Wet and dry seasons sum up the weather and climate of Myanmar
The most common topic when discussing Southeast Asian travel is the monsoon season. Myanmar is no exception to discussing when the ‘best’ time to visit is as the dry and wet seasons are very distinct throughout the country. This travel guide will explain everything you need to know about the weather and climate of Myanmar.
Weather and Climate of Myanmar
The rainy season generally runs from May to October and the dry period lasts from December to April. Myanmar is a notoriously hot country on average, with April being the most brutal (well over 40˚C or 104˚F) and June, July, August and September being more moderate. The coolest month on average is July, the wettest month August and February the driest.
Most travelers shoot for November to February trips to Myanmar. Pro-Tip: Beat the crowds! October and March are great months to see all of what Myanmar has to offer and, generally speaking, fewer tourists are meandering about.
Another factor to consider in Myanmar’s tropical monsoon climate is the humidity. April is usually the hottest and humid, making travel rather difficult for those not accustomed to it. Humidity levels during this time period can range from 66% to 82.8%.
Due to the large size of Myanmar, areas in the northern plains such as Bagan and Mandalay can remain relatively dry with the occasional heavy downpours. Properly nicknamed the ‘dry zone,’ average annual rainfall here measures less than 1,000 mm with Mandalay receiving about 840 mm.
Altitude also plays a heavy part in the Golden Land’s average temperatures. The Himalayan foothills in the far north of the country remain much cooler than the southern coastal and lowland regions. The coastal regions receive over 5,000 mm of rain a year. Annual rainfall in the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) Delta region is measured at approximately 2,500 mm and in Yangon a flood-inducing 2,700 mm.
Dress like a Pro
Lightweight cotton and linen clothing is a must when traveling Southeast Asia. For travelers coming from Thailand, stocking up on cheap cotton t-shirts in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or any of the local markets is highly recommended. A sweater for potentially chilly nights up north, in the plains, on a boat trip or on an over air-conditioned bus is helpful and a raincoat is an absolute essential.