February is one of the cooler months of the year in Myanmar—although "cool" is a relative word given that it’s still more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit in many parts of the country. Temperatures average 88 to 90 degrees in most of the major tourist areas such as Bagan, Mandalay, and Inle Lake. In Yangon, it’s even a bit hotter—typically around 93 degrees—so the city can feel sticky if you spend much time walking around.
On the coast, the beach resort towns of Ngapali and Ngwe Saung are sunny and beautiful with gentle breezes, making it great time to lounge by the pool. In addition to the pleasant temperatures, the weather is dry in Myanmar in February with almost no rain. Generally speaking, the first half of the month is the coolest and about mid-way through the temperatures begin rising.
Crowds and Costs
It is tricky to avoid the crowds during February, as high season is typically in full effect. The hotels tend to be full and the tourist sites have more people at them than normal. It’s not uncommon to find rows of tour buses at the archaeological ruins in Bagan or big crowds lined up at the temples in Mandalay and Yangon.
You’ll also find prices higher this time of year due to the high volume of people. Most hotels charge high-season rates throughout the month of February. That said, it's a beautiful time to visit so it's often worth the extra cost. If you can handle a little more heat, one solution is to book your trip later in the month when it starts getting hotter and the crowds begin thinning.
Where to Go
The best part of visiting Myanmar in February is that you don’t have to be very selective about your itinerary based on weather. Just about anywhere you go is going to be warm and pleasant, averaging in the high 80s without any worry of rain.
It’s a great time to visit Bagan and Mandalay in the central plains—both of these towns are hot and dry during February but not miserable like April and May often are. Yangon is slightly hotter than the rest of the country; however, this is always the case so if it’s a city you want to visit, this is the best time—the only time it’s any cooler is during the rainy season.
In the mountains around Inle Lake, temperatures will be cooler (averaging around 80 degrees). It’s an exquisite time to be on the water touring the canals and floating villages. The mornings are misty and dewey with stunning sunrises and sunsets. The evenings cool off quite a bit but it’s not cold—just remember to bring a warm layer.
This is also a fantastic time to visit the beach towns. Ngapali and Ngwe Saung will both be chock-full of sunshine and rain is almost unheard of in February. The only drawback is the resorts will be more crowded and a bit pricier.
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What to Do
Head to Inle Lake in February and take a long-boat ride through the network of scenic canals and beautiful floating villages. You can visit the ladies who make homemade cigars or see the Kayan (“longneck”) women weaving beautiful scarves. There are wooden boat builders, silver workers, and other craftsmen you can watch at work, or head about 30 minutes up the mountain to sip wine at the Red Mountain Estate Vineyards. February is the perfect month for a 10-Day Highlights of Myanmar trip which includes the stupas of Indein and the Nge Phe Chaung Monastery.
In the plains, Mandalay and Bagan both feature ancient temples full of history, as well as beautiful rolling landscapes. You can take a hot air balloon ride in Mandalay to watch sunrise, or walk through the Hsinbyume Pagoda, a white shrine surrounding by verdant green forests. Old Bagan boasts the Shwesandaw Pagoda, along with dozens of archaeological ruins.
If beaches are what you’re seeking, February is the perfect time to spoil yourself on the idyllic shores of Ngapali or Ngwe Saung where the sands are white and the ocean is a turquoise blue. You’ll find warm water where you can go snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking, or participate in numerous other water activities.
Inland from the coast in the south, enjoy the colonial architecture of Yangon, one of the country’s most famous cities. There, you can explore the the Bogyoke Market or pour water over Buddha at the Sule Pagoda. This 10-Day Explore Myanmar tour offers a versatile itinerary with stops in both Ngapali and Yangon.
Events in February
Union Day: On Feb. 12, people throughout Myanmar gather to commemorate the Panglong Agreement of 1947, the treaty that made Burma a unified country (bringing together the Shan, Chin and Kachin people) and freed it from British colonial rule. It's a public holiday that is celebrated nationwide with parades and other festivities.
Chin National Day: On Feb. 20, the Chin people—once a persecuted minority group—hold a large and festive celebration where villagers perform elaborate dances with bamboo poles. There is music and performing arts to celebrate the language, food, and culture of the people.
Kyaikkauk Pagoda Festival: In the Thanlyin township (once called Syriam), villagers host a small festival every year on the full moon of the eleventh Burmese month known as Tabodwe. This usually occurs in February and involves food, dance, and celebrations.
Mahamuni Pagoda Festival: Similarly to the Kyaikkauk Pagoda Festival, this event is held on the full moon day of Thabodwe. It takes place in Mandalay—one of Myanmar's biggest cities—and the celebration lasts for two days, marking one of the country's largest pagoda festivals.
Traveling to Myanmar in February? Check out this great itinerary
Essential Myanmar – 8 Days. This journey takes you to Mandalay's marble temples and cascading waterfalls, Bagan's ancient archaeological ruins, and Inle Lake's peaceful water canals.