Until fairly recently, Myanmar was a mystery and off-limits to travelers. But now the unspoiled country is opening up to tourism, offering unblemished beauty to curious explorers – with majestic temples, pristine beaches, and primeval jungle just waiting to be explored.
The best time to visit Myanmar is between November–February. During the cool season, it offers warm temps with relatively dry air – but keep in mind this is peak tourist season, so expect crowds and higher prices.
Hot season lasts from March–May, with temperatures reaching the high 30℃s (80℉). Still, it's a great time to travel if you can stand the heat, as there’s unlikely to be any rainfall.
Traveling in Monsoon season, June–October, isn’t as bad as it sounds. Although it does rain often, it won't limit your options too much in terms of activities, and you’re still going to get plenty of dry days, less crowds, and lower prices.
Trekking, however, can be hit and miss during monsoon season, with the rain often turning the muddy paths into slip-and-slides.
Keep in mind that the infamous balloons over Bagan only fly between October–April, so if this is on your bucket list, you may need to plan accordingly.
Multi-day treks offered from Kalaw to Inle Lake are sure to satisfy adventure junkies. Although a fairly easy trek, the views offered and authentic experiences during your homestays make it worth the blisters.
There’s no shortage of spirituality in Myanmar, but the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon has got to be one of the most impressive and spiritually-uplifting places of religious importance.
Upon entering the golden playground where the temple is located, you’re greeted with spectacular beauty and the atmosphere is instantly calming.
People from all backgrounds, monks and locals alike, walk around praying, bathing Buddha statues for good luck, and offering flowers and fruit. It’s hard not to feel compelled to just sit and observe the magic happening around you.
No trip to Myanmar is complete without a stop at Bagan. The sight of over 2,000 temples and pagodas on the Bagan plains alone is incredible, and that’s before even mentioning the jaw-dropping sunrises that cast light over them each morning.
These are the remains of over 10,000 temples, pagodas, and monasteries that were built between the 11th and 13th centuries, and are a breathtaking insight into a country that’s dominated by religion.
It’s currently possible to climb up the temples for sweeping views of the plains, and offers some of the most insta-worthy opportunities in Myanmar. Watch out, Angkor Wat, Bagan is here to give you a run for your money.
Will Hatton from The Broke Backpacker has a few tips and recommendations to help you obtain your visa and the vaccinations you need before you go to Myanmar.
Master these Burmese phrases to impress the locals you meet while traveling Myanmar, and snag a bargain for that bowl of noodles you’ve been eyeing off.