Best Time to Visit Laos? Climate, seasons and practical advice

Best Time to Visit Laos? Climate, seasons and practical advice

The “Kingdom of the Million Elephants” has a rich historical heritage with numerous monasteries, temples, and monks, which bear witness to its fervent spirituality and great serenity. So, when to go to Laos? When is the best time to discover Laos? Here is all the practical information on the climate, and the seasons as well as the best time to go there so that you can better prepare for your trip to this authentic country.

Updated on 29-06-2024

When to go to Laos?

Laos borders several countries: China, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Mountains and plateaus represent 70% of the country's territory. The country does not have direct access to the coast but is crossed by the Mekong River. Laos benefits from a tropical climate, characterized by monsoons, with two distinct seasons: the dry season (October to March) and the rainy season (April to September).

During the dry season, temperatures are cool and pleasant and it does not rain often. It is a period very popular with tourists. This is the best time to visit ancient Lane Xang where average temperatures are around 22-30 degrees during the day and 10-20 degrees at night. The levels of rivers and streams are quite high.

Patuxai Triumphal Arch in Vientiane''s capital
Patuxai Triumphal Arch in Vientiane's capital

From April, temperatures begin to rise and the rainy season begins. April and May are the hottest months (30 to 35 degrees). However, there is little precipitation.

During the months of June and July, temperatures hover around 29 degrees and short-term showers often occur at night and early in the morning. However, from the end of July to September, the rains become more and more frequent and sometimes more intense, particularly in the south of the country. However, thanks to these monsoons, the countryside transforms into a magnificent green paradise. Dry periods, meanwhile, bring radiant blue skies and it can be a good time to visit Laos.

When to go to northern Laos: Luang Prabang and the high mountains of the north?

- November and March: This is the best time to visit northern Laos as the air is cool and there is very little rainfall. Temperatures range between 22 – 27 degrees. However, if you travel to the mountains, temperatures can be cooler, especially in the months of December and January when temperatures can drop to 5 degrees. So, if you plan to travel during this period, bring warm clothes.

Kuang Si waterfall, Luang Prabang - Photo : d@mienR
Kuang Si waterfall, Luang Prabang - Photo : d@mienR

- Abril to May: This summer season in Laos can be very hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching 35°C or more. This is an acceptable time to cool off at the picturesque Kuang Si Waterfalls in Luang Prabang.

- May to October: It is the rainy season with tropical showers that can fall at any time of the day. However, the waterfalls are more picturesque and ideal for observing dense waterways. In the high mountains of the north, the fauna and flora are richer than ever with a beautiful green color that dyes the forests and rice fields. You will have the opportunity to take a cruise on the Mekong River thanks to the very high water level.

When to go to central Laos: Vientiane and its surroundings?

Temperatures in central Laos are similar to those in the north, although with cooler nights. November to March is the best time to explore the region with sunny weather every day. It's up to you to hike in the protected national reserve of Phu Hin Bun and contemplate the resplendent and unique nature. Don't forget to explore the spirit forest of Dong Phu Vieng National Protected Area.

Boat trip in the Phu Bun Hin national reserve - Photo : paulmbannerman
Boat trip in the Phu Bun Hin national reserve - Photo : paulmbannerman

From April, the heat becomes suffocating while heavy tropical showers fall mainly at the end of the day. It is still possible to visit the capital of Vientiane and surrounding areas during this period with the advantage of cheaper prices and avoiding crowds when visiting sites.

When to go to the south of Laos - Pakse or Champassak?

- October to February: This is the ideal time to visit southern Laos when it is sunny but not too hot, with little rain and reasonable humidity. This region becomes exceptional for adventurers because it is the perfect opportunity to take a boat trip along the Mekong or to the 4000 islands and also discover the authentic life of the local inhabitants near the river. You can also visit the town of Pakse and the ancient Khmer temples of Champassak. This is also an excellent time to explore the Bolaven Plateau by motorbike. However, don't forget to bring a sweater and a windbreaker as it gets quite cool in the evening.

The 4000 islands - Photo: Marie Lisch
The 4000 islands - Photo: Marie Lisch

- March and April: In southern Laos, temperatures begin to increase from March onwards, with peak heat in April. Average daytime temperatures can reach 35°C during this period, making the days hot and humid. However, despite these high temperatures, there is still much to do and discover in the region. Tad Fane Waterfalls, for example, is a popular attraction that offers a refreshing experience on hot days.

- May to September: Showers often flood the region. The fields are dyed a verdant color. The waterfalls attract visitors with their sublime beauty. They become even more impressive at this time because the water flow is at its maximum and is very dense.

Attend traditional celebrations and festivals in Laos

This is a good opportunity to immerse yourself in Laotian culture. If you like festive and warm atmospheres, like the local inhabitants, here are the most popular festivals:

  • The elephant festival (February, Sayabouri)
  • The Vat Phou festival (end of January or February, depending on the lunar calendar, Champassak)
  • Pi Mai - Lao New Year (April 15, 16 and 17): the most important festival of the year: it is the Buddhist and Lao New Year celebration
  • Boun Bang Fai or rocket festival (May or June)
  • Bun Pha That Luang (November, Vientiane)
  • Hmong New Year (end of November - beginning of December)
Locals prepare for Boun Bang Fai rocket festival
Locals prepare for Boun Bang Fai rocket festival

Above you have found all the practical information on the weather in Laos, to help you answer the question “ When to go to Laos? ”. With the above tips, we hope you can prepare your trip well to enjoy your best time in the most authentic country of Southeast Asia.

Laos tour


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<div class=fs18>Mrs Duong Thi LAN</div>Travel Consultant
Mrs Duong Thi LAN
Travel Consultant
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