Myanmar weather & when to go: October
With the levels of rainfall now more manageable, Myanmar once again opens its doors to travellers. Despite the coolest months of the year being just around the corner, temperatures throughout October are likely to remain in the high 20s and even early 30s°C.
October's weather in detail
The central plains to the south of Mandalay are once again the hottest and driest region of the country, with temperatures in the low 30s°C and minimal rainfall experienced during October. Across Myanmar rainfall is greatly reduced and bright sunny days start to become the norm.
The beach resorts start to open again, but in some instances you should expect a slightly below par service for the opening week, as new staff find their feet and work continues to repair any damage suffered during the monsoon. Away from the coast the 'Big 4' of Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake are expecting great weather as are most other key places of interest. The river water levels are high on all the rivers meaning that the cruise boats ae sailing again and its the perfect time to sail the Upper Ayeyarwady River and on the Chindwin River.
October is very much mid-season, and can be a very good time to visit Myanmar with a high chance of good weather and lower tourist numbers than in the months that follow.
You may be wondering whether you should be travelling to Myanmar. It's a complex situation, and Selective Asia's Gemma has shared some insightful thoughts on travelling responsibly in Myanmar - you can read them here.
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Our recommended journeys
Delving deep into this diverse country, An Insider's Myanmar takes in the bustle of Yangon and Mandalay, Bagan’s awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage temples, and the beauty of Inle Lake, then steps off the well-trodden trail into the Kalaw hills, and south into remote Kayah State, only recently opened up to visitors.
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Key Festivals & Religious Ceremonies
Thadingyut Festival of Light
A countrywide celebration to mark the end of the Buddhist Lent. Pagodas and houses are lit up by candles and lanterns. The younger generation offer gifts to elders to show respect.
Dancing Elephant Festival Kyaukse
Another animal focused festival that we rather like is the Dancing Elephant Festival held in Kyaukse, south of Mandalay. Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve any real dancing elephants; the locals construct and decorate life-sized bamboo elephants which dance enthusiastically through town (with a little help from the two men inside), to be judged by a group of town elders. The best dressed / danced elephant wins a cash prize. Why elephants? Back in the 11th century, the King let his royal elephants choose the auspicious location in which to enshrine the Buddha’s tooth relic; they stopped at Thar Lyaung Mountain near Kyaukse, and the festival is held here in their honour, every October, at the end of the rainy season.
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival
Set on Inle Lake and one of the most fun festivals of the calendar which includes 'leg-rowing' boat racing!