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Bhutan Weather and Tour in May: is May the best time to visit Bhutan?

March,22 2019 BY Lobsang Tsering 0 COMMENTS

May in Bhutan is the start of the wetter months in the kingdom, but is also one of the best times to visit if you want to see the stunning spring blooms. The last of the months of spring in Bhutan, May sees a slight increase in rainfall and humidity, though the heavier rain does not really come until around the middle of June. With the monsoon season already on the horizon, May gives early samples of what is to come, but is generally a great month for traveling in this last Himalayan kingdom.

The Climate and Weather Condition of May in Bhutan

With its slightly increased chance of rainfall and a somewhat higher humidity level, as well as fairly high temperatures, May is a good time of year to travel to Bhutan. Visitor numbers tend to drop towards the end of the month, and while there is a risk of cloud cover, most of the days throughout May are relatively clear, especially in the north. Showers do tend to become more frequent as the month progresses, though they are most likely to come in the late afternoons and evenings, leaving the days mostly clear for touring. Temperatures tend to range from around 13 degrees at night to as high as 32 degrees during the daytime, depending on where you are. Temperatures are hotter in the south than in the north.

Table of Bhutan Weather in May

Paro weather in May

Average Maximum Temperature: 20.4 °C/ 68.7 °F
Average Minimum Temperature: 10.5 °C/ 50.9 °F
Average Temperature: 15.4 °C/ 59.7 °F
Precipitation: 174 mm
Clear Days: 22 days
Wind Speed: 4.7 km/h

May in Paro, in the west of the kingdom, is one of the best times to visit, especially for trekking along some of the high-altitude treks in the region. With more than 20 days of sunshine throughout the month, despite the latter part being a little wetter than the first half of the month, the pleasant temperatures in May make for a stunning trip to this former Bhutanese capital. Daytime temperatures can reach as high as 21 degrees, while at night it barely drops below 11 degrees, making the nights warm and comfortable.

Insider tips:
1. May is also a trekking month in Bhutan and most of Bhutan’s splendid trekking routes that lead you to the places where the majestic Himalaya Range can be sighted start from Paro or nearby it. So to ensure a good start, a good rest is necessary. Book the accommodations well in advance, or the options can fill up in the peak season.
2. Thimphu is not far from the Paro, if you cannot find any satisfying hotel in May, try searching for a proper one in Thimphu.

Thimphu weather in May

Average Maximum Temperature: 20°C/ 68.0 °F
Average Minimum Temperature: 9.5 °C/ 49.1 °F
Average Temperature: 14.7 °C/ 58.5 °F
Precipitation: 164 mm
Clear Days: 22 days
Wind Speed: 4.7 km/h

Nearby Thimphu is also one of the best places to stay in Bhutan in May. Temperatures range from 20 degrees in the daytime to around 10 degrees at night, and the little rain that falls in the area around the Bhutanese capital usually occurs in the late afternoon. Light showers are the worst of the pre-monsoon weather you can expect to experience, and these barely affect the trekking trails in the area, making this the ideal month for trekking and sightseeing together in Thimphu. The higher altitude than in Paro means that the weather may not be as warm, but has fewer showers, and plenty of sunny days to explore the city and the surrounding area.

Insider tips:
Treks with various levels of difficulty are held ardently in May and most of them start from the capital. Some take you to ascend the mountains for a closer look of the Himalaya Range while others lead you to the lakes and valleys. No matter which one you choose, prepare down-filled clothes for the temperature drop at night.

Jakar weather in May

Average Maximum Temperature: 22.1 °C/ 71.8 °F
Average Minimum Temperature: 9.5 °C/ 55 °F
Average Temperature: 15°C/ 63.3 °F
Precipitation: 157 mm
Clear Days: 22 days
Wind Speed: 4.7 km/h

Jakar lies in the famous Bumthang Valley, to the east of Punakha, and with its altitude of around 2,587 meters, is much warmer than many of the places in western and central Bhutan in May. Rainfall is limited to late evenings and overnight throughout the latter part of the month when the pre-monsoon rains come, leaving the days free for trekking around the most popular trekking area in Bhutan. Temperatures in Jakar range from as low as 10 degrees at night to around 22 degrees in the daytime, and the bright sunshine and low wind speeds make it feel much warmer. At the higher altitude, there is little in the way of humidity in Jakar in May, and the weather is mostly bright and dry, though you may need to bring sunblock if you are traveling here in May.

Characteristic Bhutan village surrounded by lush flowers in MayCharacteristic Bhutan village surrounded by lush flowers in May along the trekking routes.

Insider tips:
Jakar Dzong, located on a ridge above Jakar town, is one of the oldest and most venerated Temple in Bhutan. It is now believed to be the largest dzong in the country with a circumference of more than 1,500 meters. So once you are in Jakar, Jakar Dzong is the iconic spot you can’t miss.

Bumthang weather in May

Average Maximum Temperature: 19.6 °C/ 67.3 °F
Average Minimum Temperature: 8.5 °C/ 47.3 °F
Average Temperature: 14 °C/ 57.2 °F
Precipitation: 140 mm
Clear Days: 23 days
Wind Speed: 4.6 km/h

Bumthang, the capital of the Bumthang Dzongkhag, is renowned for its stunning landscapes and beautiful scenery, and there are few places in Bhutan that can offer such stunning trekking trails as in the Bumthang Valley. Winds are low in the area, barely reaching 4 km/h, which makes the 20-degree daytime temperature feel even warmer than it is in the bright sunlight. Temperatures do drop a little lower at night, reaching as low as 8 degrees in the coldest part of the month, and a light sweater is a good addition to your packing list when traveling to Bumthang.

Insider tips:
Treks in Bumthang region are mainly the short-term treks with soft trails either in the forests or along the rhododendron clustered mountain roads. If your traveling schedule is not very tight, you are recommended to explore as many places as possible, for views along the trekking routes in May are still charming and neither get spoiled by the monsoon rain nor affected by the crowds.

Punakha weather in May

Average Maximum Temperature: 25.8 °C/ 78.4 °F
Average Minimum Temperature: 16.5 °C/ 61.7 °F
Average Temperature: 21.1 °C/ 70.0 °F
Precipitation: 328 mm
Clear Days: 19 days
Wind Speed: 4.9 km/h

The wettest of the main trekking areas in this part of Bhutan, Punakha in May sees more rainfall than most places throughout May, though most of the rain falls in the latter half of the month. The early part of the month is clear and bright, with almost no rain, but once the pre-monsoon rains come, the area sees as much as 328mm of rainfall in just two weeks towards the end of the month. Temperatures are a lot warmer, though, reaching as high as 25 degrees during the daytime, with bright sunshine being the predominant feature of the days. Rainfall normally comes at night in Punakha in May, and the temperatures can drop as low as 16 degrees, with the rains and the stronger winds making it feel a little chilly at night.

Insider tips:
Punakha valley is believed to be a great place for rice farming. So the breathtaking terraced fields can be sighted from the hills or along the trekking route. You may find the buckwheat, rice, and other grain crops are growing vigorously in the terraced fields. The previously dominated light green has turned into the dark green. Summer will be coming.

What about Bhutan tours in May?

Traveling to Bhutan in May is a good time to make the journey to this unique Himalayan kingdom. The last month of spring, May does see the start of some rainfall in the kingdom, though this is usually only in the late afternoons and evenings. Spring in Bhutan is when the flowers come to life in the valleys after the long winter months, and even in May, those spring blooms are still visible across the valleys and meadows of the kingdom. The weather is warm enough to be comfortable, and with it being the end of the spring months, there are already fewer visitors in Bhutan.

Insider tips:
Below, we have selected some Bhutan tours for you:
>> 5 Days classic Bhutan City and Scenic Tourist Tour
>> 5 Days Popular Highlights of Bhutan Tour
>> 6 Days Classic Thimphu-Paro and Taktsang Ghoempa Tour
>> 7 Days Classic Bhutan Mountains and Valleys Tour
>> 10 Days Classic Bhutan Himalaya Tour
>> 11 Days Classic West and Central Bhutan Tour

Besides the listed tours we recommend above, we still provide you with some other tour routes which are still quite appropriate for you in May. - See the most popular Bhutan Tours for detailed information

How about Bhutan trekking in May?

The trekking seasons in Bhutan run from mid-March to mid-May and mid-September to the beginning of November. May is the last of the good trekking months in the earlier part of the year, and while there may be a little rainfall throughout the month, it is normally not enough to affect the trekking trails the way it will from June to August. Lower altitude treks could see some rain interfering with the trekking, though not enough to worry about, while in the higher altitudes, the chances of rain is even lower, making it a wonderful time to trek along trails in the Himalayas, such as the Jomolhari Trek, or the famous Druk Path Trek.

Trekking by the high-altitude turquoise lake in MayTrekking by the high-altitude turquoise lake with deep blue sky and the forever snow-capped mountains in May.

Below we have selected some Bhutan May trek tours for you:
>> 3 Days Bumthang Culture Trek
>> 3 Days Bumthang Owl Trek
>> 10 Days Jhomolhari Loop Trek
>> 31 Days Snowman Trek

Insider tips:
1. We have provided some other popular Bhutan trekking routes to present more choices.
2. The best time for the long-anticipated Snowman Trek has eventually come. In May, lots of trek lovers are excited and gather together to challenge this most arduous trek in the world. Heavy snows have melted and trails showed. The temperature is perfect either at the foot of the mountains or in higher mountain regions.

The trek ascends you up to some high-altitude places where the views in May are super fantastic with boundless prairies and splendid distant mountains. If you fancy some more magnificent sceneries and not afraid of the challenge, then this trek is really worth trying.

In order to maximize your satisfaction, we give you the most professional local guide and prepare all the things that are necessary during the entire trip. Please contact us for further information.

Festivals in May

Strangely, Bhutan does not have any major festivals listed in the Gregorian month of May, though it is not necessarily a bad thing. May is the month when the entire population of Buddhist monks from Punakha leaves their winter monasteries for the summer residence in Thimphu. Usually held on or around the first day of the fourth lunar month in May, these saffron-robed holy men depart from the many monasteries in the region of Punakha and take the long journey to the Bhutanese capital. Departing in a long procession, some in vehicles and others on foot, the monks cross the 83-kilometer distance to spend their summer in the Bhutanese capital.

What to pack for visit Bhutan in May?

Clothing in Bhutan depends on the time of year, and while May is a relatively warm month, you will need some warmer clothing for when it gets colder at night. Long-sleeved tops and long pants are better, and you will need to have a sweater or down jacket for the cooler evenings and colder areas. A rainproof jacket is definitely a necessity, though it does not really need to be storm proof, as the showers are light. A sun hat to cover the head and sunblock and moisturizers are a good idea, and you may need a pair of gloves in the colder regions. Footwear should be sturdy, such as boots or hiking shoes, and you should have warm and comfortable socks.

Camping by the side of the charming lake during the Druk Path Trek in MayCamping by the side of the charming lake during the Druk Path Trek in May.

Is it easy to get the Bhutan Visa in January?

As with every other month of the year, getting a visa for Bhutan is part and parcel of the tour booking, and there are rarely any issues with getting a visa to enter the country once you have booked and paid for your pre-arranged tour. Bhutan has no restrictions on tour dates and when you can visit, even during the Bhutanese New Year.

Conclusion

Weather in Bhutan in May is warm, with a little dampness, which makes it a pleasant climate to travel in Bhutan. The temperatures are not too hot, as in summer, nor as cold as in the depths of winter and early spring. The latter part of May might see a little more rain than the start of the month, but overall, May is a mostly dry month, with some of the greatest trekking in the world in the mountainous north of the kingdom.

Lobsang Tsering

About the Author - Lobsang Tsering

I am a tour guide in Tibet an was Born in Kham Tibet, I am the father of 2 little girls, bachelor's degree. I have more than 7-years experience of being a tour guide in Tibet. I am a warm, friendly, knowledgeable and attractive guy.

Email me about your travel idea

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