Weather in Myanmar (Burma)
The southeast Asian state of Myanmar (previously Burma) is emerging as an attractive holiday destination, revealing its ancient mysteries and breathtaking beauty to the world. One thing about Myanmar which is not a mystery is its climate: with its southern tip almost nudging the equator, and it’s extremely long shoreline along the coast of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman sea, it is no surprise to learn that the climate in Myanmar is classically tropical, complete with monsoon seasons.
In a nutshell, the weather in Myanmar is hot, humid and wet, all year round, but there are variations in temperature and incidence of rainfall to be had depending on location and season. The positive aspect of monsoon rains is that they tend to fall mainly in the afternoons and evenings, leaving sunny mornings for sightseeing or enjoying the beach.
Overall Myanmar’s coastal regions receive in excess of 5,000 mm (196.9 ins) of rain each year. The country is fortunate to have a central “dry zone”, protected by mountains, where the annual average is below 1,000mm (39.4 ins).
When it comes to temperature, the average on the coast is 32°C (89.6°F), exacerbated by high humidity, but it is generally cooler in the northern mountains, and the interior around areas like Inle Lake and Bagan.
The climate of Myanmar is traditionally divided into three seasons: a hot season, from March to April, the rainy season between May and October, and the “cool” season from November to February. The weeks preceding the monsoon bring steamy heat, particularly along the coast and Delta regions, then the rains set in in May, often bringing floods and overflowing rivers. When the monsoon tails off in November conditions become marginally cooler, sunny and there may even be the relief of cool breezes on occasion.
When is the best time to go to Myanmar?
Those who enjoy heat will find a holiday in Myanmar enjoyable any time of year. Even during the rainy season (May to October) there is sunshine to be had between showers, and if you plan to visit the central or northern areas, the hot season in March and April can be enjoyable. The recognised main tourist season, however, is between November (when the monsoon ends) and April, when conditions are sunny, dry and hot. This is when most of the country’s renowned festivals take place.
What to pack for a holiday in Myanmar
Keep the suitcase light, and pack lightweight clothing of material that dries quickly. It is best to bring clothing ideal for trekking and outdoor activity; pack t-shirts and long shorts, at least one change of swimming costume, a light covering like a sarong, as well as long sleeved shirts and hiking trousers. Remember that the Buddhist culture expects modesty, so cover up at monasteries and temples– and don't forget to take your shoes off. Always take a lightweight raincoat and a few extra layers for the cooler months or travel to elevated areas. Carry basic medical supplies and a water bottle with enough fresh water for the day; binoculars are useful for jungle treks.
Weather in Myanmar in January
Average temperature in Myanmar in January: 20.5°C, 68.9°F
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in January: 26.6°C, 79.9°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in January: 3mm, 0.1in
Note: January is peak holiday season in Myanmar mainly because of the favourable weather conditions. Rain is a rarity, with the coastal areas baking in long hours of sunshine, and the hill country to the north experiencing pleasant warm days with chilly nights. In the interior temperatures are high under cloudless skies, but not as high as they will be in the months to come.
Weather in Myanmar in February
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in February: 27.6°C, 81.8°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in February: 0mm, 0in
Weather in Myanmar in March
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in March: 28.7°C, 83.7°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in March: 16mm, 0.6in
Weather in Myanmar in April
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in April: 29.8°C, 85.6°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in April: 14mm, 0.5in
Weather in Myanmar in May
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in May: 30.1°C, 86.2°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in May: 151mm, 5.9in
Weather in Myanmar in June
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in June: 28.9°C, 84.1°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in June: 110mm, 4.3in
Weather in Myanmar in July
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in July: 28.4°C, 83.1°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in July: 77mm, 3in
Weather in Myanmar in August
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in August: 27.8°C, 82°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in August: 99mm, 3.8in
Weather in Myanmar in September
Average temperature in Myanmar in September: 29°C, 84.2°F
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in September: 27.6°C, 81.7°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in September: 127mm, 5 in
Weather in Myanmar in October
Average temperature in Myanmar in October: 28°C, 82.4°F
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in October: 29.1°C, 84.4°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in October: 152mm, 5.9 in
Weather in Myanmar in November
Average temperature in Myanmar in November: 24°C, 75.2°F
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in November: 29.4°C, 84.9°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in November: 25mm, 0.9 in
Weather in Myanmar in December
Average temperature in Myanmar in December: 20.5°C, 68.9°F
Sea temperature in Myanmar (Kyaikkami) in December: 27.8°C, 82.1°F
Average rainfall in Myanmar in December: 2mm, 0.07 in