All the guide books will tell you the best time to visit Myanmar is from November to December, otherwise known as the cool and dry season.
By cool, they mean temperatures of up to 30 degrees but at least it’s not as humid or wet as other months. Evenings during these months, especially in Bagan, can get much cooler so be prepared.
We traveled during Chinese New Year so we had a four day weekend, which was more than enough to take in both Yangon and Bagan. Direct flights are available with Jetstar, SilkAir/SQ and Myanmar National Airlines.
Here was our itinerary:
We flew direct with Myanmar National Airlines, departing Singapore at 9.45pm, arriving into Yangon at 11.15pm.
Morning – walking city tour of Yangon , taking in the the old train station, Bogyuoke Aung San Market, Sule Pagoda and the City Hall
Lunch – 999 Shan Noodle Shop before a walk over to the old Port buildings and see the Yangon river before a stop-off for cocktail at The Strand Hotel.
Mid Afternoon – taxi from the Strand Hotel to Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple (Reclining Buddha). Ask the taxi driver to wait and then take you to Shwedagon Pagoda. Try and arrive by 5pm.
Evening – dinner at a restaurant of your choice followed by a nightcap at either Cask81 if you’re a lover of Scotch whisky or alternatively rooftop drinks at Atlas or Vista.
We flew Asian Wings Airways, departing Yangon around 6am, arriving into Nyaung U airport at 7.20am.
8am – after a 15-20 minute transfer from airport, we arrived at hotel too early to check-in, so we dumped our bags and went straight to find a bike to start exploring for rest of the day with lunch in between at Sarabha Restaurant.
4.30pm – grab yourself a good spot at your chosen Temple for sunset. Also gives you a chance to catch some rays and work on the tan but bring some water or fluids to keep you hydrated.
8pm – after sunset, we needed time to relax before dinner but don’t leave it too late as everything seems to close down around 9pm with last orders shortly before that.
Sunday: Option for Ballooning over Bagan (5am start)Otherwise full day of Temple-bagging much like the day before. Lunch at The Moon Restaurant for a break in-between.
Monday: Early morning flight, departing Nyuang U at 7.35am, arriving at Yangon 8.55am.
(Although we had booked with Asian Wings Airways, this was cancelled a few days before and we got an email to say our booking had been transferred to FMI Air, which was much better quality that Asian Wings Airways so no complaints from us.)
There are various options for the return journey in the afternoon but we went with the Jetstar option, departing at 11.15am, arriving into Singapore at 3.50pm giving us plenty time to recover before going back to work the next day
Option: if you don’t have time to see the Reclining Buddha before hand or any other sights in Yangon, you could decide to do this in between arriving into Yangon and departing for Singapore.