Nepal in May: Clear Weather and Trekking Season
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May is the end of one of two high seasons in Nepal and one of the best times to explore. As it’s pre-monsoon season, the weather in Nepal in May is favorable and the long days and clear conditions make it an excellent time to go on a trekking holiday, especially if you’re hitting up the Himalayas and Annapurna Circuit. Want to know what to expect from a Nepal trip in May? Read on and let’s find out.
Nepal Weather in May
Nepal in May is largely warm and sunny with an average daytime temperature of 29℃. The nighttime average is 15℃. In Kathmandu, the capital city, the mercury ranges between 16°C and 28°C. In the lake city of Pokhara, the gateway to the Annapurna region, the temperature varies between lows of 18°C and highs of 30°C. The higher you travel towards the mountains, expect colder temperatures and pack accordingly.
Not sure when is the best time for you to visit Nepal? Check out our seasonal guide.
Weather in Nepal in May - Rainfall and Temperatures
|Avg Daily (°C)||17||19||24||28||29||29||27||27||27||25||22||18|
|Avg Nightly (°C)||2||4||8||12||15||17||18||18||17||14||9||4|
|Avg Daily (°F)||62.6||66.2||75.2||82.4||84.2||84.2||80.6||80.6||80.6||77||71.6||64.4|
|Avg Nightly (°F)||35.6||39.2||46.4||53.6||59||62.6||64.4||64.4||62.6||57.2||48.2||39.2|
|Avg Rainfall (mm)||13||14||10||29||70||129||325||239||175||67||7||8|
Why Visit Nepal in May
There is never a bad time to visit Nepal, really. But May offers something special to travelers. Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should visit Nepal in May.
- Rato Machhindranath Jatra: This unique festival celebrated by the Newar people, takes place over the course of two weeks in Lalitpur district. The main event of the festival is where revelers pull the chariot bearing the idol of the rain god through the streets. It is an incredible sight to behold.
- Buddha Jayanti: Buddha’s birth anniversary is understandably a huge affair in Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha and where Buddhism is the second largest religion. Major celebrations happen all around Nepal, but the biggest and best can be found in Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini, and in Kathmandu, home to two major stupas—Swayambhunath and Bouddhanath.
- Tiji festival: The rural Nepalese community in Upper Mustang celebrates the victory of good over evil in Tiji festival held in mid-May with mythology, music and brightly colored costumes. It is a must-see even if you are traveling in the area. Locals welcome tourists and allow them to take part in the festival, unlike some other rural Nepalese communities.
- Peak trekking season: May is one of the peak trekking seasons in Nepal. The great spring weather offers the best conditions to explore the country’s Himalayas and there is a great rush of tourists during this time. So it is best that you book your trek in advance.
Where to go and what to do
Start in Kathmandu, where you can explore many historical and cultural sites. Also check out the cities of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, which are rich in Newar culture, arts and architecture.
After a few days’ stay in the capital, embark on one of the many best treks available in Nepal. If you head to Pokhara, another popular tourist city of Nepal, you can explore the Annapurna region. You will find several treks in the region, both short and long, depending on how many days you plan to stay in Nepal.
The Everest trek is another option, but the route is normally busy during this time of year. If you want to avoid tourist crowds, choose other alternatives like the Mera Peak trek. This is still a massively challenging multi-week trek, but it is definitely less busy than the traditional Everest route. Even though you need to have some technical skills like being able to use crampons, it is by and large not a technically demanding trek. That is not to say this trek is for beginners. This 16-day expedition takes you to the maximum elevation of 6,476 meters, so you need to be prepared at least a few months before the trek. Check out our article to find out the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp.
Adventure seekers can also try whitewater rafting while visiting Nepal in May. The country has some of the best whitewater rapids including Sun Koshi, named among the top 10 in the world by National Geographic. May falls smack bang in the middle of one of the peak rafting seasons (April-June), so there is no better time to hit the rapids.
Nepal is quickly becoming a favorite among mountain bikers, especially in the Lower Mustang region which was previously an ancient trade route between Nepal and Tibet. Bring your bike and challenge yourself with altitude climbs, dirt tracks, and lush green valleys that will leave you breathless.
For wildlife, visit the national parks of Chitwan or Bardiya in Nepal’s southern plains to spot the endangered Bengal tiger.
All in all, May is one of the best times to visit Nepal, especially if you’re doing anything outdoorsy. If you need a break from the trails, the multitude of vibrant cultural and religious festivals are bound to excite and inspire.
We know it can be hard to plan a trip to Nepal - there are a lot of logistics to consider. So, keep it simple and let our travel experts sort it out for you. Check out our customizable trips in Nepal and you’ll be well on your way, stress-free!