As one of the greatest architectural sites in Asia, Bagan is often the highlight on most trips to exotic Myanmar. Between the 11th and 13th centuries over 10,000 Buddhist temples were built a part of the ‘Pagan’ Empire. Today approximately 2,000 of these temples remain, covering an area of over 40 square kilometers.
We often get asked the question as to when might be the best time of the year to travel to visit the breathtaking site, so in our latest blog post we thought we would give an overview of what to expect when traveling to Bagan at different times of the year.
The stunning temple complex, situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, can be visited all year round, but exploring the huge site is a different experience from season to season, so any trip needs to be planned carefully.
Best time to travel to Bagan
October to end of March
The weather is generally at its best from the middle of October till the end of March, as during these months there is hardly a drop of rainfall and average daytime temperatures don’t get much higher than 30 °C.
Due to the excellent climate it’s the most popular time of year for visitors to travel to the area and thus considered high season.
This can mean finding hotel availability harder than in other periods (particularly when trying to book close to departure) as there is not a huge amount of accommodation on offer, especially when comparing to some of Asia’s other top temple sites like Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.
A highlight for many is the unforgettable experience of a hot air balloon trip over the different temples, stupas and the famous Irrawaddy River. It is though important to know that these memorable trips only operate between October to March (because of high winds and less reliable weather in other months), so if this trip is a must for you on your visit (as it rightly is for many) then these months are obviously the time to travel. Visiting at the end of October is our favorite time to travel in high season, as hotel availability will be better than in other times of the season , the balloon trips are running and the site will be looking at its best from the months of rainfall between June to September (more about this below).
April and May
In April and May the temperature is at its hottest, with average highs of over 40 °C in the middle of the day.
Though for those who don’t mind the heat the benefits of traveling at this time of year are great; there are plenty of hotel deals about and you will often have many of those amazing temples all to yourself!
Whatever the season, we always recommend getting up early and visiting the site at daybreak, as Bagan looks at its beautiful best in the early morning light.
Due to the high daytime temperatures in April and May, getting up early to visit in these two months really is a must, as temperatures at dawn are much more bearable, around 30 °C.
At this time of the year we would also suggest booking a hotel with a swimming pool, like the luxurious Bagan Lodge, so you can cool off from the afternoon heat!
June to September
From June to September is the rainy season and it will rain on most days.
It does though rain less at this time of year than other parts of the country, including Yangon, and if you can put up with the odd shower it is an exceptionally rewarding time to travel.
The temperatures are lower than the preceding months, with average highs no more than about 30 °C, you should find some good deals on hotels and you won’t have to share the wondrous spiritual site with masses of other travelers.
The rain that does fall will also make the site look at its very best as the surrounding plains will be at their greenest and the Irrawaddy’s banks will be full of water.
If you have further questions about visiting Bagan or any other of Myanmar’s wonderful destinations contact our expert local specialists, based in Myanmar who can assist you be creating an original itinerary that matches all your needs. Simply get in touch or send us an inquiry today.