Weather - when going to Myanmar
There is only two season in Myanmar:
- Monsoon (rainy season) from May to end of September.
- Dry season, from October to the end of April, which is usually the main high season for the tourists (but in April and May, the hottest months, we have very few tourists in Myanmar). Most of the people are coming bewtween November and the end of February.
- End of September - First 2 weeks of October: Everything is totally green, very beautiful, you usually do not have many tourist and if you travel in September, you still get the low season price. You have a bigger chance of rain in September but usually in October, you have really less rain. It is a good time to travel in Myanmar
- May - June: Usually monsoon rains have started in the southern part of the country and Yangon, but in Bagan, Mandalay and Inle, you may have only very few rains, just enough to cool the air. There is no tourist, prices are the low season prices, and if some rains have already start, temperature are lower than in April, sky is blue, no more dust. It is a very good time to come (but if the rain is late, it will be very hot in Bagan in May)
Link: World bank website with all the historical data about weather in Myanmar : Here
October to end of February
It is not too hot, even cold in the mountain area such as Pyin Oo lwin, Lashio, Hispaw, Inle Lake or Mindat. You may even need to wear warm clothes at night. Usually, there is no rain at all (even if in the southern part of Myanmar you may have some rain shower). The best months to visit Myanmar are October November and December, try to avoid December between Christmas and New Year (tourists).
October and November are the best months, with the countryside still very green.
March to end of May
It is hot, very hot and you have almost zero chance to get rain. In April, you may get 40 C° and over in Bagan or Mandalay.
It is not really the best time to make photographs, the sky is white because of the dust and temperature.
If you do not like hot weather, it is better to avoid this period, especially April and May.
Monsoon (rainy season):
Monsoon starts in May with some violent thunderstorms and will last until the end of September.
It is raining a lot in the south of Myanmar (Yangon, Bago, Moulmein and Dawei). It means it is raining every day, sometimes for few hours, the sky is usually clouded. Temperature is good (28 C°)
In Bagan, Mandalay, Monywa, Inle, it is maybe the best time to visit (especially for Bagan and Mandalay). You have beautiful blue sky, cool temperature, everything is green and just a few tourists.
During the monsoon, we do not recommend:
- To go to the beach, it is pouring heavy rain.
- In Sittwe Mrauk U, you have a risk of heavy rain but you can still visit.
- Mergui archipelago: Usually everything is closed, no boat, no hotel, heavy rain and you may have a cyclone.
- Mawlamyine - Dawei : no danger, no problem, only heavy rain every day.
On the personal side, the monsoon is our favourite season. Everything is green (this is really south-east Asia), cool temperature, Bagan, Mandalay, Monywa are very nice places to visit during Monson, very few people, when you have sun, the sky is blue with huge white clouds...It is raining but this is really like that during Monsoon and it is a nice experience.
During the rainy season, you will benefit from low season prices. It is another good reason to come during monsoon.
Buddhist New year in Yangon in April.
Buddhist New Year : 12-17 Avril
This is Thingyan, The most important festival in Myanmar. Schools are closed (too hot), everyone is waiting for the rain, and everyone is taking a week off. Many people are going to a monastery for meditation before the New Year.
On the practical side, it is difficult to find a bus, car companies and taxis are very expensive (no one wants to work) and all public services are closed until 18 or 20 of April. It is highly recommended to organize your trip with a local travel agent during New Year holidays.
Many Burmese people are going to the beach to avoid the heat, power outage, and try to find a quiet place far from the water battle you have in the big cities.
You will have a lot of local people at the beach, hotels are full long time in advance and they usually increase their fare to "peak season" level.
You could either jump into the crowd in Yangon or Mandalay and fight with water for 3 days, or you may try to experience traditional water festival in some villages. It is much more quiet, much more Myanmar also and a very nice, relaxing and fun experience.
In big cities, it will be music, traffic jam, a lot of water fighting. It is also quite fun, but totally different. Do not forget to put a hat, protect your camera and mobile for water (not from splash… from fire hose water…), and take a towel to protect your ear from the strongest water pipe....
Water pandal in Yangon during water festival..
Christmas - New Year:
This is clearly the main touristic time in Myanmar. It is not crowded, but this is when you will have the most tourist in Myanmar.
- Balloon over Bagan or Inle flights are usually sold out a long time in advance for this period.
- Hotels prices are the highest with "peak season" prices.
- Most bookings are difficult even few months ahead.
Hotels (especially in Ngapali) have special "peak season" prices until the 10 January. If you can avoid these 2 weeks, you will save a lot. If you really want to go to the beach during these two weeks, book a long time in advance.
November is busy, not like Christmas but not that far.
Many people are coming in November because this is one of the best months to visit Myanmar (weather is perfect, cool and sunny) and you have a lot of very interesting festival all around the country but especially at Inle.
Best hotels are usually sold out months in advance. If you are planning to get a guide and a nice hotel, you should contact your travel agent month in advance (4 months!).
Ban Mauk monastery in the forest - very beautiful place to go.