Weather

Myanmar Weather

Although Burma has two distinct seasons – dry and wet – you can visit the country throughout the year. That being said, at the peak of the wet season some regions become inaccessible and some, such as Ngapali Beach, close altogether in preparation for the high winds and heavy rainfall that batter the coast annually.

Like much of South-East Asia, Burma’s dry season runs from October through to May and the wet season from May/June through to early October, when the south-west monsoon starts to blow. Within each season there are variations in temperature, with the dry months leading up to the wet season (March and April) and the early wet season (May and June) usually being the hottest of the year when temperatures can reach astronomical highs. The colder months follow the end of the rains, from October to December/January, when it is cool in the foothills and highland areas, especially at night. The driest regions of the country, avoiding much of the annual rain, are the plains surrounding Bagan and Mandalay which remain relatively dry aside from the odd heavy downpour, all the way through to August.

As you would expect, temperatures throughout the country are greatly affected by altitude and therefore the hill stations, lakes and Himalayan foothills are far cooler than southern lowland and coastal regions.

As a general rule north, upper central and eastern regions are at a higher altitude than those in the west, lower central and south where humidity is higher and temperatures in excess of 40°C are not uncommon during March and April.

The very best months to visit Burma are from November to February however this is also the busiest time when securing accommodation can become problematic. Many experienced travellers often consider the ‘mid-season’, either side of this peak period, as the best time to visit as the weather is still generally very good (albeit ‘cooler’ in the months preceding and hotter in the months following the peak season) and crowds are far more minimal. One of the Selective Asia team recently visited in October and found the balance to be absolutely perfect – and yes he did still return with a very envious tan!

Throughout the country in all but the hottest months of the year it is often advisable to have a jumper or fleece for the evenings, when there is a tendency for it to get quite cool.

January

January weather top tip

Enjoy Christmas at home with the family, flying out to Burma just as the high season madness subsides to enjoy some of the best all-round weather of the year.

January

The dry season continues throughout the month of January, with excellent conditions expected throughout Burma. January is peak season, as temperatures begin to rise and the entire country expects premium travelling conditions.

In the south and along the west coast the beaches will be basking in sunshine, whilst the chill in the foothills and Shan region starts to lessen (although a jumper or fleece is still very advisable at night and in the early morning). The central plains will also be dry and hot although more manageable than in the months to come.

Rainfall of any sort is unlikely and temperatures in the lowlands are likely to reach into the high 20’s°C and even the eastern and northern highlands will reach 25°C although evenings are still likely to be chilly.

February

February weather top tip

Amongst the best weather conditions of the year. February is bright and dry, without the searing heat expected in late April and May.

February

Things continue to improve as you enter February with the coming two months arguably the best time of the year to visit Burma. The downside to the great weather is of course the higher visitor numbers and, whilst these are anything but excessive, the limited choice of hotels in some key destinations means that it’s important to book early to avoid disappointment.

With no rain expected throughout the month and the chilly winter feel in the highlands now a thing of the past (early mornings still have a bit of a chill in places), you can expect premium travelling conditions across the country.

In the south and along the west coast, the beaches will be basking in sunshine, whilst the chill has been lifted off foothills and Shan region. The central plains will also be dry and hot although more manageable than in the months to come.

Temperatures in the lowlands average highs of 32°C and even the eastern and northern highlands will be in the high 20’s°C. In these parts, the evenings can still be a little chilly.

March

March weather top tip

Enjoy great weather and avoid the hotel rate increases that will come into play after Burmese New Year in mid-April.

March

It doesn’t get any better than March; arguably the best time of the year to travel in Burma. The downside to the great weather is of course the tourist numbers, and whilst these are anything but excessive, the limited choice of hotels in some key destinations means that it’s important to book early to avoid disappointment.

With no rain expected throughout the month and the chilly winter feel in the highlands now a distant memory; you can expect excellent weather across the country.

In the south and along the west coast, the beaches will be basking in sunshine, whilst the chill has been lifted off foothills and Shan region. The central plains will also be dry and hot although more manageable than in the months to come.

Temperatures in the lowlands average highs of 35°C and even the eastern and northern highlands will be in the low 30’s°C.

April

April weather top tip

Booking early is essential as many Burmese people will also travel over the new year period to visit family and friends.

April

April arrived and things really start to heat up as the mercury starts to climb towards some of the highest temperatures of the year. Visitor numbers are still at their highest and therefore it is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment.

With no rain expected throughout the month and the chilly winter feel in the highlands now a distant memory; you can expect excellent weather across the country.

In the south and along the west coast be sure to have packed your Ambre Solaire as the beaches will be basking in sunshine with temperatures climbing as high as 36°C. In central lowland regions you can expect average highs either side of 40°C whilst even the highlands are expected to be well on their way to the mid-30’s°C.

May

May weather top tip

April’s sky high temperatures start to recede and whilst the weather is less predictable than earlier in the year, you still have a very good chance of good weather.

May

Not much change from last month with May remaining very hot as the mercury reports frankly unnatural figures at times. Visitor numbers start to decline making this month a very agreeable time of year to visit for any serious sun worshippers! Temperatures do tend to start to dip a little towards the end of the month (monthly range from 32 – 38°C) and in reality this is most welcome.

The heavy rains are just around the corner so you can expect showers in many parts and it is likely, again towards the end of the month, that a breeze will pick up, helping to cool the land.

The central plains to the south of Mandalay don’t fall in with the rest of the country, remaining dry and with temperatures remaining astronomical, touching 40’°C at times. The beaches remain hot and dry although the ‘season’ comes to an end in May, with resorts battening down the hatches in preparation for the less favourable weather in the coming months.

June

June weather top tip

Far from disastrous. Whilst the weather in June can be mixed, visitor numbers at the key sites and in the city are far lower making for an enhanced travel experience.

June

Certainly a month of change, as summer makes way for the south-west monsoon, bringing cooler temperatures and more rainfall. In reality June is often a very pleasant month to travel as the weather can remain relatively dry and the sky-high temperatures of the past few months are subdued.  Showers tend to be relatively short lived, increasing in intensity as we head towards July.

The central plains to the south of Mandalay remain the hottest and driest region of the country, with temperatures still in the low to mid 30’s°C. Elsewhere the mercury tends to hover around 30°C, so still far from chilly!

Most of the beach resorts will be closed by mid-June as they prepare for the less favourable weather expected in the coming months.

July

July weather top tip

Low visitor numbers and a good chance of some sunny days in the north and east of Burma.

July

As the month progresses, the rainfall begins to peak, with heavy rains expected throughout much of the country as the south-western monsoon increases in intensity. Temperatures remain high across the country (averaging highs of 27 – 30°C), however rainfall is also high.

The beaches on the west and southern coast are now closed and road travel across much of the country becomes difficult, in many cases impossible.

The central plains to the south of Mandalay remaining the hottest and driest region of the country, with temperatures still in the low to mid 30’s°C and rainfall relatively minimal.

Can you still visit Burma in July – yes certainly. Are there better months to visit – yes certainly!

August

August weather top tip

OK, so there’s going to be rain, however landscapes and paddy fields are at their very best!

August

No change from July, although rainfall will start to lessen towards the end of the month. Despite this, wherever you travel in Burma you should expect heavy rains.

Temperatures remain high (averaging highs of 27 – 30°C) and the beaches on the west and southern coast are now closed with road travel across much of the country difficult, in many cases impossible.

Can you still travel in Burma in August – yes, just. Are there better months to visit – without question!

September

September weather top tip

We speak from experience (4 separate trips to Burma made in September by the SA team) when we say that the September, especially the second half, can deliver some excellent weather conditions whilst visitor numbers remain lower.

September

Another month of change as the rainfall starts to subside and temperatures also drop, although don’t expect snow anytime soon with temperatures remaining in the high 20’s and even early 30’s°C.

Tourist numbers remain very low and much of the country is hard to reach by road and beach resorts remain closed.

The central plains to the south of Mandalay are once again the hottest and driest region of the country, with temperatures in the low 30’s°C and minimal rainfall.

Rainfall and temperatures will continue to fall as October approaches.

October

October weather top tip

The good times return with hot and dry weather once again expected across Burma.

October

With the levels of rainfall now more manageable, Burma once again opens its doors to travellers. Despite the coolest months of the year being just around the corner, temperatures throughout the month are likely to remain in the high 20’s and even early 30’s°C.

The central plains to the south of Mandalay are once again the hottest and driest region of the country, with temperatures in the low 30’s°C and minimal rainfall.

The beach resorts start to open again, however you should expect an erratic service for the opening week as new staff find their feet and work continues to repair any damage suffered during the monsoon.

October is very much mid-season and can be a very good time to visit with high chance of good weather and relatively low tourist numbers.

November

November weather top tips

Always a popular month, be sure to book early to secur eyour first choice hotels.

November

The rainy season is already becoming a distant memory and for many November promises the best conditions to visit Burma. Visitor numbers are still relatively low and the temperatures more moderate than the early half of the year, however still expect average high’s of up to 31°C across much of the country.

In the highlands and foothills of the east, the temperatures are close to their lowest with average highs of 25°C and appropriate clothing is required, especially at night.

The south and west coast beaches are returning to their best with resorts now fully open and the plenty of sunshine expected.

December

December weather top tip

Great weather throughout the month. If your dates are flexible, avoid the Christmas and NY dates to avoid peak season surcharges.

December

The rainy season is now a distant memory with excellent conditions expected throughout Burma. Rainfall is unlikely and despite being one of the coolest months of the year, you can still expect average high’s of up to 31°C across much of the country.

In the highlands and foothills of the east, the temperatures are at their lowest with average highs of 24°C and appropriate clothing is required, especially at night.

The south and west coast beaches are back to their best with resorts now fully open and the plenty of sunshine expected.