When to go to Myanmar?

The clear best time to visit Myanmar (Burma) is during the cool season, from November to February. During this time of the year the temperature is the most comfortable (it can even become cold at higher altitude during the night), the humidity is the lowest, there will practically be no rain and the skies are clear. The hot season last from March to the end of May, this season only is suitable for people that can stand the extreme heat (temperatures up to 104°F, or 40°C).

If you are able to, it can be advisable to avoid traveling to Myanmar during the monsoon season, from June up to October. This period is characterized by frequent rain and high humidity. When visiting Myanmar in the hot or the monsoon season, it can be wise to spend (most) time in the central and eastern part of the country, since the temperature and humidity are lower at higher altitude areas.

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The best time to visit Myanmar

The absolute best time to visit Myanmar is during the months of November up to February. During this period, the wind from the north is cool and creates vapor dews on rose petals and other verdant flora that abound in this beautiful and mystical country. The temperature and the humidity are the lowest of the year and there almost is no rain during this time of the year.

November is a festival month for the people at the Southern Shan State, as well as for the rest of the regions. This is a great time to visit the Southern 'Shan State', because it is the time for the Lighting Festival, a most important celebration for the people of 'Tazaungdine'. Popularly known as the 'hot air balloon festival': colorful balloons of different designs are flown during the day of the festival. At dusk, balloons with neon lights are flown as well, turning the night sky into a spectacle of colors. The cool weather, with no threat of rainfall to ruin the sights, allows the visitor to bask in the merriment of November festivals. Except for the weather, November to January also is a good time to go to Myanmar for the famous 'Kyaiktiyo festival', which is being celebrated by thousands of pilgrims. People from all walks of life gather at the Golden Rock at the summit of 'Kyaiktiyo Mountain' in the Mon region. The Golden Rock is one of the three most sacred places for the people of Myanmar.

December leading up to January is the best time (in terms of weather) to embark on an adventure throughout Myanmar, from its inviting shorelines to its rolling hills. Hotels at this time of the year usually offer discounts and freebies to attract more guests. There are fewer visitors at many key destinations, too, as many people prefer to stay at home during the Christmas holidays. While predominantly Buddhists, Myanmar's second largest religious population are Christians.

The neutral months to visit Myanmar

If you can stand the heat, February to April can be a nice time for leisurely strolls at the temples, or long rides to the countryside. Light showers come in late May to usher in the wet season. March, April and October are good months to tour to the many attractions of Myanmar. While the hot months can be really warm, it's an ideal time to visit the cooler regions of the country. The upper central region of Myanmar sits at the foothills of the Himalayas and these parts can be refreshingly cooler during the hot months of March to May. It is common for travelers to take a tour to the 'Shan State' at the center of the northern region, to take advantage of the cooler weather there. The temperature in these parts is far more comfortable, compared to the humid weather and, at times, scorching heat in the lowlands.

In April, the people celebrate the 'April Water Festival', locally known as the 'Thingyan celebration', to welcome the Buddhist New Year. Those who join in the festivities are splashed with water, to symbolize the washing away of the previous year's problems and bad luck. If you like basking under the sun adorned with flowers and dancing through the brick roads of Yangon, then you will love visiting Myanmar in April. Beat the scorching heat by bringing hats and umbrellas and wearing loose clothes.

October is a pleasant time for exploration. The season is neither wet, nor dry, but just enough to enjoy the outdoors. There could be some rain during these days, but it's generally light to moderate and just enough to cool the air. It is also at this time when the 'Elephant Dance Festival' comes to full swing at Mandalay. In the small town of Kyaukse, people make papier mache elephants to be paraded around the city and then brought up to the Kyaukse Hill. The life-size dummy figures are made to swoon and sway to a musical dance along with visiting merry makers.

Better not to go to Myanmar

Similar to what other countries in Southeast Asia are experiencing in the months of June, July, August and September, Myanmar gets tough lashings from tropical cyclones during the rainy season. If you are able to, it can be wise to avoid traveling to Myanmar during these months, because the rains can last for days and soak up the streets, especially the low lands and coastal areas. Rain and wind gather strength around June and becomes more unpleasant through the next few months until September. June, July, August and September are the worst months to come to Myanmar, as storms can really dampen tours and most parts of the country turn from cheery green landscapes to a colorless panorama.

However, for the more adventurous souls, there are regions in Myanmar that are shielded from storms, like the 'Bagan' and 'Mandalay' plains. Although few thunderstorms and sudden downpours could be a damper for some visitors, going around during the rainy season brings some surprises. For example, the 'full moon day' of 'Waso' is celebrated at this time of the year, as this is the start of the Buddhist Lent. Another advantage are the 'low season discounts' that can be received, when booking flights and accommodations during the rainy season.

Weather and seasons of Myanmar

Like other Southeast Asian countries, the weather in Myanmar is definite and very predictable: sunny, hot and (moderate)humid during the dry season, and stormy, damp and windy during the wet season. But, there is that window between the dry and wet season, which falls between November and February, when visiting tourists can truly enjoy their trip to the hills up the mystic pagodas and synagogues.

Uneven temperatures mark the regions, or divisions from east to west in Myanmar. Towns located at higher altitude in the upper central and eastern side of the country generally have cooler weather, while the western and southern states can be extremely hot and humid. During the hottest months, from April to early May, the temperature can rise to over 104°F, or 40°C at the plains of Mandalay and Bagan. The temperature only lowers when the rain comes around mid-May.

Before the month of May ends, monsoon winds coming from the south-western side of the country starts to break in to officially begin the wet season. This season stretches up to five months, as cyclones come one after another, usually becoming stronger and more frequent in the months of July and August. The usual path of cyclones runs through the Rakhaing State at the far end of the western region, often leaving both the rural fields and urban areas submerged in water.

For a clearer picture of what weather and temperature can be expected in specific months when visiting Myanmar, see the list below:

  • November to February: cool season (68°F to 75°F / 20°C to 24°C)
  • March to April: hot season (86°F to 95°F / 30°C to 35°C)
  • May to October: rainy season (77°F to 86°F / 25°C to 30°C)

The weather overview pictures below (both °F and °C) perfectly show that the high amount of precipitation from June to September, which make it an inconvenient time to visit Myanmar. Further, you can clearly see the peak in average temperature around the month of April.

Temperature and precipitation overview (°F) Temperature and precipitation overview (°C)
Weather of Myanmar (°F) Weather of Myanmar (°C)

Map and current weather of Myanmar

Drag the yellow iconStreetview iconto a location on the map for the "Google streetview" mode.
Click on the weather icon to see the forecast for the next days.

Best time to visit specific highlights of Myanmar

Myanmar boasts some of the world’s most distinctive pagodas (a tiered tower with multiple eaves), temples and shrines that are held sacred by Buddhists and deemed architectural masterpieces by modern architects and historians.

  • Ayeyarwady River: is the longest and most interesting river in Myanmar. Globally known as Irawaddy, a boat ride across the river takes visitors to see river villages on both sides of Mandalay and Bagan. The rare Irawaddy dolphins greet visitors during the cruise and come out all year round, but are noticeably happier during the averagely wet months of July and August.
  • Bagan pagodas: As the premier tourist destination in Myanmar, Bagan hosts thousands of temples and pagodas dating back to the 9th and 13th centuries. The First Burmese Empire built Bagan as the center of Buddhism. Among the most popular temples is Ananda temple which is frequented by tourists for its marvelous architecture and its sparkling gold spires. The best time to visit Bagan is during the cool season from November to February, when one can walk around the ancient structures without worrying about sudden downpours or scorching heat.
  • Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Zedi): is frequently visited by tourists, because of its “to see is to believe” sight. Locals believe that the Golden Rock is being held by a strand of hair of Buddha. Be ready for a long walk up to reach the Golden Rock. The best time to see the Golden Rock is from November up to the end of December, when it is not too hot and there is no rain to make the trail to the rock slippery.
  • Ngapali beach: sits on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and is fast becoming a top tourist destination, with its white sand beaches and natural serenity. A dip at the beach during the hot months of February, March, April and May will wash off the stickiness and sweat.
  • Shwedagon (Greater Dragon Pagoda): almost all of its pagodas are held sacred in Myanmar, but what is considered the most sacred of all is the Greater Dragon Pagoda, which is now 2,500 years old. The pagoda is covered in golden leaf, while the stupa has over 4,500 diamonds embedded on it. A nice stroll to the pagoda can be more enjoying during the dry months, from November to February.
  • Shwemawdaw Paya (Great Golden God): is the tallest pagoda in the country at 114 meters. It is popular among visitors, because of its diamond-studded top. Several legendary relics belonging to Buddha are believed to be kept in the temple. The place can be visited all year.

Below you find 2 recommended travel adventures in and through Myanmar, organized by G Adventures.

Classic Burma Adventure Burma Family Adventure
Classic Burma Adventure Burma Family Adventure

People who want to leave shortly, can find good last minute deals here: save up to 25% on Last Minute Adventure Travel Packages

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Pay special attention to

  • Food: Myanmar serves one of the best foods in this part of Asia. Most dishes are vegetarian, but it can also be balanced with fish, chicken and lots of spices. Western dishes are available in many restaurants, especially in tourist destinations.
  • Language: the local people of Myanmar are not well-versed in English. At tourist sights, you can hire a translator, who can also act as your guide at the sight.
  • Respect local culture: the people of Myanmar have a deep sense of culture and belief. While they respect individuals with different faiths (almost 20% of the population are Christians), Buddhist traditions are religiously observed in all parts of the country. Hence, tourists are advised to pay special attention to respecting local norms and customs. For example, it is best to dress conservatively and wear loose shirts and pants rather than shorts and sleeveless tops. Being oriented of the “do’s and don’t’s” before going on a tour will be helpful, especially if you’re planning to go to the Buddhist temples and shrines.
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Do you have a question about visiting Myanmar? Or do you want to share your knowledge of Myanmar with other travelers? Please, visit our Myanmar forum.

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