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Laos has two main seasons, ‘dry’ from November to early May, and ‘rainy’ from late May to October. The dry season is generally the most popular time to visit, however during and just after the rainy season Laos is at its most picturesque as the countryside is lush and green and the waterfalls are at their most impressive.
If you travel between July and September you should be prepared for heavy downpours almost every day.
Luang Prabang experiences a tropical wet and dry climate. It is generally very warm throughout the year, although it is noticeably cooler during December and January.
The best time to visit Luang Prabang is during the dry season when the weather is dry and cool. March-April are the hottest months and you might find that the heat plus high levels of humidity makes sightseeing in the middle of the day somewhat challenging.
Late-May to October is the rainy season, however the downpours only last for short periods, usually in the afternoon.
The best time to visit Vientiane is from November to February as you’ll experience sunny days and comfortable temperatures.
Then it starts to get hotter in March, April and May. You can expect temperatures between 30°C-38°C and high levels of humidity at the start of the wet season in May-June.
The rain continues until the end of October, and then you can expect drier and cooler weather.
January is a fantastic time of year to visit Laos and you can expect warm, sunny days and low rainfall. Average temperatures are a comfortable 24°C in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, whilst in Pakse and the southern regions it’s slightly warmer with highs of 30°C. If you plan to explore the higher altitude regions in the north and east of the country, or are stopping in Pakbeng on a cruise along the Mekong River, you should expect cooler temperatures (15°C), especially at night.
The weather in Laos in February is similar to January. The dry season continues and you can expect warm sunny days and low rainfall. Vientiane and Luang Prabang experience moderate temperatures of around 24°C in February, whilst in Pakse and the 4000 Islands in southern Laos, it is slightly warmer with highs of 30°C.
The dry season continues in March. It will start to get hotter across the country with temperatures rising to over 30°C in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, and 32°C further to the south in Pakse and the 4000 Islands region. The heat can make sightseeing a little uncomfortable so you may wish to head out on sightseeing excursions early in the morning and then return to your hotel from 11am-3pm to avoid the hottest time of the day.
March is a good time to visit the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos, as the elevation offers respite from the high temperatures.
April is one of the hottest months of the year in Laos and temperatures can reach 40°C, especially in Pakse and the 4000 Islands region in the south of the country. Temperatures average around 30°C in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
Towards the end of April rain showers become more likely as the wet season approaches, especially in the northern regions around Phongsali, however the heavy downpours tend to be short lived and shouldn’t affect your trip.
The first half of May is usually relatively dry, however the wet season starts later in the month. The short, heavy showers shouldn’t affect your trip too much and the intense downpours are quickly replaced by blue skies and sunshine - although in the south longer downpours can be expected. If you can avoid the rain as best as possible May can be a fantastic month to visit Laos, and there’s the added bonus that visitor numbers are much lower than previous months.
June sees the start of the wet season in Laos, however it is still considered a good month to visit and you can expect blue skies and sunshine between the heavy showers which tend to last for just a few hours rather than all day.
The rain is usually heavier the higher you are, with the riverside towns south of Vientiane experiencing the least rain. You should expect average temperatures around 25-27°C, with Pakse experiencing warmer temperatures than Luang Prabang and Vientiane, and slightly cooler conditions in Phongsali in the north.
If you travel to Laos in July you should expect heavy rain, although the downpours tend to last for a few hours rather than all day and there can still be plenty of dry days. In Pakse and the south, rainfall can be heavier and last longer, which means the waterfalls in the 4000 Islands are at their best. Despite overcast skies, average temperatures in Luang Prabang and Vientiane hover around 25-27°C.
This is the height of the rainy season and if you visit Laos during August you should expect intense downpours almost every day.
Despite overcast skies, average temperatures in Luang Prabang and Vientiane range from 25-30°C. In Luang Prabang the downpours only last for short periods, usually in the afternoon so it is still a good time to visit. During August southern highlights such as the 4000 Islands remain accessible by boat, with the region’s waterfalls at their most impressive.
The weather in September is much the same as August. Heavy downpours are highly likely, although the rain will start to subside later in the month as the dry season approaches and sunshine replaces the grey overcast skies. Temperatures begin to drop with averages of 26°C in Luang Prabang and Vientiane, and 27°C in Pakse and the southern provinces. Laos is at its most picturesque in September as the countryside is lush and green following months of rain, and the waterfalls are at their best.
October is a good time to visit Laos as the weather is mostly dry and sunny, and the temperatures are comfortable. You can expect temperatures of 25°C in Luang Prabang and Vientiane, and 26°C in Pakse and the southern provinces. In Phongsali and the mountainous regions cooler weather should be expected, especially at night, and you should pack suitable warm clothing. Tourist numbers remain low during the first half of October so it’s a great time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds.
November is a popular month to visit Laos. You can expect very little rainfall, plenty of sunshine and moderate temperatures - average 23°C Vientiane and Luang Prabang, and 26°C in Pakse and the 4000 Islands. This is the peak tourism season so if you’re planning to travel in November please ensure that you book well in advance to guarantee availability at your preferred accommodation.
December falls within the dry season which is also known as the cool season. The weather is excellent throughout Laos in December - rain is unlikely and you can expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine and average temperatures of 19-22°C.
It is the most popular time of year to visit Vientiane and Luang Prabang. This is the peak tourism season so if you’re planning to travel in December, especially over the Christmas period, please ensure that you book well in advance to guarantee availability at your preferred accommodation.