Best Time to Visit Myanmar
The best time to visit Myanmar is during the “winter” season that lasts from November to February. I say “winter” because it’s still hot during the day, but a little bit chilly during the night. Keep in mind that if you’re visiting Mandalay and Bagan, it’s going to be still quite hot as these are the driest regions of the country. The only way to avoid these high temperatures is battling against torrential rains brought by the monsoon. Tip: choose the high temperatures 😂
While Myanmar is a year-round destination, you’ll need to plan your trip around the monsoon to have a great stay!
Here is my guide on the best times to visit Myanmar!
And don’t miss my 10 Days in Myanmar itinerary before you go!
Myanmar has a tropical climate, with the monsoon season bringing rain from May to September. This will be the time when some roads can become impassable in the more remote areas. Places like Ngapali Beach even closes as it is impossible to get there due to inaccessible roads. On the other extreme, in central region of the country, you will find hot temperatures with little rainfall. In order to understand better the Myanmar climate, I will cover each season separately:
- Cool: November to February
- Hot: March to May
- Rainy: June to October
Cool Season: November to February
This will be the most comfortable time to visit Myanmar. Temperatures are cool and there is almost no rainfall. This is also the busiest time for tourism so book everything in advance, especially accommodations. Despite the all around warm temperatures, at night consider having a cardigan as temperatures can drop to 10 degrees Celsius.
This is also the perfect time to experience a hot air balloon ride in Bagan. So if this is on your bucket list you need to plan everything in these months. Even Ngapali Beach is a great place to visit during this time as the temperatures reach a high of 30 degrees Celsius. You can easily plan to experience the entire Myanmar during these months!
Read More: Best Temples in Bagan
Hot Season: March to May
Starting with the beginning of March, temperatures start to climb. During the hot season you will encounter high temperatures, up to 40+ degrees Celsius. Similar temperatures as other South East Asia countries, but the humidity is not that high. This season is the best if you plan visiting the beautiful beaches of Myanmar. Also, visiting in March is still a great month to travel all around Myanmar, as it starts getting hotter towards the end of the month.
After March you will have the entire country to yourself, except the beaches, but enduring the highest temperatures of the year. If you are here during this season, try to limit your sightseeing to early mornings and sunsets. This will also help you getting the best light for your pictures too. Use the afternoon to relax at your hotel, enjoying the pool and tasting all the cocktails available!
Rainy season: June to October
From June to October, Myanmar’s climate is wet and humid. Downpours occur heavily during July-September making some roads inaccessible. Most of the hotels in Ngapali Beach are closed during this time as there are lots of floods in the area. Towards the second half of September the weather starts to get better. The hotels resumes their activity and daily flights to Ngapali Beach starts to operate.
End of September would be a good time to start planing your trip to Myanmar as everything is lush green, especially Bagan. Keep in mind that there are no hot air balloons in Bagan at this time, season for them starting in November (at least that was what the locals told us when we visited in October). Sightseeing is great all around the country as there are not so many tourists and you get to enjoy the real feel of the country.
Read More: Mandalay in 2 Days
Festivals and Events in Myanmar
Another thing to consider while planing your visit to Myanmar are the festivals and events of the country. There are quite a few festivals and events happening every single year in Myanmar. Keep in mind that some dates might change as these festivals follow the lunar calendar. Here are a few of the most famous ones:
- Thingyan Water Festival is one of the most known festivals in Myanmar. Usually happening in mid-April, you will find most of the places closed and the hotels are increasing their prices during this time. Celebrations lasts 4-5 days and are marking the beginning of the Burmese new year. Everyone is throwing water in the streets, so it’s most likely you will get soaked! If this happens, the best thing to do is to return the favor, as the pouring of water means all the bad luck and misfortunes from the last year are being washed away.
- Tazaungdaing Light Festival is one of the oldest festivals in Myanmar, lasting for up to 18 days. This usually takes place in November. Different regions of the country have different customs, the most famous being in Taunggyi, where lanterns are released at night while being accompanied by Shan music. Another Light Festival is taking place in October: Thadindyut. This festival marks the return of Buddha to earth from heaven. People place candles in their windows, temples and pagodas, and it’s a popular time for weddings.
- Ananda Pahto Festival is one of the biggest religious festivals in Bagan, taking place in January. This celebrates the largest temple in Bagan, with people coming from all over the place to pay homage to Buddha.
The best time to visit Myanmar, as we covered above, is November to February. As this will be the busiest time for travel, I would suggest to try visiting during October and March too. These two months have good weather too and you will find better prices for accommodation. You will also be able to visit all the beautiful places that Myanmar has to offer, without battling the crowds.
We visited during October and had great weather! There was a little bit of rain, but not that much to ruin our trip. And what we loved the most was that we felt like we were alone there. Avoiding the crowds was our favorite part!
Do you have any tips for visiting Myanmar? Let me know in the comments below!