Although the rainy season is not always a favorable time to travel to Myanmar, many tourists still choose a trip to this country during that period because of several reasons. The weather is more pleasant, less sweltering and sultry. Moreover, it is cheaper and less touristic than the dry season. This article will show you some best places to visit during rainy season in Myanmar.

Rainy Season in Myanmar

Bagan
Bagan

Rainy season in Myanmar stretches from June to early October. From June to August, the rainfall is so constant and considerable that some places such as Ngapali Beach are inaccessible. However, in September and October, the rain is less frequent and you can enjoy more sunshine. Thank to the rains, the weather in Myanmar during rainy seasons is cooler and you can experience more outdoor activities.

Since Myanmar is a large country, the weather varies in different latitudes. The rains are more frequent in Yangon and in the southern and western parts. On the contrary, the central region (Mandalay and Bagan) experiences fewer heavy downpours than other parts.

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Remember to bring a light raincoat when traveling to Myanmar in rainy season. The temperature decreases after dawn, so warmer clothes such as cardigans or jeans are required if you walk around towns at night.

Events and Festivals during Rainy Season in Myanmar

1. Chinlone (Cane Ball) Festival (June to July)

This is definitely a must-go festival for sports enthusiasts. Organized in Mandalay every year at Mahamuni Pagoda, Chinlone Festival, which lasts for around a month, is a unique cultural event. Chinlone (also known as a cane ball) is made of women cane, thus it is light enough for players to pass it around without using their hands. Rather than a tournament, this festival will give you a chance to interact with local people in an exhilarating game and enjoy other entertaining performances.

2. Taungbyone Nat Pwe (August)

Taungbyone Nat Pwe
Taungbyone Nat Pwe

A week-long Nat Pwe in Taungbyone, a small village in Mandalay, is considered the largest spiritual event in Myanmar. Nat Pwe, or spirit festival, is held throughout the country, but the most exciting one is in Taungbyone. The festival takes place in the eighth month’s full moon of Burmese calendar, normally in August. The purpose of Nat Pwe is to express the goodwill to the ghosts.

3. Manuha Pagoda Festival (late September or early October)

Manuha Pagoda Festival is held in 3 days starting from one day before the Full moon of Tawthalin in Burmese calendar. During this festival, rice cakes and watermelon are served for all visitors, which can be dated back to the time of King Manuha. Monks around the pagoda gather to collect food offerings from visitors. The locals make brilliant paper figures of the Manuha King himself, tigers, cows, and elephants, creating colorful scenery in the whole city.

4. Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival (September to October)

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is the most important pagoda in Inle Lake. It is the home to five small gilded images of Buddha which are covered by gold leaves. Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival takes place in 18 days during the month of Thadingyut in Burmese calendar. At the festival, the Buddha images will tour from village to village. Another highlight of this event is a boat race festival when you can see rowers move the boat with one leg.

5. Bo Bo Gyi Nat Festival (late September or early October)

Bo Bo Gyi Nat Festival
Bo Bo Gyi Nat Festival

Bo Bo Gyi Nat Festival is held on the shores of Taungthaman Lake, next to the famous U Bein Bridge. Thousands of pilgrims gather at this place and throw small packets of tea leaves at one another. This event is dedicated to Bo Bo Gyi, the highly respected alchemist who is considered as a Nat (spirit) in Myanmar. Unlike other festivals where people dance or drink alcohol together, the locals just cook and enjoy traditional dishes together at Bo Bo Gyi Nat Festival.

Recommended Places to Visit during Rainy Season in Myanmar

Actually, some places in Burma are better to visit during the rainy season. Just remember to research the weather forecast before your trip.

1. Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda - Yangon
Shwedagon Pagoda – Yangon

Some attractions in Yangon such as Shwedagon Pagoda are crowded with tourists during peak season, so rainy season is a perfect time for you to discover the authenticity of this city. Just do not forget to carry a raincoat or umbrella! Shwedagon Pagoda should be the must-include attraction on your tour to this country. This is the most sacred Buddhist spot in Burma since it stores the strand of Buddha’s hair. It stupas are covered in 4,531 diamonds, making Shwedagon a real treasure. A visit to this historical site requires at least 2 hours and we advise that you should take some photos of mesmerizing sunsets on this pagoda. Other religious buildings to see in Yangon are Sule Pagoda, Chauk Htet Kyi Pagoda, and Swal Taw Pagoda. If you are interested in the colonial era, head to Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott’s Market), Saint Mary’s Cathedral and Pansodan Street, which contained many governmental and residential buildings constructed during that era.

2. Mandalay

U Bein Bridge - Mandalay
U Bein Bridge – Mandalay

During rainy seasons, Mandalay rewards tourists a greener scenery and tranquil atmosphere which is completely contradictory to the scorching sun in dry seasons. Located in the north of Burma, Mandalay is the fusion between old-world colonial beauty and Far East’s mystery. Tourists can have a chance to understand the glorious history of this city through the Royal Palace citadel at the foot of Mandalay Hill. Conquering this hill, you will reach the summit for the panoramic view of the whole city and at the same time interact with local monks who are eager to study English. Just outside the Royal Palace comes a stunning wooden building – the Shwenandaw Monastery. It was originally a part of the palace of a king; however, his son moved it outside since he believed that the monastery was haunted by his father’s spirit. The cannot-miss site in Mandalay is obviously U Bein Bridge, which looks splendor at both sunrise and sunset.

3. Bagan

Bagan
Bagan

Considered as the ‘dry zone’ of Myanmar, the rains in Bagan are often short. Compared to the sweltering period from March to May, the temperature in this city during rainy season is much lower, which is perfect for tourists to discover the massive system of temples and pagodas here. You know what is the best thing about Bagan? When it rains, the temples will be a perfect shelter! So do not hesitate to include Bagan on your list during this rainy season. This most famous destination in Myanmar used to be the ancient capital of this country from the 9th to 13th century. During its heyday at that time, Bagan was the home to over 10,000 temples but now only 350 of them remain. Some must-see places in this town are Shwezigon Temple, the original version of Shwedagon Temple, Ananda Temple, the most beautiful temple in Bagan, Htilo Mininlo Temple, Thatbyinnyu Temple, and Dhammayangyi Temple, the largest temple.

4. Inle Lake

Inle Lake
Inle Lake

Inle Lake is definitely the place to visit all year-round – there are only short showers during rainy season! And you can enjoy the cool evening as well. Located in Nyaungshwe Township in the west of Shan State, Inle Lake is well-known for its iconic symbol of one-leg rowing fishermen, which you may come across in many world famous travel magazines. With an area of 116 square meters and surrounded by mountain ranges, this lake seems like a secluded world. A typical day trip to Inle Lake contains sightseeing the captivating water scenery, visiting several small local villages, and discovering some pagodas and monasteries. You can see several traditional handicraft workshops in the area: silk weaving, cigarette manufacturing, and gold and silver producing. When you finish your boat trip to the lake, you may want to discover Nyaungshwe deeper. The local market, Red Mountain Estate Vineyards, and numerous dining options around the lake’s bank are your top choices.

5. Mingun

Hsinbyume (Myatheindan) Pagoda - Mingun
Hsinbyume (Myatheindan) Pagoda – Mingun

11 km upriver from Mandalay, Mingun is popular for its ruined Mingun Pahtodawgyi. This building is an uncompleted stupa built by King Bodawpaya in 1790. It would have been the largest temple in the world with a height of 150 meters, but the earthquake in 1839 destroyed a part of the stupa. In the Mingun Pahtodawgyi complex, there is a 90-tonne bell called Mingun Bell, the largest ringing bell in the world. Just a couple of minutes from this structure lies the gorgeous white Hsinbyume (Myatheindan) Pagoda. This pagoda has a quite different design and style compared to other Buddhist sites in Myanmar.

6. Bago

Shwemawdaw Pagoda – Bago

Located 80 kilometers northeast of Yangon, Bago (formerly Pegu) is one of several ancient capitals in Burma and famous for its splendid religious buildings. Bago is ideal for a day trip from Yangon before you leave this city behind.  Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, also known as the Golden God Temple, is the must-see site in the city. With 114 meters high and 15 meters tall, this pagoda is claimed to be the tallest pagoda in Myanmar, even taller than the extraordinary Shwedagon Pagoda. Its towering shires can be seen from miles around. Other attractions to visit here are Mahazedi Pagoda, Shwethar lyaung Pagoda, and Myatha Lyaung Buddha.

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