Rachel Cavanaugh is a Portland-based staff commerce writer for Bustle, where she covers travel, fitness, adventure and the outdoors. She writes product reviews, roundups, best-ofs, and other affiliate content for BDG commerce channels including Bustle, Elite Daily, Mic, and Inverse. When not writing for Bustle, she freelances for multiple outlets including Men's Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, MSN, Matador Network, 57 Hours, GearJunkie, YahooTech, Stacker, and others. She's based in the Pacific Northwest and currently lives as a digital nomad, traveling regularly though Latin America, Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world.
Rachel's speciality is adventure and luxury travel, specifically related to skiing, snowboarding, kitesurfing, kayaking, and outdoor trekking. She has been in journalism for 14 years, previously working as an outdoor & tech writer for Digital Trends, digital producer for MSN, and global content writer for Nike. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Montana School of Journalism.
How did you get involved in travel?
"I've been interested in traveling as long as I can remember. When I graduated college, I moved to Costa Rica for three years where I lived and worked for an English-language newspaper. During that time, I was able to explore much of Central America. Since then, I've continued to travel throughout other parts of the world as a journalist, soaking up the people, places, and cultures. "
Featured trips & expertise
December is one of the best months of the year to visit Myanmar. The weather is warm but not suffocatingly hot, and there's virtually no rain anywhere in sight. The flip-side to the amazing weather, of course, is that it attracts a lot of people—the second half of December through mid-January is the busiest time of year. That means you won't have those idyllic Mandalay sunrises all to yourself as you might in June, but most people find it worth braving the crowds.
The month of November, which marks the kickoff of peak tourist season, is without a doubt one of the best times to visit Myanmar. The temperatures drop to a more comfortable level and the rains dry up. The coasts become sunny and beautiful, and in the mountains the scenery is stunning. It's a time when you can visit virtually any part of the country and find pleasant, travel-friendly weather.
October is a fantastic time of year to visit Myanmar. After a long wet season, the rain finally begins tapering off and the storms on the coast let up. People start arriving again and, though you won't enjoy the same lack of crowds that you do in the middle of August, it's nevertheless much less busy than during peak season. For this reason, you can often find good deals on hotels, too.
If you like mountains, temples, and historic ruins, September is a great month to visit Myanmar. It's a shoulder month that comes at the end of the wet season, offering decent weather without many crowds. Although the beaches remain closed due to rainfall, other parts of the country beginning seeing less rain and nicer weather. It's still a hot part of the season but it's not sweltering like it is in April or May. Plus, the crowds taper back significantly so you can soak up the scenery without hordes of tourists everywhere.
In August, the wet season is in full effect, and though that makes some places more lush and beautiful, it also means you're likely to experience some heavy downpours. That said—it's not monsoon weather everywhere in the country. Although the coast and southern cities get hit hard, there are plenty of regions in the north and around the mountains that are spared some of the heavy flooding and torrential downpours. The weather is still warm and, best of all, the crowds completely disappear.
If you don't mind the rain, July is a wonderful time to visit Myanmar. The big tourist crowds disappear. and in Myanmar's "Big Four" destinations (Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, and Yangon), you'll find not only fewer people but also lower prices. The downside, of course, is that aside from August, July is the wettest month of the year. That said, most destinations in the north receive regular breaks of sunshine throughout the day, during which you can wander around comfortably and explore the sites.