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Bhutan Weather and Tour in October: is October a proper time to pay Bhutan a visit?

An awesome destination that has not been a popular tourist destination for long, Bhutan is one of the most unique tourist destinations in the world. October is the middle of autumn in Bhutan, and the central time for the trekking season, which lasts only until the end of November before the snows and colder weather comes in. An awesome time to visit this ancient Himalayan kingdom, the autumn season sees falling leaves, clear skies, and bright sunshine for most of the month, though with cooling temperatures as the season heads inexorably towards the cold of winter.

One of two destinations in Asia that require tourists to be on pre-booked and organized tours with registered tour operators, Bhutan is not a country that can be traveled independently, much like its close neighbor, Tibet. An exclusive destination that promises high-quality tourism for everyone, Bhutan tour promotes ecological tourism in such a way that they have managed to retain a negative carbon footprint, despite having a huge tourism industry these days. For anyone aiming at trekking in high altitudes with excellent landscapes and scenery, there are few places that match Bhutan for the best of the Himalayas.

The Climate and Weather Condition of October in Bhutan

October is the start of autumn in Bhutan, though it will be a while before the season sets in properly and the leaves start to fall. One of the most popular times for tourism in the kingdom, October sees an increase in visibility in the high mountains as the cloudy skies of the monsoon slowly clear up to leave bright blue skies with amazing views. Generally, the weather is warm and sunny, and one of the most comfortable times for trekking in the kingdom.

Table of Bhutan Weather in October

Rated to be one of the nicest times of the year in this ancient Himalayan kingdom, October is a month that is renowned for its milder temperatures and drier weather, coming hot on the heels of the monsoon period, which left the land green and verdant across the entire country. Temperatures range from a balmy 19 degrees in the western areas to a comfortable 22 degrees as you head east to Punakha and the trekking trails of the region. Visibility is clear across the mountain ranges throughout the month, and the stunning peak of Gangkhar Puensum is once again visible for trekkers and sightseers alike.

Paro weather in October

Average Maximum Temperature: 19 °C
Average Minimum Temperature: 8 °C
Average Temperature: 14 °C
Precipitation: 85 mm

A huge drop in rainfall marks the coming of October in Paro, as well as a major dip in temperature, making it much more comfortable for trekking and touring in the region. With average temperatures of just 13 degrees and nights dropping as low as 8 degrees, it may be time for those light sweaters to come back out again.

Thimphu weather in October

Average Maximum Temperature: 19 °C
Average Minimum Temperature: 7 °C
Average Temperature: 13 °C
Precipitation: 76 mm

As with most places in October, the rains are almost all gone, though a few light showers remain to remind you of the past monsoon season. Drier weather prevails, and the temperatures in Thimphu begin to cool more, dropping to as low as 6 degrees at night, and averaging only around 12 degrees throughout the month.

Jakar weather in October

Average Maximum Temperature: 19 °C 
Average Minimum Temperature: 7 °C
Average Temperature: 13 °C
Precipitation: 66 mm

October in Jakar is the time when the temperatures drop majorly, losing 3-4 degrees to give highs of just 18 degrees during the day, and as low as 6 degrees at night, sweater weather is definitely upon us in Jakar, as the rains drop to an almost unnoticeable 60mm throughout the month.

Bumthang weather in October

Average Maximum Temperature: 18 °C
Average Minimum Temperature: 6°C 
Average Temperature: 12 °C
Precipitation: 62 mm

Harvest season in Bumthang areas in golden OctHarvest season in Bumthang areas in golden Oct.

As the temperatures around Bumthang Drop, the trekking begins, and the rains are reduced to the odd shower a few times throughout the entire month. Lows of around 5 degrees at night mean that the warmer clothing needs to come out, as it can be chilly once the sun goes down, especially in the more mountainous areas.

Punakha weather in October

Average Maximum Temperature: 25 °C
Average Minimum Temperature: 15 °C
Average Temperature: 19 °C
Precipitation: 120 mm

Punakha is one of the warmer tourist areas of Bhutan in October, with highs of around 24 degrees still, though with a lot less rainfall than in the previous monsoon months. With an average temperature of around 19 degrees, the warmer clothing can be left for another few weeks yet, and there is a chance to enjoy some warmer weather without the rains.

What about Bhutan tours in October?

October in Bhutan is the real start of the tourist season, and the travelers come to Bhutan in their droves, ready for the better weather and milder temperatures that autumn always promises. Travel is a lot easier across the country, with the high passes drying up and being less muddy and waterlogged, and the roads being in much better condition. While the weather is a little more pleasant, it generally gets a lot cooler in the evenings, which makes for a more pleasant experience when touring around the major sightseeing spots in Thimphu, Paro, and Punakha.

Bhutan valley with yellow terraced fieldsBhutan valley with yellow terraced fields and the zigzag river stretching to the outside world in golden Oct.

The early autumn colors in Bhutan are beautiful, with light golden leaves that are slowly changing color ready to make their dramatic fall as the month draws to a close. From the mountains of the north to the central forests, and in the goembas and Dzongs across the kingdom, October sees a busier and more relaxed atmosphere, and a much happier country. This is Bhutan at its royal best.

In Oct., there are a great number of options for your Bhutan travel and we have carefully selected some classic Bhutan travel packages for you before you come to visit this Himalaya country:
>> 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

How about Bhutan trekking in October?

October is the real start of the trekking season in Bhutan, and all of the major trails are now open for business. As the busiest time of year for trekking in the kingdom, October sees a huge influx of trekkers to the mountains and hills, taking on the stunning trails of the SnowmanBumthang Owl trek, and Dagala Thousand Lakes trek, as well as the amazing Jomolhari trek and the singularly awesome Druk Path trek.

With the trails now fully open, the kingdom begins to see the increase in its high-quality tourism bringing much-needed income into the country, where trekking has become one of the largest tourism industries in the entire country. October is undoubtedly the best time of year to hit the trekking trails, and while it can be busy, it is not so bad that you cannot still get a little solitude when you head out into this unspoiled wilderness.

Trekking at the mountainside to get a clear and stunning panoramic view of Himalaya RangeTrekking at the mountainside to get a clear and stunning panoramic view of Himalaya Range.

Trekking in Bhutan in Oct. is undoubtedly one of the best choices for most of tourists traveling to Bhutan. The weather has reached a very comfortable level and the views are broad and stunning.

Festivals in October

October is really a good time for festival tours in Bhutan and there are a huge number of them across the country throughout the month. The major festivals of the kingdom include:

Thimphu Drubchen - A mask dance to appease the deity protector of Bhutan, Palden Lhamo.
Wangdue Tshechu - An annual festival to celebrate the great deeds of the Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, who is credited for spreading Buddhism in Bhutan and Tibet.
Thimphu Tshechu - A three-day religious event that gives the local people an opportunity to cleanse themselves of bad karma, and remind them of what their lives are about. A tribute to Guru Rinpoche, the festival contains many mask dances in his honor.
Tamshing Phala Chhoepa - An annual festival that pays tribute to Pema Lingpa, Buddhism’s highest honorary in Bhutan and a major figure in ancient Bhutanese history.
Gangtey Tshechu - An annual religious festival that comprises of the showcasing of different sacred mask dances and cultural dances, which is concluded by the receiving of the spiritual blessing known as the Nguedrup Langwa.
Thangbi Mani - One of the most popular festivals held in Chhoekhor Gewog in Bumthang Dzongkhag, the highlight is the fire blessing, as well as the mask dances, which are believed to bring peace and prosperity and a bumper harvest.

Darting competition during Jhomolhari Mountain FestivalDarting competition during Jhomolhari Mountain Festival

Jhomolhari Mountain Festival - Conceived as a “Snow Leopard” festival, which aimed to raise awareness on the importance of conserving the endangered species, the festival is held annually and brings together the peoples of three or four separate communities in one singular purpose.

What to pack for visit Bhutan in October?

October in Bhutan is a little colder than the previous months, and it is essential to have those warmer clothes with you, in case you visit some of the cooler areas of the north and northwest. With fewer rains, the waterproofs are no longer needed, but it is still a good idea to carry a light rain-hat just in case. There can still be a few light showers throughout October.

If you are planning a trek in the kingdom, then you will need some warm sweaters and maybe a good fleece jacket, as it can get chiller in the mountains in October. Good hiking boots are a must, and you will now need to have that protective hat and sunglasses, as the brighter sun at higher altitudes can be dangerous.

Is it easy to get the Bhutan Visa in October?

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 tourism dates and when you can visit, even during the Bhutanese New Year.

Conclusion

October is the start of the real tourism season in Bhutan, and sees an increase in the number of tourists. While it does not get as crowded as many popular tourist destinations in Asia, it can get a little busy, and if you are not into crowds, then October is definitely not for you. The cooler air and milder climate makes for a more comfortable tour, and the amazing festivals that happen throughout the month are an amazingly good way to learn more about this unique mountain culture.

Master Kungga Dundruk

About the Author - Master Kungga Dundruk

The Lhasa-born prodigy used to study business overseas, and got his Bachelor of Business in Nepal and India before moving back to his homeland.With pure passion for life and unlimited love for Tibet, Kunga started his guide career as early as 1997.

Responsible, considerate and humorous, he devoted his entire life guiding and serving international tourists travelling in Tibet.As a legendary Tibetan travel guru with 20-year pro guide experience , he once had an exclusive interview with the US media. Currently he is working in Tibet Vista as the Tour Operating Director. Whenever our clients run into troubles, he is your first call and will offer prompt support.

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