Watch out for peak periods
March, April, October and November are usually the peak period in Bhutan. If you are thinking of visiting Bhutan during these particular months, you should book your air tickets and hotels three months in advance. In 2010, we experienced Druk Air tickets being sold out for three consecutive weeks.
Know the seasons
April, May, September and October will be the best months for a trek. Though it is slightly colder, the sky will be blue, and it will not be muddy. Monsoon seasons will start in July until August. From our experience, monsoon season consists of 1 to 2-hour light rain in the morning or evening. The heavy downpour has been rare and occurred a few times a year.
Read our best time to visit Bhutan »
Time your arrival with a festival
There are numerous festivals taking place across Bhutan over the year. Festivals in Bhutan are usually a display of colourful dances and Bhutanese in their best traditional dress. Certain festivals such as Paro Tsechu attract a large number of tourists. For a more intimate experience, you can consider attending the less well-known festivals. The smaller festivals also give better photo taking opportunities.
Read our festival calendar 2015 and 2016
Consider a home stay
This is probably the tip with the most mixed response. Some travellers love the experience of having a stay with a Bhutanese family while others would prefer the comfort of hotels given the amount of money that they have splurged. Having a home stay will give you a first experience in the daily life of Bhutanese family. However, be prepared that certain families may not have a hot shower and may have to boil the water using firewood while others may not have electricity. Of course, there are more established families with modern facilities.
See photos of homestay »
End it in luxury
After the drive through the beautiful country and a stay with the local family, you may want to end your trip with a stay in luxurious 5-star hotel such as Uma Paro. Uma Paro was also the hotel where the actor Tony Leung and actress Carina Lau married.
Luxury hotels include:
Bonus Tips for our Readers
- Pack warm clothes especially between November and March. You will experience huge changes in elevation when travelling in Bhutan, with certain valleys that might be colder than others. It's best to be prepared!
- Bring some books to read and save movies to watch on your laptop or tablet. You might need to entertain yourself with books and movies since most hotels are far away from the main town and nightlife is non-existent aside from Thimphu and Paro.
- Want to listen to music? The best radio stations for Western songs are 92, 965 and 99.9 FM. You can also enjoy the local music on other local stations on the radio.
- You can haggle in most shops but don't expect more than 10% discount. Generally speaking, prices between shops don't differ substantially.
- You don't have to tip in restaurants and hotels, unlike Western countries. The guide will take care of tipping on your behalf. However, do take note that you have to tip your guide.
- If you are prone to motion sickness, bring Dramamine or other medications to prevent nausea. Remember that you will be spending a lot of time in a car when travelling around Bhutan.
- Bring a multi-purpose electrical plug. Most hotel rooms have limited electrical plugs so you will need a multi-purpose plug if you are using many devices such as laptops, tablets and mp3 players. It's also wise to bring a universal travel adapter.