Why visit Bhutan in September?
Even though March and April are among the most popular months to visit Bhutan, September is the ideal time to travel to this scenic nation. The monsoon season is at its end, and the pleasant weather is suitable for trekking and hiking activities. The bright blue skies make this an enjoyable time to be outdoors and make the best of the beauty around you. September is also the time of grand festivities in Bhutan, including the popular Thimphu Tshechu and Black-necked Crane festivals.
Average Temperature and Weather in September in BhutanDuring the beginning of September, it is still monsoon season in Bhutan. The rains usually occur during night time and will not pose a threat to morning tourism. However, this may not be suitable for trekking activities.
Late September onwards is autumn. The days are bright and sunny, making this the perfect time for travellers who want to engage in trekking and hiking. The average weather is around 24-25 degrees throughout September.
Things to Do in Bhutan in September
1. Join the Thimphu Tshechu festivitiesThis is one of the biggest festivals of Bhutan and lasts for three whole days. The celebrations take place in the capital city of Thimphu. The festival or Tshechu is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). It is an annual, religious event where people gather and witness mask dances such as the Guru Tsenghye Chham (eight manifestations of the Guru) and Shawa Shachi (dance of the stag and the hounds). Apart from these dances, there are also traditional Bhutanese dances that are performed.
In the year 2020, the Thimphu Tshechu festival will be held from 26th September to 28th September.
2. Trek to the Tiger's Nest
The hike to the Tiger's Nest monastery is one of the main tourist attractions in Bhutan during September. The weather is perfect for the long hike, and the view is out of this world. The monastery consists of four temples, amazingly perched on top of a cliff, 900 metres off the ground. The hike up to the Tiger's Nest will usually take an entire day. It takes about 5 hours to walk up and down, and an additional 1-hour tour of the monastery. The hike has been reviewed as moderate to severe, depending on fitness levels, by previous travellers.
3. Hike to Highest Pass of the CountryThe blue skies and the bright, sunny weather make for the perfect conditions to go on hikes. Bhutan presents several options for hikers, such as the Druk path trek and Bumthang Owl trek.
Driving to the highest pass in the country, Chele La Pass, is another tourist attraction. Some travellers hike to this pass too. The drive takes you through forests, with views of rivers and waterfalls along the way. From the Chele La pass, one can also view Bhutan's sacred peak, Mt. Jomolhari. This is a possibility during September due to the clear weather.
4. Try out Adventure SportsThe weather of Bhutan in September is perfect for trying adventure sports, such as river rafting, paragliding, kayaking, and rock climbing, Bhutan has perfect spots.
Whitewater rafting at Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers is a major crowd puller. Located in Punakha, the Pho Chhu or male river has a rafting course of 16 kms with rapids. The Mo Chhu or female river has a course of 10 kms with rapids. Apart from water sports, Bhutan is also known for rock-climbing. The Vertical Bhutan Climbing Club, a group of rock-climbing enthusiasts, provides training and climbing sessions for locals and tourists.
One can also indulge in the newest outdoor activity in Bhutan, paragliding. Found, at present, in the valleys of Ura, Phobjika and Bumthang, the activity is carried out under the expert supervision of licensed pilots. With pleasant weather and beautiful views, all adventure sports are a must-try in Bhutan.
5. Walking across the Longest Bridge in Bhutan
The Punakha Suspension Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the world. The bridge hangs above the Po Chhu river and is about 160-180 meters in length. The bridge links Punakha Dzong to Shengana, Samdingkha, and Wangkha villages, and takes about 15 minutes to cross. Although the bridge itself is a tourist attraction, it also connects people to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten (a 4-storey temple that represents Bhutanese culture) and the Chimi Lhakhang temple (famous as the fertility temple). The Punakha suspension bridge is decorated by several prayer flags and offers a spectacular view of the river and the mountains.
What to Pack for Bhutan in September?
- While travelling to Bhutan, it is better to carry clothes suitable for winter, woollen outfits, jackets, gloves and caps. This is recommended while hiking to higher altitudes.
- It is also not advised to drink the tap water in Bhutan, and hence travellers must always take their mineral water at all times.