Laos Weather

Laos has a tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons different in temperature and precipitation. Temperatures throughout the country are affected by altitude.

The seasons: there are two main seasons — the dry season from November to April and the wet season from May to October. According to some local tradition, however, there are actually three seasons — including a hot season from March to April, as these two months are noticeably the hottest of the year.

The dry season is cool and dry with pleasant temperatures — the lows around 15°C and highs under 30°C, with almost no rain. The hot season is the hottest, with temperatures that reach up to 35°C and beyond. The wet season, with precipitation reaching its peak, is also known as the rainy season or the green season.

The terrain: the country is mountainous and steep, particularly in the northern, central and eastern regions. The southern region is at its lowest in the tapered river valleys. As a general rule, regions at higher altitudes tend to be cooler.

January

Weather: it continues dry throughout the country and the main cities are comfortably warm. The temperature is around 28°C by day and declines to around 15°C at night.

Clothing: warm clothing is recommended, especially if you plan to visit the northern or eastern region, at higher altitudes.

Things to do: this is the high season for tourism, with the country at its best for exploration. Conditions are still good for river travel. Remember to book accommodation in advance, especially during the New Year period.

February

Weather: a very pleasant time to visit, with dry conditions continuing. Temperatures rise a little and remain moderate in the northern and central regions, whilst the southern region starts to get hot.

Clothing: warm clothing is recommended if you plan to visit the northern or eastern region, as temperatures there are still much cooler at night.

Things to do: this is still the high season for tourism. Water levels on certain stretches of the Mekong River may become low because Chinese dams stem the flow.

March

Weather: it starts to heat up across the country, with temperatures rising to over 30°C. The chance of rain remains slim, as dry conditions persist.

Clothing: T-shirts by day, while a light jacket is enough to cope with the drop in temperature at night.

Things to do: as it gets hot, travel in the central and southern regions can be a little uncomfortable. It’s a good time to head up to the Bolaven Plateau for respite from the high temperatures. River levels drop, making it somewhat unpleasant to do river trips.

April

Weather: the hottest time of the year with temperatures hovering around 33°C in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, and reaching 36°C in the southern region. The average precipitation for April is around 100 mm. You may witness the implementation of ‘slash and burn’ at this time.

Clothing: T-shirts will be enough and it may be a good idea to carry an umbrella.

Things to do: join in the celebrations of the Lao New Year and be prepared to get wet as water washes all over streets. River levels are at their annual low, making river trips difficult.

May

Weather: temperatures remain high and the phenomenon of ‘slash and burn’ may continue in some regions of the country. The average precipitation for May is around 200 mm.

Clothing: T-shirts will be enough and it may be a good idea to carry an umbrella.

Things to do: the low season for tourism.

June

Weather: temperatures hover around 30°C and the average precipitation for June is around 300 mm.

Clothing: T-shirts will be enough and it may be a good idea to carry an umbrella.

Things to do: the low season for tourism.

July

Weather: temperatures continue around 30°C and the average precipitation for July is around 300 mm.

Clothing: T-shirts will be enough and it may be a good idea to carry an umbrella.

Things to do: the shoulder season for tourism. It’s time to get deep into the forest to see the cascading waterfalls and the stunning natural scenery.

August

Weather: temperatures continue around 30°C and rainfall reaches its peak.

Clothing: T-shirts will be enough and it may be a good idea to carry an umbrella.

Things to do: the shoulder season for tourism. The landscapes are emerald green and it’s a good time to explore The 4000 Islands and Vang Vieng, to enjoy the beautiful limestone karst scenery.

September

Weather: temperatures remain almost the same as in August. Rainfall continues, though precipitation in southern Laos is higher than in northern Laos.

Clothing: summer clothes are still okay, but bring some long sleeves to cope with encroaching coolness.

Things to do: the low season for tourism. Travel to remote areas can be difficult at times. Lush landscape, however, makes it a good time to see the stunning natural scenery.

October

Weather: temperatures drop, hovering between 20°C and 30°C; with far less rain than the previous few months, as the dry season returns.

Clothing: summer clothes are still okay, but bring some long sleeves to cope with encroaching coolness.

Things to do: a great time to visit; improved weather conditions and less crowded.

November

Weather: dry season returns with premium weather conditions. Temperatures remain moderate with lows around 15°C and highs under 30°C, and almost no rain.

Clothing: light clothing by day and warm clothing at night.

Things to do: the high season for tourism and the peak season for river journeys. Remember to book accommodation in advance.

December

Weather: dry season continues with lower temperatures than November.

Clothing: light clothing by day and warm clothing at night.

Things to do: the high season for tourism and ideal conditions for river cruising.

For more information on when to visit Laos, continue to read Best Time to Visit Laos.

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