Mandalay Weather and Climate
Mandalay has a semi-tropical climate. It is in the central dry zone of Myanmar, so it receives less rainfall compared to the more tropical south and most of the time, the weather in Mandalay is hot and dry. However, during the cold months, the weather can be quite chilly during the night.
The weather and climate in Mandalay should be a serious consideration when packing for the trip to the city. Because of the warm and dry season the city experiences for the majority of the year, visitors should pack light and casual clothing. A comfortable fabric such as cotton is suggested. As for footwear, sandals and slip-ons are best. A pair of sunglasses and a large hat may seem like merely accessories, but these are essentials when going around the city. These provide protection from extreme heat (and dust, in the case of the sunglasses). The weather in Mandalay also necessitates tourists to bring sun block with them.
The weather may be hot in Mandalay, but visitors should be modest in dressing. Revealing clothing is considered inappropriate in Myanmar.
Getting Around Mandalay: City Transportation
Travelling by taxi is a common way to get around Mandalay. There are the usual taxis, and then there are 'blue taxis,' which are small Mazda pick-up trucks which can seat four or so in the covered cab. They are easy to spot downtown, and operate most hours.
One can also get around Mandalay by bus, which are often crowded, especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours (from 07:00-09:00, 16:00-17:00). There is no air-conditioning in local buses, and some of them are only 32-seaters. The routes of the bus are determined by number, so tourists should familiarize themselves with them to avoid getting lost.
Another means of transportation found in Mandalay is the trishaw, which still travels along the back roads of the city. The fares are cheaper compared to buses and taxis. No one in Mandalay knows more about important town and tourist information than trishaw drivers, so tourists are encouraged to chat with those who speak English.
Visitors who want to roam around at their own pace can rent bicycles or motorcycles. There are rental shops, but hotels and guesthouses also offer them at similar rates.