Khiri Travel Insider Tips – Visiting Myanmar in July to September?
Give your clients insider information so that they can avoid the crowds, make discoveries and have rewarding travel experience. On the doorstep to Buddhist New Year, we look at how to convince clients that it’s perfectly fine to visit Myanmar in July to September – with Edwin Briels, General Manager, Khiri Travel Myanmar
As a travel advisor, I have frequently been asked for the best time to visit Myanmar. The quick answer is October to March, but is that really true? Could it be that another period is actually better for certain clients? After having lived in Myanmar for over 10 years, my shortest answer is travelers can visit at any time of year. However, I would even qualify that if a client has the time and flexibility, then I would recommend avoiding travel to Myanmar in November and February, as these two months can be very busy with tourists. Myanmar has three seasons each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Winter is October to February and the temperature can dip to as cold as five degrees C (40 degrees F) especially in mountainous Shan State. The winter landscape is quite dry, but it can rain sometimes. The main tourist sites of Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake are busy, making it difficult to book rooms and encountering higher prices. During the Christmas to New Year holidays, hotels often charge for expensive, compulsory dinners in Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, and Ngapali. Overall, the winter season is a good time for trekking and outdoor soft adventures.
The summer season is from March to May. It is mostly dry until the rain starts in June. Upcountry the evenings are still cool, even in March and April. This season is a good time to include a few days at the beach and/or the hills of Shan State. When the weather gets really warm in April and May, it is good to take a break after lunch and enjoy the pool or have a nap from 2-4 pm during the hottest part of the day. The summer could be too hot for long trekking or long bike rides. Mid-April is the Water Festival, which is fun to join but many things close down for a few days. Overall, summer means fewer tourists so sightseeing is not as crowded and there are plenty of hotel rooms available.
Green season (the tourist-friendly word for the rainy season) is June to September. It is really refreshing to experience the first rain on a hot, humid afternoon in May and feel the temperature go down immediately! The green season is the favorite time of year for the people of Myanmar. The fields are beautiful and even the unusually dry area of Bagan has a lot of green vegetation. Statistically, it only rains half of the days and the rainfall is hard but of short duration. It is an excellent season to visit any part of the country except the beach. During this season, Yangon and the south can have a bit more rain than upcountry, therefore, visitors can plan to fly into Mandalay and leave a shorter visit to Yangon and the must-see Shwedagon Pagoda at the end of the trip.
Forget about the stories from ten years ago about road conditions. The roads are fine in all tourists areas and again, there are plenty of hotel rooms available! Last year Khiri had plenty of customers visiting during the July to September “green” season who said they had their best holiday ever.
Five quick reasons for clients to travel from July – September:
1. Landscapes. Paddy fields are at their best—green and bright!
2. Space. There is no queuing at tourist sites or hordes of tourists walking in front of other people’s camera and spoiling that unique photo moment.
3. Affordable. Why pay for peak season rates or holiday surcharges?
4. Choice. Get the actual hotel location and type that travelers request, not what is left available.
5. Personalized service. During the peak season, hotel and restaurant staff are typically overworked and understaffed. During July to September these same staff members are happy to give visitors the level of service they deserve and expect.
So next time your clients ask you when to travel to Myanmar I do hope you have all the information you need to convince them to travel out of the peak season because, yes, we do have PLENTY of hotel rooms available!
General Manager, Khiri Travel Myanmar