Mandalay is located in central Myanmar and features a tropical dry, hot, and wet climate under the Koppen climate classification.
In 2016, the average temperature in Mandalay was 26°C (79°F). The average daytime temperature was 34°C (93°F) while the average nighttime temperature was 23°C (73°F).
The dry season is from November to February. It enjoys pleasant weather with little rainfall and cool temperatures. Therefore, the dry season has become the peak tourist season in Mandalay and is a wonderful time to visit.
Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated is necessary. Please also be aware that you should book your hotel ahead of time as the hotels are busy in this season.
The hot season is usually from March to April when the weather is dominated by searing heat and there is less rainfall.
Ultraviolet radiation is strong during the daytime. Remember to protect yourself well against the harmful sun's rays with sunglasses, a sun hat, long-sleeved shirts, and a high SPF sunscreen.
When the weather is incredibly hot, from midday to 4pm, you should probably arrange indoor activities at your hotel.
The rainy season is from May to October. The southwest monsoon erupts in May, bringing rain showers to the area. Heavy rainfall may have an impact on tourism, such as delaying flights, making roads difficult to travel on, and spoiling some views. So it’s recommended for you to arrange some indoor activities.
However,as it is the low season, costs will be cheaper than in the peak season.
During the months of the rainy season, there is a higher rate of dengue fever. To avoid mosquito bites, try not to expose your skin, especially in the grass. You should prepare a thin long-sleeved shirt for outdoor activities.
Top things to do
As the ancient city of the last monarchy and the second largest city in Myanmar, Mandalay serves as the cultural center of the country. When strolling in Mandalay, you can discover several Buddhist monasteries and exquisite examples of Myanmar masonry, and experience special, traditional cultures.
Experience an Almsgiving Ceremony
In Mandalay, you can see a unique picture in the morning: people will queue on the pavements, waiting for the group of monks and nuns to walk past to accept their offerings. When the morning light shines on their robes, you can feel the holy atmosphere.
Getting up early and heading to experience this ceremony is your must-do activity in Mandalay.
Visit Unique Buddhist Monasteries
The Mahamuni Pagoda, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Myanmar, attracts hordes of both pilgrims and tourists.
In the pagoda,gold leaf is sold at the entrance, which male devotees buy and then apply to the image. Only men are allowed to place the gold leaves or get up close to the Buddha.
Shwenandaw Monastery is famous for its teakwood building, exquisite carvings, and history.
It's worth taking the time to wander around this beautiful structure as there are so many types of intricate woodwork to look at both inside and out.The ceiling on the inside is gilded and the lighting is perfect for photography.The teakwood carvings are very impressive and beautiful. Just enjoy the art.
Kuthodaw Pagoda and the World's Largest Book
Built between 1860 and 1868, Kuthodaw Pagoda is not only a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site but also contains a marble book of Buddhist history.
The complex has 729 marble tablets inscribed with the three main categories of texts of the Buddhist canon. Within the temple grounds, you will see rows and rows of shrines housing marble slabs. Each slab represents a page of the world's largest book.
It’s said that it takes 450 days to read them all if you spend 8 hours reading them every day. You will be astonished to see these marble tablets when you walk around.
Take Your Time to Explore Inwa, Sagaing, and Mingun
If you are obsessed with the history of Mandalay, visiting ancient towns is your best option. Inwa, Sagaing, and Mingun had a splendid history in ancient times, and deserve a full exploration.
In Inwa, visiting the Yedanasini Pagoda, Bagaya Kyaung, and Nan Myint Tower or taking a horse-drawn cart to the countryside are highly recommended.
In Sagaing, you can visit Sagaing Hill. Gorgeous temples dot the hillsides, making for a delightful view of the hilly jungle, with stupas dotting the scene.The Buddhist culture is really vibrant there.
In Mingun,taking a boat trip across the Irrawaddy River, visiting the Mingun Pahtodawgyi,ringing the Mingun Bell, and climbing the Hsinbyume Pagoda are definitely interesting and unforgettable for you.
Enjoy Special Experiences
Watch a Sunrise and Sunset at Mandalay Hill
If you visit Mandalay in pleasant weather conditions, watching a sunrise and sunset at Mandalay Hill is highly recommended.
Mandalay Hill is known for its abundance of pagodas and monasteries, and for having the highest altitude in the city.It’s quite an experience to survey the foggy city dotted with pagodas in the early morning sunlight,or to see the beautiful pagodas and stunning colors as the sun is setting.
A special atmosphere is generated as you watch the sunset.
Take a Boat Trip to Watch a Sunset Over U Bein Bridge
U Bein Bridge,the longest teak bridge in the world, was constructed from 984 teak posts. When the sun is about to go down under the skyline, you can release the camera shutter to capture the best moment of U Bein Bridge: a red afterglow and the sparkling lake accompanied by dancing waves.
Visit Myanmar with Asia Highlights
We provide tailor-made tours to Myanmar. Tours typically start or end in Yangon or Mandalay and last approximately 9 days; visiting Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake.
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