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THAILAND, MYANMAR CALENDAR 2012


Weather patterns are increasingly different from the past database although offically there are three seasons namely hot season (February to June), rainy season (June to October) and cool season (October to February). Unusual weather conditions could happen in any place any time. Always check for weather forecast and report before going out for a trip. Also look out for the news of land or mud slide, flood, flood in the caves, wild fire and dust, extreme dry or wet conditions and prepare accordingly before you go out.

Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (Myanmar)
Thailand Meterological Department
Department of Meterology and Hydrology (Laos)

Long holidays (Sat to Monday, Friday to Sunday, and Newyear holidays) are crowded at locally famous tourist places. Highway buses, trains, boats, domestic flights could be full or over booked. Highway roads shall be congested and more accidents likely occur.

January 2012
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Thailand
01 Jan = New year day holiday
09 Jan = Full moon day
23 Jan = New moon day

Myanmar
01 Jan = New year day
04 Jan = Independence day
08 Jan = Full moon day (Pyar Tho)
23 Jan = New moon day (Pyar Tho)

Generally the weather is cool in the country side, in the hills, forested lands and cold in the higher mountains. Some areas may receive occasional light shower. High tourist season. Rivers still hold good water and currents. Hilltribe regions of many mountains throughout Laos; eastern, western and northern Myanmar, western and northern Thailand are cold and very beautiful with wild flowers, puffs of cooking smokes from the villages and morning fog amids rolling hills.

February 2012
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Thailand
08 February = Full moon day
22 February = New moon day

Myanmar
07 Feb = Fullmoon day (Dhapohdwe)
12 Feb = Union day
21 February = New moon day (Dhapodwe)

In Myanmar peoples celebrate traditional harvesting period with festival of "Hta-Ma-Ne", a kind of cooked sticky rice (glutinous rice) crushed in oil with addition of ingredents such as ground nuts, sesamum seeds, ginger and coconut slices.

Climate in low land plain and valley areas are hot especially day time. Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan plain (Myanmar); Vientiane and southern Laos along the Mekong river; greater central and north-eastern Thailand as well as valley areas in the north will be hot to quite hot during day time.

On the full moon day there are Buddhist festival arrangements in the towns and cities as well as in the quiet temples in the country side villages.

March 2012
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Thailand
07 March = Makha Bucha day
08 March = Full moon day
22 March = New moon day

Myanmar
02 Mar = Peasant day (Farmers' day)
07 March = Fullmoon day (Dha Paung Pwe, Dha Paung festival)
22 March = New moon day (Dha Paung)
27 March = Armed Forces day

Makha Bucha or Magha Puja

Temperatures everywhere are shooting up. In the plain areas and crowded cities it could be as hot as or even hotter than 40º C during day time. Visit of ancient Bagan temples should be done in the morning and evening time. Catch the sunset from the top of a temple. Good time to go to the hills in Myanmar (for example Shan, Chin, and upper Kachin states), Thailand and Laos. Sea beaches and islands may be still crowded since the weather there is still bearable and cool and windy in the evening and night time.

The Ayeyarwaddy river in Myanmar will have lower water and more sand banks. If the cruise boats still go, their arrival times will be late. Unless there is unusual heavy rain or opening of dams in upstreams, Mekong river water level will be quite low to very low.

In many pagodas, especially in Myanmar, there will be festivals with stage shows, traditional dance, magic show, puppet, dramas, food stalls, and shops selling comsumers' products on the days around the fullmoon day.

April 2012
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Thailand
06 April = Chakri Memorial day
07 April = Full moon day
13, 14, 15 April = Songkran new year holidays water festival
21 April = New moon day

Myanmar
06 April = Full moon day (Dhaku)
13, 14, 15 April = Thin Kyan newyear holidays water splashing festival
20 April = New moon day (Dhaku)

Chakri day commemorates the Chakri dynasty. The current Thai King is the ninth Khing of this dynasty.

On the full moon day evening peoples in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos visit the temples to make merit for the lunar new year. This is more appealing in a quiet village temple in the hills.

One of the hottest months. Sometimes light rain is received. Lunar new year is celebrated in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Water throwing is the strongest in Myanmar. People who do not want to get wet should to stay indoors till 6 PM. Travel during the holidays will be very difficult. Booking of flights, train and hotels must be done well ahead. All the tourist destinations in Thailand are crowded.

May 2012
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Thailand
05 May = Coronation day
06 May = Full moon day
21 May = New moon day

Myanmar
01 May = Labor day
05 May = Full moon day (Kasong)
20 May = New moon day (kasong)

On full moon day in Myanmar peoples pour water at the root of sacred "Bo" tree or "Bodhi" tree under which the Buddha attained his enlightenment.

Hot month in the region. Day time will sometimes be unbearable in the low land, city areas, and valley areas in the hills with little trees. It is also the start of the low tourist season with possible hotel prices falling down. Hills, sea sides, and islands maybe the good places to go for vacation. Paddy farmers prepare for plantation of new rice crop. Occasional light rains or heavier showers are expected during the month. Going for forested hills will need rain gear.

June 2012
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Thailand
04 June = Full moon day (Visakha Bucha day)
19 June = New moon day

Myanmar
04 June = Full moon day (Nayong)
18 June = New moon day (Nayong)

Visaka bucha day or Vesakha puja day is one of the most important days for Buddhists. On this day three events happened: birth of Lord Buddha, his enlightenment and death. Public sermon during the day, and candle lit procession to pay the respect to the Lord Buddha at night.

Rainy seaon officially begins, but it is still hot to very hot in the plains with the outside day time temperatures above 35º C. For tourists it is good time to stay in rural shaded or wooded areas, and villages in the hills securing the scenic views of nature under the clouds. But the ground can be wet and there may be leeches in some parts of rain forest. Green rice fields are everywhere in the countryside; a busy month for the farmers.

Forests recover with new young leaves and plants, and rivers and waterfalls start filling up. White water rafting and canoeing will be possible in some rivers.

Thunder storms will occasionally come to the coastal areas. Traveling to the far away islands in ferry boats may be difficult due to the rough sea.

July 2012
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Thailand
04 July = Full moon day
19 July = New moon day

Myanmar
03 July = Full moon day (first Waso fulmoon day)
18 July = New moon day (first Waso)
19 July = Martyrs' day

July is the beginning of the Buddhist lent. Peoples offer food, shelter, robes and medicines to the monks who are going into rain retreat.

The rain is moderate to heavy; most rivers are closer to their usual full capacity and it is time the forest and small wildlife grow and spread to their maximum. Tourists still can go to many places and do sightseeing amids cleaner air under the clouds. Rain coats or umbrellas, rain boots or rubber boots if you expect muddy or flooded grounds, appropriate medicines and cleaning gear should be prepared.

In Thailand and Laos white water rafting and canoeing could be done in many rivers. Together with rain leeches appear on the wet ground in some parts of forest.

August 2012
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Thailand
02 August = Full moon day (Asalha Bucha day)
12 August = H.M. The Queen's birthday, Mothers day
17 August = New moon day
31 August = Full moon day

Myanmar
02 August = Full moon day (second Waso)
17 August = New moon day (second Waso)

Asalha Bucha day or Asalha Puja day commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon in the Deer Park in Benares (Varanasri) and the founding of the Buddhist sangha.

This month used to be the peak of the rainy season in northern region. However nowadays we can always expect more (heavy) rain to come. It may rain up to average around 4 hours or more a day. Still many tourists come this time taking the advantage of un-crowded places and probably lower prices. Good time for white water rafting and waterfall visit. The sky patterns in the morning and evening create constantly changing strange beautiful scenes.

Rain gear and medicines for water related health problems should be packed in your travel essentials.
Thailand 2011 flood (August - Dec)

September 2012
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Thailand
16 September = New moon day
30 September = Full moon day

Myanmar
01 September = Full moon day (Wa-khaung fullmoon)
15 September = New moon (Wa-Khaung new moon, no moon)
30 September = Full moon day (Taw Thalin)

There are boat races on rivers, ponds and lakes in many parts of the region. The rain is still pounding throughout the region, and some places especially the northern hills(?) receive heaviest rain. Most rivers are full and good for white water rafting, canoeing and waterfall visit with care. Paddy fields are green and the background mountains are also under the green canopy of rain forest.

Keep rain gear and look out for the news of floods and land or mud slides. Check for ground conditions and weather before going out for a trip and prepare accordingly.

October 2012
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Thailand
15 October = New moon day
23 October = Chulalongkorn Day
30 October = Full moon day

Myanmar
15 October = New moon day (Taw thadin)
30 October = Full moon day (Thadin Kyut, lighting festival)

The month of end of Buddhist Lent or rains retreat. There are festivals of lights on the full moon day. On the days around the fullmoon day houses, buildings, bridges, streets will be illuminated. Pagodas will be crowded.

On Inle lake, southern Shan state of Myanmar, there will be a festival at Phaung Daw Oo pagoda. Buddha images from Phaung Daw Oo pagoda are placeed on a decorated barge called "Karaweik" (Mythical bird) and taken around the lake stopping at villages for peoples to pay homage.

This is the beginning of the high tourist season and prices start going up. Yellow paddy fields can be seen along provincial highway roads and railway lines. Early paddy fields maybe harvested this month. The rain amount and frequency maybe getting lesss but not sure.

However the southen parts of Myanmar and Thailand (with sea shores) still receive good amount of rains. Other parts of the region are still under occasional rain shower. It is thus still a good time for white water rafting and canoeing.

November 2012
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Thailand
14 November = New moon day
28 November = Full moon day (Loy Krathong day)

Myanmar
13 November = New moon day (Thadin Kyut)
28 November = Full moon day (Thasaung Mong)

In Myanmar lighting festival is on the full moon day, in which the streets and the buildings are illuminated. People offer the monks the robes, writing equipment, accessories, etc. In many places you can visit the events of weaving of monks' robes within a night time. Teams of young women compete in the festival locally known as "Ma-Tho-Thin-Gan". Crowds watch as the ladies start weaving in the evening, through the night till in the early morning to offer the finished robes to the monks.

Some men and boys are ordained to become monks and novices for a week or so period during this month.

The weather is good all over the country. Many tourists arrive and enjoy the sights and scenes of the country. You should have planned your travel in November, December at least a couple of months ahead.

In Thailand people celebrate Loi Krathong festival by floating "Krathongs" (made of coconut, banana leaves, bamboo and wood in the shapes of lotus, swan, mountain and so on) containing flowers, joss sticks and candles on the water. By floating the Krathongs on the rivers and canals people believe that they can expect for the good things to come next. Sukothai is the most popular place for this festival.

With the increasing popularity of 'Loi Krathong' the problem of garbage is getting bigger.

Southern parts of Thailand and Myanmar still receive some rains. Paddy harvesting season in many parts of Thailand, Myanmar/Burma and Laos.

December 2012
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Thailand
05 December = H.M. The King birth day, Fathers day
10 December = Constitution Day
13 December = New moon day
28 December = Full moon day

Myanmar
13 December = New moon day (Thasaung Mong)
28 December = Full moon day (Nat Taw)

One of the busiest tourist months. The weather is fine and mostly cool to cold in the highlands, beautiful, and good hotels and popular spots are crowded. However compare to Thailand, places in Myanmar and Lao still offer their original charms and beauty and thus very enjoyable except for the lack of enough good hotel rooms and transportation.


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