Winter Travel Guide for Nepal Bhutan Myanmar Trip
28 Dec 2022 Asia Experiences
Are you a travel enthusiast planning a winter trip to Nepal Bhutan Myanmar? If Yes, then a very great decision. These countries offer a unique blend of culture, natural beauty, and adventure, and have several wonderful places to visit during the winter months.
There are numerous things to do during the winter trip to Nepal Bhutan Myanmar. We have listed down places as well as things to do in these beautiful nations Nepal Bhutan Myanmar as a winter travel guide.
Nepal is a South Asian nation known for its natural beauty, with a range of landscapes including mountains, forests, and plains. Winter in Nepal is from mid-November to mid-February. In winter, temperatures are cold with clear & dry weather. At higher altitudes, the temperature drops below the freezing point. Winter is cold but the scenery is impressive. Places to explore during winter in Nepal are:
Kathmandu Sightseeing Tours
The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu is a fascinating destination with a rich history and culture. One can explore the city and learn about its history and culture. Here are some popular sightseeing tours in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the center of the city which displays traditional and cultural beliefs. Durbar Square includes numerous temples, palaces, and other historical buildings that are worth visiting.
Boudhanath Stupa: This is one of the major Buddhist pilgrimage sites as well as the largest stupa in Nepal. The stupa is surrounded by many monasteries and temples. Watch the monks performing their daily rituals and perform some Buddhist rituals on your own too.
Swayambhunath Stupa: This is another popular Buddhist stupa located on a hill overlooking Kathmandu. It is also known as the “Monkey Temple” due to the large number of monkeys that live there. Enjoy the fantastic Kathmandu valley view from the top.
Pashupatinath Temple: This is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus all over the world. Witness the cremation ceremonies performed on the banks of the Bagmati River.
Patan Durbar Square: This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the city of Patan. The several temples, palaces, and other historical buildings are major attractions. Get fascinated with the traditional Nepali handicrafts being made in the square.
Pokhara is a famous Tourist capital city that is known for its natural beauty and adventure activities. Some of the top things to do in Pokhara include:
Visit Phewa Lake: This is a large lake located in the center of the city and is a popular spot for boating and fishing. You can also take a boat ride to the Tal Barahi temple in the middle of the lake.
Hike to the Peace Pagoda: This is a large Buddhist stupa located on a hill overlooking the city. You can hike to the top for panoramic views of Pokhara city and the surrounding snow-capped mountains.
Go paragliding: Pokhara is known as a great place for paragliding. You can fly over the city and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Annapurna mountain ranges and the lovely Pokhara valley.
Visit the International Mountain Museum: This museum is dedicated to the culture and history of the Himalayan region. It is a great place to learn about the local mountain climbing culture.
Short Treks: Pokhara is renowned for starting trekking destinations for Annapurna Region Treks. You can do short treks such as Ghorepani Poonhill Trek, Royal Trek, Siklis Trek, and Khopra Hill Trek during the winter months. The sky is clear and you can relish the scenic mountain views.
Bandipur is a small hilltop town located in the west of Kathmandu. It is famous for its traditional Newari architecture and beautiful views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Some of the top things to do in Bandipur are:
Explore the old town: Bandipur has preserved its traditional Newari architecture and culture. It is a great place to explore the narrow streets and traditional houses.
Visit the Thani Mai Temple: This is a beautiful temple located in the center of the town which is a popular spot for visitors. Visit the Thani Mai Temple and surrounding places.
Take a hike: There are many beautiful hiking trails around Bandipur. You can explore the surrounding hills and forests by taking a short hike.
Go mountain biking: The hilly terrain around Bandipur makes it a great place for mountain biking. Since there are many trails to choose from, you can try out mountain biking. It is especially for sports adventure enthusiasts.
Visit the Siddha Cave: This is a large natural cave located about a kilometer outside of town. It is a popular cave to explore for visitors. You can see the stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave.
Visit the Chitwan National Park
The Chitwan National Park is a popular destination in Nepal for wildlife viewing and nature exploration. Located in the lowland Terai region of Nepal, the park consists of a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the Royal Bengal tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, and many other species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Here are some things you can do while visiting the Chitwan National Park:
Go on a jungle safari: A jungle safari is a great way to see the wildlife of the Chitwan National Park. You can go on a jeep safari or an elephant safari to explore the park and see the animals in their natural habitat.
Go bird watching: The Chitwan National Park is home to more than 500 species of birds, including many rare and endangered species. You can go on a bird-watching tour or hire a local guide to help you spot the different species.
Take a boat ride on the Rapti River: The Rapti River flows through the Chitwan National Park. You can take a boat ride to view the wildlife that lives along the river. You might see crocodiles, elephants, and other animals while on the boat ride.
Go on a nature walk: There are many trails within the Chitwan National Park that you can explore on foot. You can hire a local guide to take you on a nature walk and learn more about the local flora and fauna.
Visit a local village: The Chitwan National Park is surrounded by many local Tharu villages. You can visit one of these villages to learn about the culture and way of life of the Tharu people, who have lived in the region for generations.
Lumbini – the birthplace of Buddha
Lumbini is a Buddhist pilgrimage site located about 300 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu in the Terai region. It is the actual birthplace of Lord Buddha. Hence, it is an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists around the world. Some of the top things to do in Lumbini include:
Visit the Maya Devi Temple: This is the main attraction in Lumbini which is believed to be the birthplace of Buddha. The temple has a stone slab that marks the spot where Buddha was born. You can also see the ancient ruins of the palace where he was born.
Explore the monasteries: In Lumbini, there are numerous beautiful monasteries built by different countries in the traditional styles of their respective countries. You can visit the monasteries and learn about the different traditions and cultures of Buddhism.
Visit the Lumbini Museum: This museum is located near the Maya Devi Temple. It is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Lumbini. It has many exhibits on the life and teachings of Buddha, as well as on the history of Lumbini.
Take a boat ride on the Puskarini Pond: This pond lies near the Maya Devi Temple. It is an important place in the Buddhist tradition. You can take a boat ride on the pond and also visit the shrines that are located on its banks.
Bhutan is a small kingdom in the Himalayas that is known for its stunning natural beauty and unique culture. The winter months in Bhutan are from December to February. Despite the cold weather, winter is a good time to visit Bhutan as the skies are generally clear, making it easier to see the stunning mountain scenery and explore around.
Gangtey Monastery is a beautiful and historic Buddhist monastery located in the Gangtey Valley of Bhutan. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bhutan which is known for its beautiful architecture and peaceful setting. You can spend some time exploring the different buildings and grounds. The main temple is a large and impressive building with beautiful murals and carvings. Also, you can visit the monks’ quarters and the library. Enjoy a nature walk around the monastery and witness the stunning scenery and learn about the local flora and fauna.
Entry Fee: BTN 100
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM
Punakha Dzong is a historic fortress that was built in the 17th century in the Punakha District. It is considered one of the most beautiful dzongs (fortresses) and an important cultural and religious site in Bhutan. It lies at the confluence of the Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu rivers. It is the winter residence of the Central Monk Body which is also the site of the coronation of Bhutan’s kings. The dzong is open to visitors and is an interesting place to learn about Bhutan’s history and culture.
Entry Fee: USD 12.50
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM
Buddha Dordenma is a large bronze statue of the Buddha located in the capital city of Thimphu. The statue is 51.5 meters tall that sits on top of a hill overlooking the city. It was built to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Bhutan’s 4th king. It is one of the largest statues of the Buddha in the world. The statue is surrounded by a beautiful park, and visitors can get mesmerized by the interior of the statue.
Entry Fee: USD 12.50
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM
Trek Paro Taktsang Monastery
Tiger’s Nest is a Buddhist temple complex located in the Paro District of Bhutan. It is a popular tourist destination that is considered one of the most important cultural sites in the country. The temple complex is located on the side of a cliff and is only accessible by a steep hike. The hike to the temple is considered challenging but is worth it for the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the peaceful atmosphere of the temple complex.
Entry Fee: USD 25
Mesmerizing Views from Dochula Pass
Dochula Pass is a mountain pass located in the Bhutanese Himalayas, about 30 kilometers to the east of Thimphu. The pass is located at an altitude of 3,100 meters which offers panoramic and mesmerizing views of the surrounding mountains, including the highest peak in Bhutan, Gangkhar Puensum (7,570m). There are 108 stupas (Buddhist shrines) located at the pass known as Druk Wangyel Chorten which you can visit and take in the views.
Winter Festivals in Bhutan
Tshechu is a religious festival in Bhutan which is held annually in honor of Guru Rinpoche. He is also known as Padmasambhava, the founder of Buddhism in Bhutan. Tshechu festivals are held in different parts of Bhutan, and each region has its unique customs and traditions associated with the festival. Tshechu festivals are an important part of Bhutanese culture and provide an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate their traditions and culture.
During the Tshechu festival, people from all over Bhutan gather to witness religious dances, known as cham dances, performed by monks and laypeople. The dances are accompanied by traditional music played on instruments such as horns, cymbals, and drums. The Tshechu festival also features other cultural activities such as archery, traditional sports, and crafts exhibitions.
Likewise, Druk Wangyel Tsechu Festival is a special winter festival in Thimphu.
Druk Wangyel Tshechu
The Druk Wangyel Tshechu is a special Tshechu festival held in Thimphu. It is held in honor of Bhutan’s monarchy and is attended by the Bhutanese royal family, government officials, and foreign dignitaries. The festival features elaborate rituals and performances, including the unfurling of a large Thangka, a painted or embroidered Tibetan Buddhist banner, and the performance of the “Dance of the Cavaliers,” which is a tribute to Bhutan’s soldiers.
Myanmar (Burma) is a country located in Southeast Asia. The country is known for its ancient Buddhist temples, stunning natural landscapes, and friendly people. The winter months are from December to February. The weather in Myanmar is generally cool and dry. During this time, the skies are usually clear, and there is little rainfall. The cool season is a popular time to visit Myanmar, as the weather is pleasant and favorable for sightseeing and exploring ancient places. Some famous places are:
Bagan is an ancient city that includes thousands of ancient temples and pagodas. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Myanmar. Bagan is known for its stunning temple complexes, including the Ananda Temple, which is considered one of the most beautiful temples in the country. Visitors can explore the temples by bike or horse cart, or take a hot air balloon ride to get a bird’s eye view of the city.
Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar. It is known for its rich cultural and historical heritage including the Mandalay Palace. It is a royal palace built in the 19th century. Mandalay is also known for its handicrafts, including gold leaf beating and marble carving.
Yangon is the largest city in the south of Myanmar. It is popular for its bustling markets, colonial architecture, and cultural sites. Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is a golden stupa that is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. Yangon has several museums, including the Yangon National Museum and the Bogyoke Aung San Museum.
Mount Popa is a mountain located in central Myanmar. The Popa Taungkalat Monastery is built on top of a volcanic plug which is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Visitors must climb to the top of the mountain to visit the monastery where they can cherish panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The mountain is also home to a number of rare plant and animal species, including the Popa Langur, a type of monkey found only in this region.
Myanmar Events in Winter
Kachin Manau Festival
This festival is a celebration of the Kachin culture and traditions which is held in January month. It features traditional music, dance, and food, as well as cultural demonstrations and performances.
Shwedagon Pagoda Festival
This festival is held in February and is a celebration of the Shwedagon Pagoda, a golden stupa that is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Myanmar. The festival features traditional music, dance, and food, as well as cultural demonstrations and performances.
Akha New Year
The Akha New Year is a traditional festival celebrated by the Akha people, an ethnic group in Myanmar. The festival is held in the winter months, (December or January) and marks the start of the New Year according to the Akha calendar. The festival features traditional music, dance, and food, and is a time for the Akha people to come together and celebrate their culture and traditions.
Mount Popa Nat Spirit Festival
The Mount Popa Nat Spirit Festival is a traditional festival held in honor of the nats, or spirits. They are believed to inhabit Mount Popa, a mountain in central Myanmar. The festival is held in the winter months, usually in January or February which includes traditional music, dance, and food. Visitors can also participate in spiritual rituals and make offerings to the nats.
Kayin New Year
The Kayin New Year is a traditional festival celebrated by the Kayin people, an ethnic group in Myanmar. The festival is held in the winter months which marks the start of the New Year according to the Kayin calendar. Kayin people come together and celebrate their culture and traditions which features traditional music, dance, and food.
Why Winter is the best time to visit Nepal Bhutan Myanmar?
Why not Winter? Winter is one of the best times to visit Nepal Bhutan Myanmar because of the subtropical climate, which is ideal for sightseeing and recreational activities. Winter in Nepal Bhutan and Myanmar also brings a pool of celebrations around this country, painting a colorful picture for attendant spectators. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider visiting Nepal Bhutan Myanmar during the winter months:
Winter is the coolest time of year in these countries. The temperatures are much more comfortable than during the hot and humid summer months. This makes it a great time to visit if you don’t enjoy the heat and humidity.
Winter is also the dry season in these countries. The skies are generally clear and sunny during the day. This makes it a great time for outdoor activities, such as hiking, and sightseeing.
Good for short treks or hikes
The winter months are considered the best time for short treks or hikes in these countries. Since the weather is dry, the trails are less muddy. The visibility is also better during the winter as the skies are clear making it easier to enjoy the stunning mountain views.
Winter is the off-peak season for tourism in these countries. So, you may find fewer crowds at popular destinations and more reasonable prices on flights, accommodations, and activities.
Winter is a time of celebration in Nepal Bhutan Myanmar. Many cultural festivals and events take place during this time. You may have the opportunity to participate in these festivals and learn more about the culture and traditions of these countries.
Things to Consider Before You Go:
Pack warm clothing
Winter temperatures in Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar can be quite cold, especially at higher elevations. In the lower regions, it is cold in the morning and night. Thus, bring warm layers, a coat, gloves, a warm hat, and all necessary warm items to stay warm & comfortable during the trip.
Check the weather forecast
Winter weather can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to check the forecast before you travel. This helps you pack appropriately and plan your activities.
Consider your travel insurance
Travel insurance is always a good idea when traveling. But it’s especially essential during the winter months when the weather can be more unpredictable and travel disruptions are more likely. Be sure to research and compare different travel insurance options to find the best coverage for the trip.
Look for off-peak travel deals
Winter is usually a slower season for tourism in Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar. So, you may be able to find good deals on flights, accommodations, and other activities. Keep an eye out for promotions and discounts to save money on the trip.
Respect local customs and traditions
Each of these countries has its own unique culture and traditions, and it’s essential to be respectful of these when you visit. Do some research before your trip to learn about local customs and be mindful of your actions while you’re there.
Hope these tips are helpful as you plan your winter trip to Nepal Bhutan Myanmar. Safe Travels.