Bhutan in December : Weather, Essentials to Carry & Things to Do

Bhutan, the land of serenity, divinity, sanctity and beauty, also known as the Land of Thunder Dragons because of the stormy outbursts of Himalayas, is artistically designed with dzong fortress, enormous mountains, chilling rivers, the colourful ever-swinging Tibetan flags and the vibrant Bhutanese culture peeping from every lane of Bhutan.
Bhutan in December is a dream come true. 

The land of Bhutan shows its mystic arrival every year during this time. Travellers who are indebted to snow, natural enigma and culture cannot miss a chance to visit this sloping terrain, Bhutan in December.

Weather in Bhutan in December

Source

Although the end of the year symbolises winter in Bhutan, it is not as cold as of other Himalayan countries. The weather tends to be on the colder side with chilling winds. No wonder, there is a fair chance of experiencing snow, as well. Trek lovers can enjoy their souls in the mountains in Bhutan in December. A balcony tea while basking in the warmth of December is not a bad idea either. 
  • The average maximum temperature remains up to 8-degree Celsius with an average minimum temperature up to 4-degree Celsius, with almost no rain. Places in the higher altitudes, however, might experience a bit of snow like Thimphu and Paro but those in lesser altitudes are fairly snow-less.
  • Bumthang, resting in the central-eastern region of Bhutan becomes much colder than others with average minimum temperature as low as -3.5 C.
  • Snowfall cares the city with its whitish appearance during this time. Snowfall is likely to occur in Paro and Thimphu as well.
  • Whereas Punakha, sandwiched between Gasa and Thimphu, a relatively warm climate is noticed.
  • The average temperature in Punakha in December remains 12 C with an average minimum temperature of 6 C.
  • No snowfall is there in Punakha but basking in the warm sunny rays can be a wonderful choice.

Why travel to Bhutan in December?

Situated in the southern slopes of the mighty Himalayas, Bhutan in December is an amalgamation of the cold with the warm, sunny with the snow and the green with the white. Bhutan decorates itself in all its colours in December. Though not all the parts of the country are filled with snow, this is what which makes Bhutan more pleasant. With the comparably lesser influx of tourists, hotel booking is not hateful.

Things to pack to visit Bhutan in December

With the mildly low temperature around the country, it is always essential to carry warm clothes to avoid from the wintery flakes. Although not entirely the country gets wrapped up in winter wear, there are parts of Thimphu, Bumthang, Gasa and many more where the temperature falls below freezing point. It is better to carry a pair of warm jackets. Warm sweaters and down jackets are preferable. 

A pair of woollen socks are a must Source.

With areas prone to rainfall, a light raincoat with umbrella can serve the purpose. For the hiker, hiking boots are necessary to conquer the steep and rocky mountains. 
Most Bhutanese people around can be noticed with warm long skirts and pants, both men and women. It helps them keep the cold out. One can also try these local wears to fight cold and feel the essence of Bhutan, all along.

Festivals in Bhutan in December

Tshechu festival in Paro of Bhutan

Festivities are in plenty in Bhutan, round the year. Few noteworthy festivals of December are

Tshechu festival

This is an annual festival celebrated in Bhutan in December on the tenth day of the month in the lunar Tibetian calendar. Most vibrant observed in Thimphu and Paro regions, the inhabitants dress in vivid colours and masks from December 3 to December 6. The date, however, varies every year. Exhibiting Cham dance is one of the special characteristics of this festival.

Druk Wangyel Tshechu

Druk Wangyel Tshechu festival in Bhutan in December is a very unique festival in itself taking place on December 13. It is the festival by the Royal Bhutan Army as a sign of respect and gratitude to the country. As a tribute to the fourth king of Bhutan, this festival of tshechu is celebrated in Jigme Singye Wangchuck mountain range region. 

Things to do in Bhutan in December

1. Unravelling monasteries of Bhutan

Taktsang Monastery in upper Paro valley

Bhutan and monasteries are synonymous. If one visits Bhutan and does not understand and feel the essence of its age-old monasteries, Bhutan will remain incomplete. The breathtaking monasteries all round adds to the beauty of the realm. The Taktsang Monastery in upper Paro valley at a height of 3120 metres with colourful flags swinging around and the golden prayer wheel makes it a heavenly place. The Cheri monastery or the Tango Monastery in Thimphu is another example of pure enigma and righteousness. Kurjey Lhakhang Monastery of Bumthang is one of the oldest monasteries residing in Bhutan, inheriting age-old traditions and history for years and years. The stout Cyprus tree beside monastery is assumed to be the old walking stick of Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, the Buddhist master of the 8th century. 

2. An afternoon in the Punakha Suspension bridge

Punakha suspension bridge

A sunkissed afternoon, mild wintry winds, high rise mountains, deep gorges, swinging valleys, dwindling river and the Punakha Suspension bridge - nothing can be called off a better evening than this. The 520-foot long suspension bridges form lucid connectivity with different regions across the Tsang Chu river, also known as the Po Chu river. From Punakha Dzong to Shengana, Samdingkha and Wangkha villages - this bridge acts as tough shoulder amongst all. The flapping flags, decorated all over, makes it more pleasant and cherishing experience.

3. A visit to the Royal Textile Academy of Thimphu

Royal Textile Academy of Thimphu

Bhutan's culture is a rich heritage and the Bhutanese strive to preserve this indigenousness over the years. A stroll through the Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan can well establish the fact. With an aim to preserve and also encourage weaving, which is an integral part of Bhutan’s tradition, this textile academy came into existence in 2005. This academy train individual interested in Bhutanese weaving, paving the way for a more glorious future. A walk through the academy can give a fair share of Bhutan's peoples' everyday lives.

4. Wildlife at Royal Manas National Park

Elephants roaming around in Royal Manas National Park
Bhutan's rich flora and fauna find an absolute home in Royal Manas National Park. Having a tinge of both tropical and subtropical ecosystem, this place is also known as the 'conservation showpiece of the kingdom'. December welcomes the arrival of many migratory birds, thus making it a favourable time for tourists to visit Bhutan in December. There is no lack of engagement inside the wildlife park. One can go hiking, wildlife watching, a tropical safari, boating, fishing, swimming and also get the essence of natve culture, too.

5. Witnessing Buddha Dordenma

Buddha Dordena at Thimphu
Buddha Dordenma at Thimphu

Situated in the capital of the mesmerising Bhutan, Thimphu has the bronze made, gold-gilded the great mighty and mystic Buddha Dordenma statue. The royalness and at the same time the calmness the statue beholds makes it a more favourite tourist spot among travellers. One of the world’s largest Buddha stupas, this statue is not just a statue but a piece of unwrapped history.

6. Trekking in the paths of Bhutan 

Chele La trekking routes

December in Bhutan without trekking for the nature lovers can a complete mistake. The sloppy twists and turns, the huge mountains, the small hill tracts make it more of a trekking spot among the trek lovers, all year round. With December, the smell of winter further accelerates the desire. Jigme Dorji National park has exceptionally adorned trekking routes with rhododendrons, Cyprus and blue poppy occasionally popping and posing the way. A trek in the Chele La pass, the highest motorable pass will certainly be a memorable one. The enchanting views of Dochula Pass and Tiger nest will keep one spellbound after a hard day of trekking the steep slopes. 

7. Rafting in the Mo Chu River

For a rejuvenating and adventurous experience, rafting in the Imo Chu which is moving southwards to Punakha is a must in December. The gushing waves of the water might slap the face and splash hard, many a time. But there lies the fun and thrill. 

Tips while travelling

  • Bhutan in December tends to be cold. Carrying extra warm clothes as per necessity is a must.
  • Prior hotel booking in Bhutan in December is advisable. No one can really guarantee the influx of tourists at a given time. Always better to have a plan beforehand. 
  • Selling or buying tobacco is prohibited in Bhutan. So dare not to involve any in problems further.
  • There is nothing to worry in Bhutan when it comes to currency. Both the US dollar and Indian rupees are accepted over there. 
  • Hiking the trekking peaks up to 6,000 metres elevation is allowed. But mountaineering above is not permissible. The snow-clad higher peaks are regarded as divine stays of the gods and goddess
Source

Bhutan is just not a tourist spot, but people make a home out of this lovely country often. The unforgettable memories that unfurl with Bhutan leave people in daydreaming about when to visit again. 

This post was published by Sreyashi Paul

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