May weather in Bagan allows to enjoy a less crowded city. Although the average temperatures are still hitting 39°C (101°F) at the beginning, it will become more comfortable by the end of the month when the rain showers start.
Weather: The average temperatures in the day-time are around 44°C (111°F) and will drop to 33°C (92°F) in the evening. The highest day temperature in May is around 49°C (120°F). The lowest night temperature is around 29°C (84°F).
May is the very beginning of Burma's hot summer. At first, the weather gets hotter and hotter. By the end of the month, temperatures are slightly cooler as breezes and rain showers set in. Rain tends to fall in the afternoon and early evening and you should avoid going out then. During these two periods, indoor activities will be more suitable.
Clothing: Sun hats or umbrella and mosquito repellent are necessities for outdoor activities during the day, or you will get sunburn and mosquito bites. Cotton socks and air-permeable shoes are great for the hot weather. Also bring sun-protective clothing and sunscreen.
Things to Do
As the weather gets progressively hotter leading up to Burma's monsoon season, outdoor activities should be arranged in the mornings or late afternoons. You can still enjoy many indoor activities, such as visiting different resorts, swimming, getting to know local cuisine and tasting local dishes. Bagan offers a wonderful opportunity to discover the typical local handicrafts in Myanmar.
Take an Irrawaddy sunset boat trip
The Irrawaddy is the largest and most important river for commercial waterways, and flows from north to south through Burma. It's not only the ‘river of life' in Burma, but is also famous as a good location for viewing sunsets and temples along the riverbank.
Departure time and place are two keys for watching the sunset on the Irrawaddy River. Usually in May, we suggest departure at 5 pm as the sun starts to go down.
We recommend being at the Fantasia Garden and Jetty departure point, 20 minutes ahead of time and waiting for a boatman. The boat trip will last about an hour. A fleece or long-sleeved shirt may be necessary for the evening chill.
On board a cocktail or a cup with tea will be served, with a local snack. The boat will pass by various small villages and you can enjoy the spectacular scenery of sunset and riverside temples and local boats. It's so relaxing. As the sun begins to dip low in the sky, return to dry land and transfer back to your hotel.
Climb to the top of Shwesandaw Pagoda to see the sunrise
Shwesandaw Pagoda is attractive not only for its graceful white pyramid-style but also for its historical significance. From the outside, it looks elegant and unique. From the inside, it's full of ancient flavor and Myanmar history. It was one of the first pagodas to be built by Anawrahta in 1057, following his successful campaign against Thaton.
Shwesandaw Pagoda is the most famous sunrise-viewing spot in Bagan.
It's one of the few that isn't under repair, so you can climb to the top. You should be careful and use the handrails as you make the steep climb on tall and damp brick steps. Make sure you climb barefoot.
Observing the sun slowly rising from the top of the pagoda, with smaller pagodas all around, you'll be awestruck. The atmosphere is quiet and sacred and you'll be unable to resist closing your eyes and praying for the best. It's just awesome! All the way back down, the views of the surroundings are magnificent.
Relax at your hotel
As it's too hot for outdoor activities, relaxing at the hotel will be good for everyone. This, however, doesn't mean sleeping all the time, because in Bagan, hotels are usually supplied with lots of things to do. So you can still enjoy it.
Hotels with good locations, like Aye Yar River Resort, are especially attractive. You will have the opportunity there to get to know local cuisine and taste local dishes.
What's more, if you can book a room with a view of the Ayeyarwaddy River, you can enjoy the beautiful sunsets from your room, along with a cup of coffee.
Of course, a French-style hotel, such as Bagan Lodge, can also give you a unique experience. It's perfect for honeymoon couples or wedding anniversary couples. Walking through the garden hand in hand and enjoying the beautiful garden views of the tropical monsoon area, you will definitely yearn for the time to be frozen, so you can enjoy the romantic moment forever.
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