Laos offers a fairly straight forward weather system. Lacking a coastline, the country has a clear wet and dry season, with other variations revolving around vacation schedules more than weather.
High season for tours to Laos begins in November and lasts through March. July and August offer a sort of shoulder season, due to fairly reasonable temperatures with moderate rainfall but emerald green landscapes and fewer tourist crowds. April is a time of year to avoid, due to the high thermostat readings throughout the country along with crowded hotels and peak rates due to Lao New Year celebrations.
The Laos wet monsoon season lasts from May through October. During the early months of the wet season, the temperatures remain very hot and the rainfall often comes in short spurts at night and early morning that rarely interfere with afternoon plans. As rainy season continues into August and September, the rains become more constant and heavy, particularly in the southern parts of the country. Across most of Laos, the daytime temperatures average mid 80s in the southern lowlands and mid to low 70s in the more mountainous central and northern regions.
The Laos dry season spans from November through April, with cooler temperatures towards the beginning of that time frame gradually increasing as time continues to April. Average temperatures in Vientiane, for example, range from low 70s F in January to mid 80s in April. The northern regions cool down in November through February and can even approach freezing at higher altitudes. In order to avoid the heat, November through February is the best time to visit Southern Laos, as temperatures can reach 100F in the south in April. Due to slash and burn agriculture in and around Luang Prabang, smoke filled skies in March can cause discomfort with breathing up until the monsoon season starts in May.
Mekong River water levels have been at historic lows as the dry season progresses and approaches February and March, partially due to global warming and reduced rainfall, but more so due to newly installed river dams in China.
Want to Go?