Every country in the world has a “best” time to travel there. Although most people go on holiday in the summer, there are countries for which the best time to travel is autumn or even winter. For a trip to Myanmar, it is likewise very important that travellers check when it is best to travel to the country. Also remember to apply for the visa in time, so that you don’t face any unwelcome surprises after arrival in Myanmar.
A country with large differences
Myanmar has large differences in altitude. Geographically, the country slopes from north to south. The highest point in Myanmar is Mount Hkakabo (5,881 metres), but in the south the country is at sea level. These differences in altitude mean that there are also large differences in temperature. The further north you go, the cooler it gets, while in the south of Myanmar it is hot and humid.
March to May: The hot season
In contrast to Europe, the hottest period in Myanmar is not in the summer months, but from March to May. In summer, the monsoon provides some cooling. This reaches the country around May, however. This means that temperatures in Myanmar from March to the beginning of the monsoon can be very high. Daytime temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius. This is often accompanied by very high humidity. Going outside is almost unbearable, which is a waste of the time spent in Myanmar.
May to October: the rainy season
Like many Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar has a rainy season. In Myanmar, the coastal regions and the western and south-western areas see roughly 5,000 millimetres of rain annually, while in the river delta areas about 2,500 mm of rain falls annually. 80% of this falls during the rainy season. In this period, Myanmar is in the middle of the south-west monsoon. The amount of rain that falls in this period can be extreme, and can quickly lead to flooding. Most tourists therefore choose not to go to Myanmar during the rainy season. This period is also not suitable for a trip to Myanmar for practical reasons, as many tourist attractions, such as Ngapali Beach, close in this period for safety reasons.
November to February: The winter season
Although this period is known as the winter season, temperatures are still pleasant. However, unlike the hot season, the temperature in these months are quite bearable. The humidity is a lot less and the heavy rainfall of the monsoon is not present. The months from November to February are therefore considered the best period to visit Myanmar. The figures support this: income from tourism in Myanmar is the highest in these months.
For each period: Myanmar visa required
Regardless of the period in which you visit the country, all British and Irish travellers need a Myanmar visa to stay in the country. Unlike the climate, this does not require extensive planning. The visa is easy to apply for online. After the application form is completed and approved, a so-called "approval letter" is sent by mail. This is not the visa itself, but a document stating that the traveller will receive a visa upon arrival in Myanmar without further costs. The visa is valid for 90 days, but you can stay in the country for up to 30 consecutive days.