Before organizing a Laos visa and preparing to visit the country, foreign travelers should be aware of the weather conditions in Laos and the best time to visit. It is, of course, possible to travel to Laos year-round, although there are two distinct weather seasons in the country, including a rainy season from May to late September
Those planning to visit the country to take part in outdoor activities in Laos may prefer to travel during the dry season, but this period can see some of the highest temperatures of the year. Temperatures and climate in Laos also depend on the region of the country the traveler is planning to visit, so it is always a good idea to check the weather conditions in your destination in order to pack accordingly.
What Is The Weather in Laos Like?
The weather in Laos is not as unpredictable as in some other Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam or Thailand, mostly due to the fact it is a landlocked country with no coastline. The hottest months in the year tend to be March and April (the late dry season), and from May and June (the early wet season).
Rainfall tends to be quite light during the early wet season, while July to September sees more constant, and often quite heavy rain. This is especially true in southern parts of the country, such as in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Vientiane weather also tends to be some of the hottest in Laos during the summer months.
The north of the country, including the Luang Prabang region, tends to experience the lightest rainfall during the wet season. It’s common for rain in Luang Prabang to fall during the morning and night, and for the afternoons to be much clearer. Luang Prabang also tends to be cooler than destinations further south.
What Is The Average Temperature in Laos?
As much of Laos is high above sea level, temperatures throughout the country are affected by the altitude, which reduces the averages by several degrees. The northern and eastern regions contain the most mountainous terrain and so are the coolest, while the southern regions, including the Mekong River Valley where Vietanae is located, are more humid.
In the summer months temperatures in the Mekong River Valley can reach up to 35°C and even as high as 40°C. During the rainy season, temperatures in the South average around 29°C, and 23°C in the more mountainous north.
The Luang Prabang region tends to have the coolest temperatures year-round, with an average of around 17°C during the coldest months of December and January. Temperatures begin to rise around March and can reach as high as 31°C by April and May.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Laos?
It is generally considered that the best time to visit Laos is during the High Season from November to March. Not only are temperatures pleasant throughout most of the country, but the climate is normally warm and dry.
November to January is also the best time to travel by boat along the Mekong River, as high water levels make passage easier than during the rest of the year. However, those planning to visit Laos during the Christmas and New Year holidays should make sure they book accommodation well in advance to ensure availability, as this period can attract high numbers of visitors.
Those planning to visit Laos during other periods of the year should keep the following in mind:
- April and May are the hottest months in Laos, and the humidity may be uncomfortable for some travelers. However, there are also a number of exciting celebrations in Laos during these months visitors can enjoy, including Lao New Year and the Boun Bang Fai Rocket Festival.
- July and August can be quite wet but nonetheless attract a high number of European tourists and students backpacking on a summer break. The landscapes are green and lush, and it is an ideal time to see some of the spectacular waterfalls in central Laos.
- September is the wettest month of the year in Laos, but the sun tends to come out towards the end of the month and makes more of an appearance in October. There are also a number of major festivals in Laos that take place during this month, including the Naga Rocket Festival in Bolikhamxay and the 10-day boat racing festival on the Mekong River.
- Before deciding on the best time to visit Laos and preparing for the weather conditions, travelers should remember to check if they require tourist visa to enter the country to ensure they are able to enter Laos upon arrival and enjoy the diverse attractions which take place during the year.