Bhutan in FebruaryMarch 11, 2019 No Responses Mosaic Adventure
February is the last month of winter season in Bhutan. The weather during this month varies depending on the regions and city of the country.
Bhutan in February remains cold esp in the mountains. While the valleys are warmer with clear views and blue skies.
The weather in some territory such as Geylegphug and Phuentsholing is perfect in February. Around these cities, the weather is ideal allowing you to get the most out of your trip. Rainfall is scarce thus, keeping the surrounding drier.
However, cities like Paro and Thimphu may experience snow, esp in early February.
If you want to avoid the crowd and catch Himalayan blue sky without paying the extra tariff, consider visiting Bhutan in February. It is also a good time to catch the rare black-necked cranes.
Table of Contents
- Weather and Climate of Bhutan in February
- Accommodation During Bhutan Tour in February
- Food & Drinks During Bhutan Tour in February
- Highlights of Bhutan in February
- Things to Do in Bhutan in February
- Things to Carry for Bhutan Tour in February
- Useful Tips for Bhutan Tour in February
- Last Say,
Weather and Climate of Bhutan in February
The climate in Bhutan in February is variable in different regions. The average maximum temperature in Bhutan in February during the daytime is 8 degree Celsius. And the night time temperature is around -5 degrees.
There are usually 7 hours of bright sunshine each day which represents 64% of the 11 hours of daylight. Expect 9mm of rainfall across the whole of February with 1 day of little rain.
Here is a table of the temperature of various cities of Bhutan in February. These forecasts are probabilities for February from weather reports for over 10 years.
|Name of cities||Average Temp||Max Temp||Min Temp||Rainfall|
Accommodation During Bhutan Tour in February
Most hotels, lodges and guest houses in Bhutan are generally smaller and traditional. And they are in traditional architectural style.
February, being the low season in Bhutan you will have plenty of options to choose from.
Although the hotels in Bhutan aren’t as high standard as those in western society, they offer the necessary facilities. For example, in winter they provide a heater for you to stay warm in the cold nights.
Basically, hotels in western Bhutan (Thimphu, Paro, and Punakha) are better appointed. And accommodation in the central and eastern part of the country are more modest with fewer amenities.
Food & Drinks During Bhutan Tour in February
In Bhutan, rice is a staple with every meal along with vegetable or meat dishes. These are usually served in the form of stews (Tshoem). Hence this is great to eat in February when the weather is cool.
Traditional Bhutanese food is hot and spicy. Bhutanese love spicy food and they intend to add much dried or fresh chilies to dishes.
Hence do not forget to try Bhutan’s national dish of Ema-Datshi consisting of ema(chili) and datsi (cheese). Everybody has their own interpretations of this recipe and it will excite your sense for sure.
However, taking into account the western taste. Most hotels offer meals in buffet style. They offer options of Continental, Indian, Chinese and traditional Bhutanese cuisines.
Also for the cold nights, you can try the local dumplings and momos with soups to keep yourself warm.
As for drinks, although sweet milk tea is a popular beverage in Bhutan, most people prefer Sura. You will find this salted butter tea on all social occasions. Regarding water, you should not drink tap water but rather choose mineral water.
And for alcohol, the Chang (local beer) and Arra ( a spirit distilled from rice, maize, wheat or barley) are common and favorable.
Highlights of Bhutan in February
There are many good reasons for traveling to Bhutan in February. Some of them are
In Bhutan, you will meet quite considerable crowds in some places during high season. Hence if you want to have Bhutan all to yourself, winter season during February is the time to visit Bhutan.
Even on Tigers Nest, which is usually overcrowded, you will meet just a few other tourists.
Easy for Last Minute
Another perk of traveling in February is that the hotels are mostly empty giving you enough options to choose from.
Most importantly you will not have problems regarding flight tickets even in the short call. Esp for domestic flights to Bumthang, it is often a struggle to get the seats. But in February, it’s quite easy to manage.
During this time, even the immigration authorities are not that busy which makes visa arrangements easier and faster
While traveling to Bhutan in February, the minimum daily fund is lower as its considered low season. Official daily tariff cost for groups is 200 USD per person per night. This is much better than 250 USD charged otherwise.
Costs for pairs or single travelers are also cheaper. Hence if you want to get a minimum possible cost and still have a wonderful experience, February is the time to go.
Clear Skies and Great Visibility
In February, you will have the best chances to see the snow-capped mountains. Moreover, there is very little humidity in the air. So the mountain views from Dochula, Chele La and other viewpoints are mostly clear.
Occasionally, the mist obscures the views but it will not last long. The sky is usually blue with no or few clouds. You will experience beautiful and bright days in winter than in spring or autumn.
This makes traveling in Bhutan in February even more alluring.
Expect snowfall in early February. Sometimes due to heavy snowfall, the roads to central and eastern Bhutan may get unpassable. This can be unfavorable but it won’t last long as the snow melts during the day or two.
While it snows, the king of Bhutan calls for holiday and everyone goes out to enjoy the snow. If you want to enjoy more snow, you should visit a higher pass like Dochula and Chele La.
Not that cold
There is no doubt that the higher altitude will be cold in winter. But in February, you will actually experience quite moderate temperatures in populated areas.
In fact, during the day when the sun shines, you might even feel warm enough for a T-shirt. However, in the morning, evening and night it can be cold. Hence for that, you need to take your warm clothes.
Things to Do in Bhutan in February
Get a Closer Look at the Rare Black-Necked Cranes
February is a good time to get the glimpse of the rare Black-necked Cranes. Bhutan is one of the best places in Asia to get some good views of these rare birds in their natural habitats.
These elusive birds travel south from northern Tibet. While they fly to China’s province to the lower reaches of Tibet and Bhutan for the winter months when northern Tibet gets very cold.
The cranes usually arrive in the middle of November and stay in Bhutan for roosting and winter foraging until the end of February.
The best places to spot them are at the Gangtey Monastery in the Phobjikha valley, and around the area of Chummey in Bumthang.
Enjoy Lower Altitude Bhutan Winter Treks
In February, there are several treks at lower altitudes that you can do. One of the most popular options for winter trekking in Bhutan is the Nabji Korphu trek, in the Trongsa District. It is a relatively low-altitude trek at around 2000m.
Witness Snow-capped Mountain Peaks of Bhutan from Dochula Pass
On the way from the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu to Punakha, you will come across the Dochula Pass. A famous site for its views as much as for the 108 memorial Chortens.
At an elevation of 3100m, you will get the view of snow-capped mountains in February. From here you will see several mountains above 7000m like Jomolhari, Masanggang, Kangphugang, and others.
Visit Royal Manas National Park
A trip to Bhutan is not just about temples and fortresses. While for some, it may be cold to trek in the Himalayas in February, there is another option to head down south to visit Royal Manas National Park.
The park is Bhutan’s oldest national park. And is what the government considers as a showpiece of conservation. Here you will witness an oasis of remarkable and diverse flora and fauna amid a pristine natural habitat.
Some activities to do here are boating, tropical safaris and hiking. There are two eco-lodges here that come with kitchen, bathroom and toilet facilities.
Take a Dip at Gasa Hot spring
You can find hot springs throughout Bhutan but one of the most popular ones are those you will find in Gasa in northwest Bhutan.
Needless to say, February is a great time to take a dip in such waters or Tsachus which consist of healing properties. The hot springs at Gasa have natural remedies to rheumatism, arthritis, indigestion and other ailments.
Most Bhutanese visit the hot spring during winter and some even stay for days to maximize the potential of the hot spring. Some believe that water has stronger curing power in the colder months.
Hence, it is the secluded location of the Tsachu. And its stunning views of the natural Bhutanese landscape have made it one of the best places to visit in Bhutan in February.
Celebrate Festivals in Bhutan with the Locals
Along with natural beauty, Bhutan’s never-ending festivals provide visitors with a wide array of experiences. During February in Bhutan, you can witness festivals such as Punakha Drubchen and Punakha Tsechu.
Punakha Drubchen: The Punakha Drubchen is a unique festival. It hosts a dramatic re-creation of the scene from the 17th century battle with Tibetan army. The ‘Pazaps’ or local militia men dress in traditional gear and they re-enact the ancient battle scene.
This festival not only plays an important role in preserving Bhutan’s rich culture and traditions. But also provides devout Buddhists with an opportunity for prayer and pilgrimage.
They reflect the richness of the Bhutanese cultural heritage. And are very special in the eyes and hearts of both Bhutanese and tourists who visit Bhutan.
Punakha Tsechu: In February you can also experience the spectacular Punakha Tsechu. It takes place in the grounds of the magnificent Punakha Dzong. A Tsechu is a Buddhist festival in honor of Guru Rinpoche, the saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan.
Locals gather in the spirit of festivity, celebration and deep faith to witness unique masked dances and celebrations. Tsechu is one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan.
Things to Carry for Bhutan Tour in February
In Bhutan, there is a huge temperature disparity from day to night due to an altitudinal difference in February. Therefore, layering cloth is the way to go to adapt to the changing conditions
You can start with thermal inner wear and add to a shirt, pile jacket and windbreaker. Down below are some of the essentials for Bhutan trip in February:
- Woolen/Cotton trousers (warm clothes for mornings and evenings)
- Down jacket (wind stopper) – especially for higher altitudes
- T-shirts or long sleeved shirts (not sleeveless)
- Sandals or flip flops
- Comfortable shoes (sneakers)
- Pairs of socks and vests
- Sunscreen lotion and lip protection
- Personal medical kit
Useful Tips for Bhutan Tour in February
- The voltage in Bhutan is 220V. Socket suits round 3-pin plugs. Hence bring along an international converter kit with a set of adapter plugs to enable the use of your electrical appliances.
- Bhutan is a paradise for photographers. Its untouched distinctive beauty is unmatchable. But do ask for permission before you take pictures. There are some places that are off limits to visitors for religious and safety reasons.
- Tipping is a gesture of appreciation for your driver and guide who are with you for the whole trip. Be careful not to insult with small tips. They may not receive your tips at first out of Bhutanese tradition, but please do give it a second try.
- Bargaining isn’t that usual as you may find in other countries. The seller probably will give you a discount when you buy more than one item.
- Bhutan banned import and sale of all tobacco products since 2004, and smoking in the public is not permitted.
- Credit cards are not widely accepted in Bhutan, and cause high fees. Hence it is best to carry sufficient cash.
Bhutan is an all year round destination. Yet, traveling to Bhutan in February has its own perk. Being the last month of winter, the temperature is moderate.
During this time, the views are crisp and you will be able to enjoy the trip at a lower price. Also, there are fewer tourists offering you a perfectly peaceful environment.
For further question and queries, please feel to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide and assist you with the best of our knowledge.