A piece of heaven on earth, Bhutan is truly amazing. Bhutan in November is a great way to explore this country isolated from the rest of the world till the mid-20th century in order to conserve its natural and cultural heritages that have stepped into modernization. Bhutan is walking towards development with culture in one hand and globalization in another. Bhutan is one of the safest countries in the world which has accepted modernity on their own terms. Although being an expensive destination, it is a good bargain. It is one of the only places where myths and legends are written as history and children in school formally learn about the manifestation of great Buddhist teachers and their incarnation.
It is the last Buddhist country where Buddhism is not just a religion but the way of life of people. Most dzongs were built in the 17th century as fortresses to ward off invading Tibetan armies and they have evolved today as a cultural symbol. This is the Land of Thunder Dragon led by the King of Bhutan His Royal Highness Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck whose father abdicated the throne in his favor.
Bhutan is not just a spiritual hub or a religious center. It also has many scenic landscapes meant to be on your Instagram wall. The festivals and celebration add few colors to the Bhutanese lives. Bhutan’s vivid blue sky and visibility of stars at night are perhaps unmatched in Asia.
Weather and Climate in Bhutan during November
The weather of Bhutan in November is pleasant although it’s the time when winter is approaching slowly. Trekking is still a good thing to do. The average temperature of Bhutan in November is around 7 to 10° C. The monsoon rains are now absolutely gone. Days are still sunny and bright for almost the entire month. Traveling to elevations ranging from 2500 to 3500 m will be ideal during November.
As the winter is on the way, the temperature drops significantly.
Weather and Climate at Western Bhutan
Max. temperature: 21° C
Min. temperature: 10° C
Average temperature: 15° C
The daytime is warm with some clouds whereas the night temperature drops to 10° C making it pleasant especially for camping in tents. There’s no better time than this. You can flock to top sites around Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, and Wangdue Phodrang.
Weather and Climate at Central Bhutan
Max. temperature: 14° C
Min. temperature: 0° C
Average temperature: 7° C
Nights at Central region are colder than other parts in Bhutan with the temperature dropping to nearly freezing point. Frost covers areas of Bumthang, and Trongsa in the early morning but the sun warms the environment in the morning.
Weather and Climate at Eastern Bhutan
Max. temperature: 22° C
Min. temperature: 10° C
Average temperature: 16° C
This area can be considered the warmest among the three regions. The day time will be pleasant and the night time will still be chilly which might need you to keep warm sweaters for the night. Trashigang and Samdrup Jongkhar will still be as beautiful as in other time.
Tour in Bhutan during November
Bhutan has always revered Mother Nature. Every component of nature is believed to be the abode of a godly spirit. It is a country where mysticism and modernity marry to form a distinct culture.
November is the last time before beautiful sights get covered with snow. It is also the best time to make the most of the last of dry but not-yet-cold time. It is also a perfect time for bird watching with the arrival of black necked cranes. You can also get to see other species. It is renowned as the Birding Capital of the World. The pride of the residents of the Phobjikha Valley towards the cranes painted on the traditional houses had the cranes painted on the walls. Before they take off for Tibet, the cranes pass three times flying over the local Buddhist temple as a blessing for local people. Travelling to remote areas will also not is a problem cause’ they will be dry due to dry little roads. Sightseeing in Bhutan during November will be easier as well as prettier. Top sites for sightseeing in Thimphu, Paro and Punakha will have a great view with hills and lovely landscapes at the backdrop. Visiting Bhutan in November will be a big treat.
Is November good time to visit Bhutan?
November is a good time to visit Bhutan during peak season but still seeing less tourist. You can roam around and visit to the sites peacefully. The temperature is at the swing on this time. As a transition from monsoon to winter being so close to hand still the sun refuses to give up on this country. The days are warm, mild in temperature whereas you get chills at night. The ground of Bhutan welcomes you with red and golden leaves falling on the ground making it look like a carpet. Bhutan in November is not less a reward for your bucket list.
Trekking in Bhutan during November
Trekking in Bhutan is possible throughout the month of November. The best thing about Bhutan trekking is that you don’t need to have any past experience. There are moderate grades of trek that can be accomplished by beginners too. It is a good chance to travel among fewer visitors. There is a pleasant weather with not even a single cloud in the sky. This gives a clear vista of the mountain range you came to see all along to Bhutan. The trek routes will have little snow and the path is filled with more thrills. The trails are accessible till early December.
Bhutan festivals in Bhutan during November
November is a good time to visit Bhutan if you’re looking forward to witness a festival in Bhutan. Particularly the second week will be a better time.
Every year on 11 November, the arrival of Black-necked cranes from Tibet is celebrated. Black necked Crane Festival is a way of spreading awareness about conserving them and other animals. The festivals include various dances, performances and dramas from the local school kids. It takes place at Gangtey Gompa, Phobjikha Valley.
Another small 10-days festival held at a remote village north to Thimphu, Nalakhang festival is actually a dancing festival. Huge numbers of people from surrounding villages come to watch these dances which complete with a blessing to people by dancers with a phallus.
Jambay Lhakhang Drup is another interesting festival of Bhutan celebrated at Jambay Lhakhang of Bumthang for 5 continuous days. This festival is popular for its colorful Cham dances. This is one of the few places that still hold the original version of Naked Dance at the evenings. However, this dance is not open to tourists but rest of the festival is equally great.
It is also the time for the celebration of Jakar Tshechu. The locals celebrate this tshechu in the Jakar Dzong or the ‘Dzong of the white bird’. The dzong appears to look over the Chamkhar town and surrounding places. It is celebrated for 3 days. As other tshechus, this also includes sacred masked dance where people from all over Bhutan come here dressed in their finest.
What to wear in Bhutan during November?
November is a little cold but not exactly winter cold. Thus, for clothing in Bhutan during November, you’ll need some warm sweaters and light jackets as it gets colder at night. However, the days are still sunny and bright. For trekkers, layers of clothing are better so that you can add or remove clothes according to how cold or hot you feel. For this month, good strong boots are required as few places out of the cities have paved roads. You can also bring a hat and sunglasses to keep the sun out of your face and eyes. Also, November starts to get a bit windier so pack some lip balms, moisturizer and windproof jacket.
Food in Bhutan
Bhutanese food are very spicy as chilly are included in every dish. When you order Bhutanese meal, don’t forget to inform them about your tolerance. Bhutanese restaurant also serve Tibetan, Indian, Nepali, Chinese and Continental food. You might want to try out some of the famous Bhutanese food like Ema Datshi, Jasha Maru, Momo, etc. However, Bhutanese foods are best when served at home so see if you could eat at a local’s home.
Right from your entry point, you’ll find many hotels ranging from simple guest houses to luxurious guest houses. You can choose the best option for you according to your budget and/or interest. As November is a peak season, you suggest you to book your tour 3 months earlier to ensure your bookings and keep you away from dilemma.
If you want to experience the true authentic lifestyle of Bhutan, we suggest you for home stays. You might not get all the facilities like hot water but trust us; you’ll get the best hospitality the hosts can offer you.
Transportation inside Bhutan is mostly by roads. All major towns and important places are connected by a good road network. The roads have a lot of twists and turns that slows down a vehicle as it travels. An average speed for road travel rarely exceeds 40 km per hour.
Transportation in this season has no problem as there is no rain and no humidity. The public buses travel on their schedules while your private vehicle will also have no problems.
Communication in Bhutan has very good and managed facilities. All the places in the country are well connected with mobile. Plus, most hotels provide internet access. You can buy a local sim card (B-Mobile or Tashi Cell) which requires an unlocked GSM phone. Sim cards are available at the airport and one-stop shops. If you carry your own phone, turn on the international roaming facilities.
Bhutan’s currency is Ngultrum (Nu) that is equivalent to Indian Rupee. Bhutan widely accepts Indian Rupees except the notes of 500 and 1000. It is recommended to carry traveler’s cheque or cash. For credit cards, only big hotels and restaurants in large towns accept it.
All visitors to Bhutan (except Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivians) require a visa and visa is issued from Thimphu. Visas are issued to tourists booked with a local tour operator. You need to send them a clear scanned copy of your passport photo page. After submission and approval, a visa confirmation letter is sent to you. You need to print it and carry it along you. Your passport will be stamped at your point of entry.
Bhutan offers immense opportunities for photographers. However, taking photographs inside religious institutions like dzongs and monasteries are prohibited so check with your guide for indoor photography. You can still capture the landscapes, panoramic views, rural life, flora and fauna, Bhutanese architecture of Dzongs and Chortens (from outside).