Enveloped between China, Thailand and India, Myanmar really is at the heart of South East Asia.
Generally speaking, the climate of Myanmar can be described as a tropical, monsoon climate with an annual average temperature in the mid 20 degree Celsius range. This being said, the country has 3 very distinct and very different seasons; the cool and dry season, the hot and dry season and the rainy season.
As many regions have their own, individual climate, it is important to be aware of the seasons when planning the perfect trip to the beautiful Myanmar.
Cool and dry season
Between the months of October and February, temperatures average a comfortable 20-26 degrees Celsius. With the rainy season over, days are usually long, bright, clear and dry making it the perfect season for sightseeing, hiking, trekking and cycling.
Because of the comfortable weather and clear skies, the cool and dry season is often referred to as the best time to visit Myanmar.
Bring a light jacket, especially towards the end of the season when the evenings can be cool.
Where to visit
The cool and dry season offers visitors the perfect, comfortable temperature for visiting the cities of Mandalay and Yangon. With the ideal combination of humidity and warmth, mornings and afternoons offer a wonderful time for sightseeing.
The ancient city of Bagan is a must visit during the cool and dry season. With early morning temperatures averaging 14 degrees Celsius, January is the ideal month for unforgettable balloon rides over the magical plains of Bagan. December is high season so prepare for warm, dry, clear days but lots of tourists.
Bring a jacket with you to visit Inle Lake during the cool, dry season. Morning temperatures can drop as low as 8 degrees Celsius in January. With the guarantee of almost no rain, this is the perfect season to head to one of Myanmar’s most stunning, natural sights and enjoy exploring the lake from the water.
It’s no surprise that Ngapali beach is a popular choice for visitors during the months of October-February. With temperatures averaging 30 degrees Celsius, almost no rain and perfect ocean temperatures, there is no better time for a Myanmar beach getaway.
Hot and dry season
March through to May in Myanmar sees temperatures soar between 27 and 31 degrees Celsius. Not only is this a hot season to visit Myanmar, you can also expect some short rain showers towards the end of April.
Be sure to bring sun cream, a hat and loose breathable clothing that is not too short. Remember, knees and shoulders should be covered when visiting temples and pagodas.
Where to visit
The months of March to May can be difficult in the cities of Mandalay and Yangon. Temperatures can soar to a height of almost 40 degrees Celsius. A hotel with a pool, early morning and late evening walks are recommended. A trip out to Pyin Oo Lwin or Hspiaw from Mandalay offers visitors cooler temperatures for walking and sightseeing.
The hot and dry season in Bagan frequently sees afternoon temperatures peak around 39-40 degrees Celsius. Visiting pagodas early on a morning or later on an evening and by e-bike rather than bicycle is recommended. Be sure to carry plenty of water and sun cream with you.
During the hot and dry season, Inle Lake tends to be popular amongst local tourists trying to escape the heat of the city. With temperatures averaging around 25 degrees Celsius and some intermittent rain, it isn’t a bad season to beat the international tourist crowds and visit Inle Lake.
Ngapali beach is a popular choice all the way through the hot and dry season. Local and international tourists alike head to the beautiful Myanmar coastline to enjoy the pleasant water temperatures and escape the city heat.
June through to September marks the rainy season in Myanmar. Although temperatures remain warm, rainfall can be heavy and last for extended periods of time, particularly in and around Yangon.
Umbrellas and raincoats are a necessity in Myanmar during rainy season. Be aware that during extended downpours, inner city streets can flood up to 20cms.
Where to visit
The city of Yangon sees a sharp increase in humidity and a lot of persistent rainfall during rainy season. Expect roads and footpaths to flood and downpours to last 45 minutes or more. By the time September arrives, the rain starts to lift.
Ngapali beach sleeps during rainy season. Hotels and restaurants close down and the rain pours until September when things start to liven up once again.
During the rainy season, Myanmar’s ‘dry zone’ offers visitors the perfect respite to downpours. Myanmar’s ‘dry zone’ spans over 50,000 kilometres from the Sagaing region, all the way to the western and central Mandalay region. Annual rainfall within the country’s ‘dry zone’ rarely exceeds 1000 millimetres, making it the perfect time to visit the temples of Bagan, the volcano at Popa, the vibrant city of Mandalay and to explore the towns of Mingun and Monywa in Myanmar’s Sagaing region.
Rainy season is also a wonderful time to visit Phoe Win Taung. Nestled in Myanmar’s dry zone, you can expect little rain and even fewer tourists at this time of year.
With comfortable temperatures, low rain fall and less tourists, June can be a good time to visit Inle Lake. The heavier rains start around July and will continue through to September.
From sun soaked beaches, to evening lake side walks and sheltering under temples. Whatever season you choose to visit, magnificent Myanmar promises an unforgettable and life changing experience.