About Myanmar

Weather

        

 

Myanmar has tropical weather overall which can be divided into three seasons.

  • Rainy Season (Mid May – October)
  • Cool Dry Season (November – February)
  • Hot Dry Season (March – Mid May)

As Myanmar has different geographical features from south to north and east to west, traveling can be done all year round to different parts depending on seasons. The South-West of Myanmar is a long coastal line facing Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. The North-East region is the hilly area while the central part of Myanmar is a dry zone. The northern most part of Myanmar is continuous with Himalaya and covers with snow most of the time. In the rainy season (Mid May – October), the coastal region and southern part including Rakhine State, Delta region, Mon State, Kayin State and Tanintharyi Division can get large amount of rain which limits traveling to those areas. Meanwhile, traveling to the central part of Myanmar is possible as the central part usually gets low rainfall.

From November to February is the traveling season in Myanmar. The weather is good with sunshine throughout the country enabling the tourists to travel to all parts of the country. As it is the traveling season, you need to book ahead if you would like to travel in these months. In some areas, the night temperature can drop especially in hilly areas and also, in the central dry region and therefore, it is good to carry warm clothes, shawls and blankets.

March – Mid May is the warmest time of Myanmar and the heat is strong in the central part. So, stay cool in this season by drinking plenty of water and wearing light clothing. When it becomes very humid, it can lead to rain. However, the rain is usually short with small amount of water and it doesn’t disturb the traveling. It is a good time to travel to the mountainous areas in North-West, Norther and Eastern areas.

 

Time zone and Business hours

                

               

 

Festivals and Public Holidays

Myanmar calendar is based on Lunar Cycle. Usually, it has 12 months in a year but to adjust with sidereal years, it has 13 months every 2-3 years. If you calculate with Western calendar, there will be slight different. Myanmar people do not have problem with living on Myanmar calendar and on Western calendar at the same time.
Myanmar is a land of festivals. It has traditional Burmese festivals, ethnic festivals, religious festivals and special events. The pagoda festivals are usually celebrated at famous pagodas and they are usually held around full moon days during January, February, March and April. Moreover, there are people who believe in Nat (Spirits) and so, there are Nat festivals too.

Public Holidays

January 04 Independent Day
February 12 Union Day
March 02 Peasants’ Day
March 02 Full Moon Day of Tabaung
March 27 Armed Forces Day (Tatmadaw Day)
April 13-16 Thingyan Water Festival
April 17 Burmese New Year’s Day
May 01 Labour Day
May 10 Full Moon Day of Kasone
July 08 Full Moon Day of Waso (Dammasetkya Day. Beginning of Buddhist Lent)
July 19 Martyr’s Day
October 05 Full Moon Day of Thadingyut (End of Buddhist Lent)
November 03 Full Moon Day of Tazaungmone
November 13 National Day (10th Waning Day of Tazaungmone)
December 18 Kayin New Year Day
December 25 Christmas Day
 
 
 

Language and Culture

 

There are 8 main ethnic groups in Myanmar – Kachin, Kayar, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. The main language is Burmese. Apart from Burmese, there are 7 other main ethnic groups and their sub ethnic groups speaking more than 135 dialects in Myanmar. Moreover, there are Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindustani, Urdu spoken Chinese and Indian immigrates. You can experience different cultures and languages throughout the country. It would be better to hire a local guide when you visit the ethnic regions as they can help you with language and also advise you the cultures of different ethnic people. Since Myanmar is a mainly Theravada Buddhism country and conservative, it is not appropriate to wear spaghetti blouse, sleeveless, short skirts or short pants when you go to religious areas. Myanmar people are very friendly and helpful to visitors but they will expect you to respect their cultures. Myanmar people love to wear their traditional dresses and they will like you if they see you wearing their traditional dresses. Myanmar people like tourists when they see them participating in their festivals. Myanmar people do not accept wearing Buddhist or Pagoda tattoos and clothes with Buddha/Pagoda pictures on the lower half of body and they see it as an insult to the religion. Therefore, if you have those tattoos, it is advisable to hide it throughout your stay in Myanmar.