Long treated as a pariah state due to its repressive military government, the nation formally known as Burma is becoming an increasingly popular stop on the traveller trail. After years of self-imposed isolation, the country is decades behind its neighbours in terms of amenities and tourism, yet that’s part of the appeal. In place of chain stores and backpacker bars, you’ll find monks and monasteries, hill tribes, towering golden stupas and a pace of life dictated by the steady flow of the Ayeryarwady River. From gleaming golden pagodas and bustling local markets to serene riverside landscapes.
The most recognisable sight in Myanmar is the 2,200 or more temples, spread out over Bagan’s plains reaching as far as the eye can see. Inle Lake is also a destination not to be missed, with its traditional stilted over-water houses and floating gardens, its leg-rowing fisherman and vibrant weekly markets. Enjoy visiting glorious former royal capitals, charming rural scenes and magical river cruises along the Irrawaddy or Chindwin rivers. If you want a little time to unwind, head to Myanmar’s beautiful beaches on the west coast.
- The breathtaking plain of temples at Bagan
- Wonky bridges and hilltop stupas in the serene villages around Mandalay
- Foot rowers swirling through the morning mist on Inle Lake
- Shop for Buddhist trinkets at Yangon Bogyoke Aung San Market
- Jewl-encrusted Schwedagon Paya, one of the world’s grandest Buddhist monuments
- Listen to waves lap at the shore of Ngapali beach
When to Visit
The best time to visit Myanmar is in the dry and “cooler” season from November to February when the rains have abated and the temperatures less extreme. From March to May, the mercury line can reach in excess of 40 degrees, particularly in the central plains around Bagan and Mandalay. In the peak of the wet season, May to September, some regions become inaccessible such as Ngapali due to heavy rainfall.
Average monthly high and low temperatures, plus average monthly rainfall and days with rain can be seen below for Bagan / Mandalay & Yangon.