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Bhutan Weather in May

Are you planning a trip to Bhutan in May? Read on to learn more about May weather in Bhutan, clothes to wear for the weather, and best places to visit in Bhutan in May.

Bhutan Weather in May: Overview

Bhutan Weather in May
  • Daily temperature range: 6–16°C (43–61°F)
  • Rainfall: 150 mm (6 inches)
  • Rainy days: 15
  • Sunny days: 16

May sees the end of Bhutan's popular spring season and the start of the rains. The weather in May is cool with an average temperature ranging from 6 to 16°C. The lower-elevation areas are milder. There is more rain in late May, heading into the monsoon season in Bhutan.

Bhutan's Major Cities' Weather in May

City Min. Temp. (ºC) Max. Temp. (ºC) Rainfall (mm)
Thimphu 5 16 122
Paro 7 17 200
Punakha 4 15 138

Thimphu: The weather in Thimphu in May is cool during the daytime and quite cold at night. With the average temperature ranging from 5°C (41°F) to 16°C (62°F), the rainfall in May totals 122 mm (5 inches) on average, which falls on about 11 days.

Paro: The weather in Paro is quite cool to mild in May. The average daily temperature range is from 7°C (44°F) to 17°C (63°F). Rainfall in May amounts to around 200 mm (8 inches), with 12 days of rain.

Punakha: It is colder in Punakha in May. Typical average temperatures range from 4°C (39°F) to 15°C (60°F). Rainfall in May in Punakha is around 138 mm (5 inches), with about 18 days of rain.

The Best Places to Visit in Bhutan in May

May is in late spring in Bhutan. The increasing humidity and rainy weather discourage many foreign tourists from coming to Bhutan. But smaller numbers of travelers would give you more space to enjoy the sparsely-populated mountain state and discounts on your trip cost. Here are some of the places you can visit in May in Bhutan.

1. Buddha Dordenma, Thimphu

the Buddha Dordenma

A fabulous setting, offering perfect panoramas in a natural green valley, makes Buddha Dordenma a popular destination for photographers. Located at the southern entrance to the valley of Thimphu, the 52-meter (169-foot) -tall Buddha Statue is an amazing artwork, attracting many photographers from all over the world. It is said that there are a total of 125,000 smaller Buddha statues inside the big statue. Buddha Dordenma was constructed in 2015 to commemorate the 60th birthday of the fourth king of Bhutan (r. 1972–2006) and has become one of the most visited attractions in Bhutan.

2. Tiger's Nest Monastery, Paro

Tiger's Nest Monastery

As one of the top attractions in Paro, Tiger's Nest Monastery is a must-visit monastery if you are visiting Paro for the first time. Located 3,120 meters (10,200 feet) above sea level in Paro Valley, the unique location and beautiful architecture make it a popular photography spot, which attracts lots of travelers from all over the world. It is now regarded as the travel icon of Bhutan. You will be amazed by the complex, which appears to cling to a cliff, at your first sight of the monastery. The lush green forested hills surrounding it are soothing to the eyes.

3. Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong is one of the places you can't miss if you are visiting Punakha. Located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, Punakha Dzong is the second oldest and largest dzong (monastic/administerial fort structure) in Bhutan. The architectural complex used to where Bhutan's kings were crowned. Now, it is used as the governmental center of Punakha Prefecture. It is a good place to learn more about the history and culture of Punakha and Bhutan. The complex and its majestic surroundings with a river in front are a beautiful spot for photographers.

4. Royal Manas National Park, Thimphu

Royal Manas National Park

May is a good time to explore Bhutan's numerous national parks, as the weather turns warmer and animals are more active. As one of the oldest national parks in Bhutan, Royal Manas Park is the most visited by animal specialists and nature lovers. Covering an area of 1,057 sq. km (408 sq. miles), the park is well-known for its great biodiversity, which covers numerous endangered wildlife species including the one-horned rhino, Bengal tiger, clouded leopard, Gangetic dolphin, Himalayan black bear, and many more. If you are lucky enough, you can see the rare golden langur in the park. It is, of course, a popular destination for travelers with kids.

5. Thimphu Handicrafts Market

Thimphu Handicrafts Market

If you are going to buy some souvenirs to bring home after your Bhutan trip, then the handicrafts market in Thimphu is a good place. Also known as the Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar, there are more than a hundred handicraft shops in the market selling colorful traditional Bhutanese handicrafts and bamboo crafts, including carved wooden items, traditional attire with embroidery, authentic handcrafted apparel, baskets, bags, masks, and many more potential souvenirs. You can also see local people there and learn more about their culture and life.

Crowding and Costs in May

Early May has the last days of the spring peak season in Bhutan. There are smaller numbers of travelers than in April and March due to the increase in rainfall. Moreover, due to Bhutan's limits on tourist numbers, places you visit will not be crowded and you won't need to stand in line for long. May is a good time to get a discount on branded luxury hotels and gorgeous boutique hotels before the rains come in earnest. But you would still need to book in advance if you have a preference for a brand hotel.

What to Bring/Wear in May

The temperature in May in Bhutan changes quite a bit — from cold to mild depending on location and time of day. So, it's advisable to pack warm clothes and some lighter clothes — light trousers/skirts, t-shirts, shirts … with some thicker trousers and a mountain coat to put on according to the temperature changes. There are more rainy days in late May, so, if you travel then, it is particularly recommended to take an umbrella or waterproof jacket, or alternatively a waterproofed bag with a change of clothes to cope with wet days.

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