It might be the coldest month of the year, but January is a popular time of year to visit Bhutan. Why so? The immaculate Himalayan scenery is beautifully clear, allowing for majestic views. And, while much of the country is frosty underfoot, with higher terrain likely to be snowbound, in the subtropical south and the valleys it is usually a lot warmer.
Winters in Bhutan tend to be dry and clement. Those that dare to face the harsh winds whipping through high mountain territory such as the Dochla Pass will likely enjoy uninterrupted and breathtaking perspectives. The other advantage of travelling to Bhutan at this time of year is that visitor numbers are substantially lower at well-known sites and landmarks, including the awesome Taktsang Goemba. January is an excellent month of the year to observe the black-necked cranes in the Phobjikha Valley.
Overnight temperatures can fall as far as -6°C in Paro, but generally speaking the further east and south you go, the warmer the weather becomes, with daytime temperatures averaging a balmy 17°C in the Punakha Valley. Wearing a thermal layer, and risking the odd cup of yak butter tea, should make winter in Bhutan very manageable.
Find peaceful moments in monasteries and temples, and experience Paro’s distinctive, small-town feel. Wander through Bumthang’s green fields and Phobjikha valleys where the Black Necked Cranes land.