5 reasons to travel to Burma in the green season

Burma’s rainy season (or ‘green season’, as we prefer to call it) is often treated as a time to avoid, but there are plenty of reasons to consider off-peak travel to Southeast Asia.

In Burma, the green season runs from May until October, and conditions can vary quite considerably depending on where and when you choose to travel. Whilst some areas can be very wet – and even inaccessible – during these months, there are many places where the rain will have very little impact on your travel arrangements, and can even improve them.

1. It’s quieter

Burma is already much quieter in terms of tourism than any other country in Southeast Asia – but during the green season it’s practically deserted. If being part of the tourist throng isn’t your cup of tea, travel to Burma outside of peak season: you’ll find yourself wandering amongst the magnificent temples of Bagan or drifting across Inle Lake without another soul in sight.

bagan-beautiful-in-the-green-season

2. You’ll meet more people

It’s no cliché – Burma really is one of the friendliest countries in the world. The tourism industry is in its infancy here, and people are still excited to meet and chat to foreigners. Travel during the green season, when there are few other travellers, and you’ll have more chances to interact with the locals – whether you end up being drawn into a hand-signal conversation or helping a group of novice monks practise their English.

travel-off-peak-to-meet-more-people

3. It’s cheaper

Every country is cheaper if you travel off-peak, but Burma is one place where the season makes a really significant difference to the price of your holiday. Accommodation can be up to a third cheaper, and it’s a great time to look for deals on flights and tour packages – so you can effectively get five stars for the price of four!

inle-lake-stunning-in-low-season

4. It’s beautiful

There’s a reason we call it ‘green’: all that rain means that during the wet season Burma’s otherwise parched and dusty landscapes are lush, verdant and beautiful.

beautiful-greenery-from-mandalay-hill

5. Boating gets better

While some parts of Burma can become inaccessible during the rainy season due to flooding and poor road conditions, others become accessible for the first time all year. For travellers going by boat, the green season is the time to head deep into Burma’s remote regions – heading up waterways that aren’t navigable in drier weather.

waterborne-exploration-is-easier-in-the-green-season

If you’re a committed beach-goer intent on perfecting your tan, I’ll never persuade you to travel in the green season. But if you’d like to explore Burma with fewer crowds, lower prices, and more magnificent scenery than at any other time of year – don’t let a bit of rain put you off!

Alastair Donnelly is Director at InsideAsia Tours.

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Comments (2)

  1. You’re right, Burma is all of these things in the “green season”. I was there for a month in September 2010 and there were about 15 tourists in the whole country. I was “the only tourist lady” on the train, “the only tourist lady” on the ferry heading south from Bhamo, and one man nearly cried because I ate in his deserted restaurant near Lake Inle. I got in the habit of saying Mingalaba to everyone I saw. It was incredibly hot and damp, which was a bit uncomfortable in the village with only two hours of electricity a day, but I was a special guest at the village school assembly so that was a fair trade off. In Myitkyina people kept stopping me on the street (yet again I was the only tourist lady) to ask me to have tea with them. It was a special time.

  2. Roger says:

    Burma is a country I would love to visit but
    should one be concerned about terrorism threats in Burma. What level of alerts is the country on?

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