What Is the Best Time to Visit Myanmar and Its Famous Cities?
Having a tropical monsoon climate, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) has got three distinct seasons: the hot season from March to May, the wet season from June to September, and the cool season from October to February. Similar to most places in Southeast Asia, due to the monsoon season, timing your trip to Myanmar is essential unless you want to spend most of your time battling against torrential rains and flooding or intense heat.
Visiting Myanmar during the hot or wet season, however, has the benefit of fewer tourists and therefore lower prices. The wet season brings brief but heavy showers, mainly in the afternoon, which rarely affect touring and brings Myanmar's lush landscapes to life.
The colder months follow the end of the rains, from October to December/January, when it is cool in the foothills and highland areas, especially at night. The driest regions of the country, avoiding much of the annual rain, are the plains surrounding Bagan and Mandalay, which remain relatively dry aside from the odd heavy downpour, all the way through to August.
Best Time to Visit Myanmar by Region
Due to its location, even in the cool season, Mandalay’s temperatures still remains to be quite hot. In fact, even in the peak of rainy season, Mandalay only receives an average of about 9 days of rain. It's better to plan a trip here from November to January in order to avoid the intense heat (around 40°C from February to April). Average temperature during this time is around 27°C.
Due to its close proximity to each other, Mandalay and Bagan have pretty much similar weather conditions. As mentioned above, during the months of February to April, the temperatures in these regions can become unbearable, especially if you are walking around from temple to temple. If you can, avoid these months and head here from December to April. Or, do sightseeing only in the morning and evening and spending the hottest time of the day by the pool or in the shaded garden.
As Inle Lake is located in a relatively higher altitude, even during the peak of summer, the average temperature is around 30°C while during the cooler months (December to February), temperatures can drop to 10°C at night. If you plan on heading here during the cooler months, bringing a light jacket is highly recommended.
The former capital city of Myanmar, Yangon, is best visited from November to April during the time it experiences little rain. Although compared to Mandalay, the temperature here isn’t as hot with an average of 24°C. Although with that being said, the humidity here is higher, so similar to Bagan, it's best to do your sightseeing during early morning and sunset.
In a nutshell, temperatures throughout the country are greatly affected by altitude and therefore the hill stations, lakes, and Himalayan foothills are far cooler than southern lowland and coastal regions. The best time to visit most of Myanmar is from November to February as it's neither too hot to walk around due to the cool breeze that blows in. Throughout the country, in all but the hottest months of the year, it's often advisable to have a jumper or fleece for the evenings, when there is a tendency for it to get quite cool.