts) of Bhutan. Gasa, Punakha, Bumthang, Paro, and Thimpu experiences snowfall during late December and January.
A: Bhutan is one of the most beautiful and safe places for traveling. Unlike other places, the people here are very friendly and do not try to dupe you or force you to buy anything from them or try to extract money from you. It’s a place where you can leave all the worries behind and enjoy the trip to its fullest.
A: In an effort to protect Bhutan’s environment and culture, the government has placed a minimum fee of $200 per person per day for visitors to Bhutan – this makes a trip to Bhutan one of the most expensive trips in the world.
A: There are two famous dishes from Bhutan. The first is Zow shungo which is a rice dish mixed with leftover vegetables and the second is Ema datshi, a spicy dish made with large, green chili peppers in a cheesy sauce (similar to chili con queso), which might be called the national dish for its ubiquity and the pride that Bhutanese have for it.
A: Bhutan is known for its handicrafts which also makes it one of the main sources of income for the locals. Some of the traditional handicraft items which are usually bought by tourists as souvenirs are Handicraft Bags and Wall Hangings, Hand-woven Textiles, Gold & Silver Jewellery, Himalayan Beads (Dzi Beads), Handmade Wooden Bowls (Dappa), Cane & Bamboo Items, and Wooden Products.
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