Myanmar—formerly known as Burma—is a fascinating country full of mystery and allure. This tropical destination is known for its complex history, rich culture, and breathtaking sights. Whether you’re lounging on white sand beaches, touring the iconic pagodas, or exploring the bustling city streets, there are plenty of adventures to be had. Myanmar’s monsoon climate means certain times of the year are better for travel, and it’s important to do your research before planning your getaway. Keep reading to find out the best time to visit Myanmar!
Myanmar has two distinct seasons: wet and dry. Wet season takes place from June through September, and the dry season is October through May. The country’s dry season is further broken down into hot and cool—hot season is March through May and cool season is October through February.
Wet Season (June-September)
Travel during the wet season is not generally advised as parts of the country are inaccessible and many beaches even shut down. Monsoons are unpredictable, but the country is guaranteed to see heavy downpours and flooding throughout these months. Out of this timeframe, June is a good option for travel. The rains are just starting to creep in and most showers are brief. Tourist numbers are pretty low, which is great for those who like to avoid the crowds. Temperatures are starting to come down from the preceding hot season, but it still averages around the mid-80s. It’s also important to be aware that most beach resorts start to close in mid-June to prepare for the upcoming stormy months. In July, the temperatures continue to decrease, and the rains get stronger. The beloved Ngapali Beach on the southern coast is shut down, but the northeast’s weather isn’t as extreme. This is an ideal time for cruising on the Chindwin River, which has high water levels, but traveling by road becomes more and more difficult. You won’t want to visit in August, when torrential downpours slam the country. Similar to June, September is a suitable wet season month to visit. The rains slow down, temperatures drop to the low 80s, the landscape is lush and vibrant, and crowds are small. However, take note that most beaches are still closed and road travel remains difficult.
Dry Cool Season (October-February)
The cool season is the most popular time for travel to Myanmar. In October, the weather is overall pretty warm and dry. Wet season comes to a close, and beaches once again open to visitors. This is a perfect shoulder month to visit because the crowd size is low and the scenery is at its most beautiful—alive with verdant hues of green. The remaining months of the cool season (November-February) are generally agreed to be the best time to visit Myanmar. November sees little rain, and tourist numbers begin to increase. It’s the start of the high season, so if you want to visit during the rest of the cool season, you should make sure to book your trip in advance. December is one of the coolest months in the highlands and foothills, but temperatures can still average in the high 80s at lower altitude locations. Altitude plays a significant factor in the climate, and the higher the altitude, the cooler it is. This means that the cool season is general cool in mountainous regions—of course “cool” is relative in a tropical climate. The low altitude cities do not see temperatures drop as much, but the weather is less steamy than during the hot season. January is the peak travel season thanks to the comfortable climate. Beaches see virtually endless sunshine and the chilly temps in the foothills start to thaw. February rounds out the cool season. Temperatures begin to rise but not uncomfortably so. This is a busy time because of the overall favorable travel conditions; all regions can be enjoyed, from the plains to the beaches to the mountains.
Dry Hot Season (March-May)
During the hot season, temperatures can reach unbearable extremes, making travel immensely uncomfortable. March is still a fairly busy time for tourism, but rising temperatures mean mid-afternoon sightseeing is out of the question. April has some of the hottest temperatures of the year, and it’s common for certain regions to average over 100 degrees. Unless your body is used to such severe temperatures, it’s not recommended to travel to Myanmar during this time. However, April sees large crowds due to the country’s New Year, which falls in the middle of the month. The holiday is celebrated with a days-long water festival, a remarkable, joyous occasion that’s a truly unique experience. If you’re planning a trip during April, it’s crucial to book in advance. In May, scorching weather continues but thankfully begins to decline towards the end of the month. Short, infrequent rain showers begin, and they bring along a blessed cool breeze. This month is a good option for those looking to avoid the crowds and take advantage of some shoulder season deals.