Hotel in Myanmar

Myanmar (Burma) is amazing. This country of 60 million is rapidly emerging from more than 50 years of military dictatorship, blossoming into as worthy a stop as its popular neighbors. The people are more than friendly; they're thrilled to have tourists after being closed off to the West for so long. And it's safe; you won't constantly need to feel for your purse or hold your jewelry tightly.

Myanmar is a country straddling two worlds—there's Wi-Fi but just 5% of the population has a mobile phone. There are pristine 12th-century pagodas and beautiful beaux-arts buildings, though how long they'll be preserved remains to be seen, which makes now the time to go. A note about this guide: It is impossible to go to Myanmar and not indirectly give money to the government; the airlines and many of the better hotels are connected to the government. We encourage travelers to do their best to support independent businesses.

Top Reason to Go

  • Explore pagodas Slip off your shoes and stare slack-jawed at Bagan's staggering spread of 2,000-plus 11th- and 12th-century pagodas.
  • Sweat it out Spicy curries, giant chili-soaked prawns, and piquant salads help you beat the heat.
  • Travel back in time The turn-of-the-century colonial buildings that line Yangon's Strand Road stand just as they did during British rule.
  • Get in early China opened up rapidly and became Disneyfied, and many fear the same will happen in Myanmar.
  • Know kindness Burmese locals will welcome you warmly; some might even invite you into their homes.

When to Go to Myanmar

Peak Season: Mid-October to February

The Burmese call this the cold season, but you'll still find yourself plenty toasty, with temperatures in the hotter areas hovering in the mid-90s°F (mid-30s°C) in October, down to the mid-80s°F (around 26°C) in February. Hotels fill up quickly and rates will be at their highest. Airline prices won't skyrocket but planes are quite small and book up quickly.

Off-Season: Late May to Late September
Southwestern monsoons, particularly from July to September, leave the country drenched, particularly in the western Rakhine State. The problem is not so much the rain itself as the aftermath, when dirt roads become impassible fields of mud. This is certainly the least expensive time to go. Around Pyay and Mandalay, you should be able to sightsee without getting soaked.
Shoulder Season: March to May

It's always hot and humid in Myanmar, but these are the months during which you'll roast if not careful. Temperatures in Yangon can easily top 100°F (38°F), with temperatures going even higher in Bagan and Mandalay. Still, because it's dry, hotel rates are not at their lowest, especially those with pools.


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