Bhutan Weather and Tour in November: is November a proper time to pay Bhutan a visit?
November is the end of autumn in Bhutan, when the temperatures begin to really drop for winter and the rains that once spread across the kingdom have all but gone. One of the last months for trekking in most of the main trekking areas of Bhutan, November is a great time to come to the kingdom to avoid the crowds and make the most of the last of the dry and not-yet-cold weather.
With trekking being a major activity in Bhutan, November is a good time to come for the less remote trekking trails, which are no longer as busy as they were through September and October, with fewer tourists making it to the Himalayan country throughout the month. November is also a good time for bird watching in Bhutan, as the migratory birds from the north are starting to come down into the warmer Bhutan for the winter. The stunning Phobjika Valley sees the arrival of the black-necked cranes.
The Climate and Weather Condition of November in Bhutan
While the temperatures are beginning to drop, the weather is clear and bright, and the views are extremely dramatic across the Himalayas. The last vestiges of autumn make the weather fresh and crisp, and as the month rolls on, the temperatures begin to drop significantly as winter approaches. Days are mostly sunny and bright, with clear skies for almost the entire month and very little rain falling anywhere in the kingdom. At the start of November, temperatures range from 12-16 degrees across the northern and central areas of the country, but gradually drop towards the end of the month. By the last week of November, the average temperature in Paro is already down to 9 degrees, while I the Phobjika Valley, it can drop to as low as around 6 degrees before the end of the month.
Paro weather in November
Average Maximum Temperature: 16°C
Average Minimum Temperature: 3°C
Average Temperature: 9°C
With high temperatures of up to 16 degrees in the first weeks of November, Paro is a pleasant place to visit, though with a few rainy days still coming in. Nights begin to get colder, but are not yet below freezing, and the days are mostly bright and sunny. What little rain does fall comes in the late evening or overnight, making November a good time to trek around Paro.
Thimphu weather in November
Average Maximum Temperature: 15°C
Average Minimum Temperature: 2°C
Average Temperature: 8°C
The Bhutanese capital is a relatively warm area for most of November, with high temperatures of up to 15-16 degrees during the day, though dropping to less than 2 degrees at night. Rain is light and falls rarely throughout November, leaving the days clear and bright for trekking and sightseeing.
Dochula Pass in early winter with thin snow on the ground
Jakar weather in November
Average Maximum Temperature: 15°C
Average Minimum Temperature: 1°C
Average Temperature: 8°C
Out in the Jakar in the Bumthang Dzongkhag, the weather is warm throughout the month, with daytime highs of around 16 degrees, though nights are chilly with lows just above freezing. There is less rain in Bumthang than in Paro and Thimphu, and the days are bright and refreshing, if a little chilly in the late afternoon. Trekking is still a major activity in the area, and the trails are dry and clean.
Bumthang weather in November
Average Maximum Temperature: 14°C
Average Minimum Temperature: 0°C
Average Temperature: 7°C
Across the Bumthang District, temperatures average a little lower than those in the capital area, with daily highs that barely reach 14 degrees across the Dzongkhag. Nights are getting colder in Bumthang in November, as the temperatures drop to freezing, and the frost covers the ground come the morning, though it quickly burns off in the bright morning sunlight. Rain is never a problem in November, with little showers being the worst you will find, and mostly in the evenings.
Punakha weather in November
Average Maximum Temperature: 21°C
Average Minimum Temperature: 9.5°C
Average Temperature: 15°C
Punakha is still a great place to visit in November, as the temperatures are much warmer than in the nearby areas of Thimphu and Paro. With highs of up to 21 degrees during the day, this is the perfect time to travel around the trekking trails of Punakha, with clear bright skies and very dry yet comfortable weather. Lows at night reach as high as 9 degrees, making it pleasant and comfortable, especially for camping along the treks. However, there is a little more rain in Punakha in November than most other places, though the rain is normally just light showers in the afternoons and evenings.
What about Bhutan tours in November?
As the last month of the peak season of autumn, November is still a little busy, though not as hectic as in September and October. Travel around Bhutan is easy and pleasant, even on the remote dirt roads, thanks to the dry weather and little rainfall. While Bhutan can get a little cold in the latter part of November, the temperatures are pleasant for trekking and sightseeing, and the major tourist areas of Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro are at one of their most beautiful, with golden and red leaves dropping all over the ground like a rustic carpet.
How about Bhutan trekking in November?
Bhutan Trekking Tours in November is possible. Most sited recommend trekking in Bhutan can be done until around the middle of November, but since there is no definite temperature that is guaranteed for this late-autumn month, it may be possible to continue trekking right up to the end of the month.
Amazing Druk Path trek in November with deep blue sky and snow paved trail.
The clear crisp blue skies, with not a cloud in sight, make traveling and trekking in the Jomolhari region a pleasure, and for those that love the high altitudes, there are many treks that can still be completed right up to the start of December.
Festivals in November
November is a major month for festivals in Bhutan, but if you are going to visit, the second week in November is the best time for local festivals. The Black-Necked Crane Festival, which starts on November 11 every year, is one of the most spectacular festivals of the kingdom, celebrating the arrival in the Phobjika Valley of these rare birds from Northern Tibet as they circle the ancient Gangtey Monastery before coming to roost.
If you have a little more time, then the ten-day Nalakhang Festival is a great thing to see while you are in Bhutan in November. A small dancing festival held in a remote village to the north of Thimphu, this festival amasses a huge number of local villagers from the surrounding area, who come to watch the unique dances, complete with large phalluses with which the dancers bless the crowds. A festival of performances and clowns, the dances are the centerpiece of the entire festival.
Dances of the interesting Jambay Lhakhang Drup Tsechu held in Bumthang area in November.
The Jambay Lhakhang Drup Tsechu is one of the most interesting of all the festivals, in Bhutan, held at the 7th century Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang Dzongkhag. The festival is famous for its delightful and colorful Cham dances, and is one of the few places in Bhutan that still holds the original version of the terccham, or Naked Dance, performed for the fertility of the womenfolk of the area. While the dance is not open to tourists, the rest of the festival program is wonderful.
What to pack for visit Bhutan in November?
November is not yet the winter in Bhutan, but is a little colder than the previous months have been, and may require you to have a few sweaters and warm jackets, as it can get a little chilly at night. For those out trekking, several layers of clothes are best, so that you can add or remove as you like, depending on how hot or cold you feel. Good strong trekking boots are a must, even if you are not trekking, as there are few places outside the cities that have paved areas, aside from some of the roads. And even most of those are little more than dirt tracks.
The sun is still bright and strong, and you will need a good hat to keep the sun off your head, as well as sun cream and sunglasses to protect your eyes and face. Bhutan starts to get windier in November, and you should bring lip balm and moisturizers with you. While there is little rain, you will find a light rain mac may be handy, especially the foldable ones that can be carried as small pouches ready for when you need it.
Is it easy to get the Bhutan Visa in November?
Every month of the year is the same when applying for the Bhutan Visa, as there is no restriction on when you can travel to the Kingdom. November is the tail end of the autumn peak season, and while it may not be that busy, there are still plenty of people applying for a visa, so you can expect the processing to take up to five days. For those traveling to Bhutan, as long as you have a good registered tour operator and meet the requirements for travel to Bhutan, you should have no problems.
The weather in Bhutan in November is still pleasant enough to continue trekking throughout the month, and is warm enough to be comfortable across the kingdom. While the western Dzongkhags of Thimphu and Paro may be getting a little chilly at night, Punakha still has good average temperatures, and is warm and sunny throughout November. As the last of the peak months of autumn’s high season, November can still be quite busy, though tourist numbers are beginning to drop off. However, do not expect any discounts until December rolls around.