Myanmar(Burma) has a tropical monsoon climate with three distinct seasons: the cool season from November to February; the hot season from March to May; and the wet season from June to October.
Three Seasons of Myanamr
The cool season is warm and dry with moderate temperatures hovering around 30°C. Blue skies are at their clearest and waters are turquoise, making it a great time for visiting archeological zones and beaches.
As temperatures increase to 40°C during the hot season, it feels intensely hot, especially the central region, making exploration of the archeological sites challenging at this time.
By the end of May, showers increase and monsoon storms sweep into the country bringing high rainfall. Certain places such as Yangon and the southern coast are wet, but the Mandalay region doesn’t see a lot of rain.
Weather: It continues dry throughout the country and the main tourist destinations enjoy the coolest weather of the year. The temperature is around 25°C.
Things to do: This is the best season for travelling around the country. River levels are still high enough for a cruise in the Irrawaddy River. Also, it’s a good time to enjoy the sunshine at Ngapali beach.
Weather: The weather is lovely, with dry conditions continuing. Temperatures hover around 30°C.
Things to do: This is still the best season for travelling around the country and visiting the beaches.
Weather: From March onwards, temperatures increase considerably, regularly reaching 40°C. Temperatures in the Upper Irrawaddy region are much higher and rainfall is still not likely. It’s much cooler in the hill towns of Shan State.
Things to do: Traveling around the country is still fine, but you need to cope with higher temperatures. Ngapali beach is perfect for a beach escape.
Weather: Temperatures climb towards the highest of the year, reaching over 40°C. Rainfall is still scarce.
Things to do: The Burmese New Year, Thingyan, is warmly celebrated nationwide in mid-April, with a carnival atmosphere filling the country. Crowds of people flock to the cities and people douse each other with water. It’s fun to join in the celebrations and get involved in the water-fights.
Weather: The southwest monsoon erupts in May, bringing rain showers. Temperatures tend to dip a little towards the end of the month.
Things to do: The number of tourists declines, as some visitors feel uncomfortable traveling around in the hot and humid weather. Most hotels at Ngapali beach close and there are fewer flights to the area, before the monsoon storms sweep in.
Weather: The southeast monsoon starts and by June it’s time for monsoon storms. About 51 in (1300 mm) of rain falls in the coastal area, and about 36 in (915 mm) in the Mandalay region. Temperatures drop a little.
Things to do: Most of the beach resorts will be closed, so it’s not a good time for the beach. Showers are usually short-lived and it’s easy to find temporary shelters, so the rain shouldn’t have a big detrimental impact on your overall experience at the main tourist destinations.
Weather: Rainfall reaches its annual peak, with temperatures hovering around 30°C.
Things to do: It’s certainly not the time for the beach areas, but the areas around Mandalay are much better. Road travel, however, becomes difficult.
Weather: Heavy downpours continue throughout the country and road conditions are still poor. Temperatures continue around 30°C.
Things to do: Road travel across much of the country can be difficult, especially in rural regions, as roads are often blocked by flooding.
Weather: Rainfall starts to subside, with far less rain than in previous months. Temperatures continue around 30°C.
Things to do: Certain places are still very wet, but the central plains to the south of Mandalay enjoy plenty of dry days.
Weather: Levels of rainfall continue to decrease and the dry season throughout the country is on the horizon. Temperatures are likely to remain around 30°C.
Things to do: Beach resorts start to re-open and Ngapali beach now caters for visitors again. October is mid-season and transitional, with promising weather conditions and relatively fewer tourists.
Weather: The dry season starts, with premium weather conditions. Temperatures are more moderate with average highs of 31°C. The highlands and foothills are much cooler. There is very little rainfall now.
Things to do: This is the beginning of the tourist high season, with good conditions for traveling around.
Weather: The dry season continues, with lower temperatures than the previous month. December is one of the coolest months, particularly in the highlands and foothills, with temperatures rarely rising above 31°C.
Things to do: This is the best season for travelling around the whole country, with ideal conditions for outdoor activities.
When visiting Myanmar, it’s recommended to wear lightweight cotton and linen clothing, with high temperatures and intense tropical heat all year round at the popular travel destinations. Normal dress code is to cover arms and legs when visiting temples, as a show of respect.
To avoid sunstroke while exploring, you will need a broad-brimmed hat. In addition, try thanaka, a natural yellowish-white paste made from ground bark, used by local people.
Warmer clothes should be brought in case of chilly nights, particularly in the cool season, when temperatures can drop to 17°C in the Mandalay region. A light raincoat is recommended for the rainy season.
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.