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  • The Curious Traveler

How weather works: The Monsoon

When planning travel to Bhutan, India, or other Asian countries there are climatic considerations to make; as with other Asian countries, India has a distinct monsoon season.

A monsoon (from the Arabic mausim or season) occurs when land surfaces heat up and cool down quicker than nearby oceans. It’s a cycle: While hot summers drive land temperatures skyward, the sea remains cold. Air then rises off the landmass leaving behind a low-pressure area, which in turn pulls in the colder, damp coastal air. Now when this moist air warms and rises, it’s monsoon time and heavy rains follow. This reverses in the winter months: The water keeps its warmth longer than the land, so low pressure occurs over the water, and moisture is drawn offshore.

Monsoons are commonly experienced in regions where a large land mass and a large ocean meet – so travel to Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (southern Asia, in general) is also affected. Bhutan hiking tours take you right into the Himalayas, but it’s these magnificent mountain ranges that help contain and maintain the monsoon season. At 2,400 km long; bordering India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Burma and Nepal; and topping out at 8,796 meters high (Mt Everest) they act as a physical barrier to the colder winds that otherwise would drive south, and so keep in the monsoon winds.

Timing is everything when it comes to planning a walking tour in Asia, so take a good look at our trip pages and see what great opportunities we have to offer.

About Boundless Journeys

Boundless Journeys is an award-winning small group adventure tour operator, selected as one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by National Geographic ADVENTURE, February 2009; and a “World’s Best” tour operator by Travel + Leisure, August 2009.

With a diverse collection of locally guided, small group itineraries and Private Collection trips around the world, Boundless Journeys offers “The World’s Great Adventures.” The adventure trips for 2-16 guests are active, ranging from leisurely cultural explorations and wildlife safaris to challenging trekking in remote regions ― with plenty of easy to moderate walking and sea kayaking in between.


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