19 Jan 2017 - Posted By Maeve Nolan / Best Time to Visit, Luang Prabang, Vientiane / No Comments


It’s always important to research a destination while planning a trip, and figuring out the weather in a country is key. If you’re considering a trip to Laos, you’ll need to know the best time to visit Laos so that you can decide when to go where.

We’ve gathered weather info from our expert local Travel Specialists to help you out with this. Keep on reading for advice on each season by region, overall weather rankings for each month and some amazing events to enjoy by month.

Once you’ve finished our guide you’ll be set to enjoy the best weather in Laos!

bes time to travel to laos - vang vieng canoes - backyard travel

When is the best time to visit Laos?

Like the rest of Southeast Asia, Laos has distinct wet, or ‘green’, and dry seasons. The former runs from May to the beginning of October, while the latter covers October to late April. Temperatures are cooler from November to February, while the mercury rises in March and April, and temperatures through June hit the mid-30s C (mid-90s F). Temperatures vary at different altitudes, and evenings in the mountains can be quite cool. The best overall months to visit Laos are December, January and February, when rain isn’t a threat and temperatures are comfortable.

Seasons in Laos

Visiting Laos During the Dry Season

best time to visit laos: long tail boats on the mekong river, landscape

Climate information

Period: October to late April
Temperatures: 14°C (57°F) – 34°C (91°F)
Rainfall: 10-40 mm

What to pack

Comfortable daytime clothing, long pants and a jacket for evenings, especially in the mountains.

Where to go

The dry season offers prime traveling for the entire country, but upland destinations like Luang Prabang are especially ideal for clear mountain days and cool temperatures.

Trip ideas for the dry season in Laos

 The Wilds of Laos

✔ Discover Luang Prabang – The Gem of The Mekong

✔ Enchanting Nong Khiaw Laos

Traveling to Laos During the ‘Green’ Season

best time to visit laos, the 3 buddhas temple

Climate information

Period: May to late September
Temperatures: 23°C (73°F) – 32°C (90°F)
Rainfall: 120-300 mm

What to pack

Rain gear, warm-weather clothing and a light jacket for evenings

Where to go

The region around Vientiane sees lower rain totals than higher elevations, though showers everywhere are generally short and intense. Don’t expect rainfall all day. The waterfalls of the 4,000 Islands also come to life during this season.

Special Tips for the ‘Green’ Season in Laos

The ‘green’ season in Laos is splendidly lush, as the monsoon rains leave the country’s forests and paddies a vibrant green.

However, the rain also makes this time of year unsuitable for off-path trekking, so tours which involve jungle hiking aren’t recommended.

Otherwise this is still a good season for traveling, tours are cheaper and many hotels offer promotional prices. There are also fewer tourists, so this is a great time for someone looking to avoid crowds.

Tour ideas for the green season in Laos

✔ The Majestic Mekong: Exploring Southern Laos

✔ Pakse and Beyond: to the 4,000 Islands

Weather in Laos

 Months°C°FRain (mm)Rain (inches)Overall Rating
January14-2957-8410-150.4-0.5★★★
February15-3159-8810-200.4-0.5★★★
March18-3364-9110-300.4-0.5★★
April21-3470-9340-1000.5-4★★
May24-3475-9370-1500.7-6★★
June25-3277-9090-2504-10
July24-3275-90120-2305-10
August24-3275-90120-3005-12
September23-3273-90100-1804-7
October21-3170-8850-1300.5-6★★★
November 18-2964-8430-400.5-0.6★★★
December14-2657-79100.4★★★

Best Time to go to Laos by Region

Best Time to go to the South

Popular destinations include Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands), Don Det, Pakse

December and January are excellent months to visit southern Laos to enjoy clear skies and comfortable temperatures. However, the wetter summer months are also ideal for those wishing to see the waterfalls of Si Phan Don at their most powerful.

best time to go to south laos - pakse 4000 islands landscape

Climate in Pakse

Dry season Highs in the mid-30s°C (90s°F), rain begins in April or May
Green season: Highs in the low 30s°C (high 80s°F), high humidity and daily rain

Climate in Savannakhet

Dry season: Highs in the mid-30s°C (90s°F), rain begins in April or May
Green season: Highs in the low 30s°C (high 80s°F), high humidity and daily rain

Best Time to Travel in Central Laos

Popular destinations include Vang Vieng, Vientiane

Central Laos sees less rain than the northern plateau, so year-round travel is possible, but the best weather falls from December to February, when cool, dry days rule.

best time to visit central laos - Vientiane Patuxay monument in Vientiane - backyard travel

Climate in Vientiane

Dry season: Highs in the mid-30s°C (90s°F), mostly dry
Green Season: Highs in the low 30s°C (high 80s°F), high humidity and some rain

Best Period to Visit Northern Laos

Popular destinations include Luang Prabang, Phonsavan and the remote northern mountains

The north sees heavy rain during the green season, although showers are generally brief, but hiking can be difficult during this time of the year. The cool, dry months of November-February, on the other hand, are glorious.

best time to visit laos - Luang Prabang Royal Palace - Backyard Travel

Climate in Luang Prabang

Dry season: Highs in the mid-30s°C (90s°F), rain begins in April
Green season: Highs in the low 30s°C (high 80s°F), high humidity and heavy daily rain

Unmissable Events

The Wat Phou Festival, held at the huge temple complex in Champasak Province, celebrates Buddhism and the history of the temple. This celebration lasts up to a week and includes traditional music, dances, sports and food. Important religious figures from around the country also visit to take part in an alms-giving ceremony, and a parade of elephants and horses highlights the ancient customs of the region.
Lao New Year, or the Pi Mai Festival. The biggest festival of the year, Pi Mai welcomes the Buddhist New Year with water fights and ancient spiritual traditions. For example, sand is brought to temple grounds and crafted into stupas, flowers are used to decorate images of Buddha and folk dances are performed. Most famously, people douse strangers with water as an act of spiritual purification.
The Rocket Festival, or Boun Bang Fai. This fiery festival celebrates the onset of the monsoon with music and dance performances, parades and, on the final day, a home-made rocket competition.
Boun Khao Phansa heralds the arrival of Buddhist Lent, which lasts until October. During this period, Buddhist monks are expected to undertake a “rains retreat,” in which they remain in their temple to study the Buddha’s teachings. Temples are very busy during this period, as people visit them to make merit and provide donations to monks.
Bouk Ok Pansa marks the end of Buddhist Lent, when decorative boats are filled with offerings and launched onto rivers. Boat races are also held, while people also launch small hot air balloons into the air at night, creating a dazzling display.
Boun That Luang celebrates That Luang, the most important religious monument in Laos. The temple dates back to 1566 and is believed to contain a relict of Buddha. During the festival people from all over the country travel to Luang Prabang for a procession to the temple and to make offerings and accumulate merit, while music and drama performances last for days.

Did we miss anything? Do you have some other insider tips you’d like to share? Leave your thoughts and comments here about when is the best time to visit Laos—your fellow travelers will thank you!


 

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