The easiest way to decide when to travel to Laos is knowing its climate. This Asian country, like most countries on the continent, has two seasons: dry and wet. Undoubtedly, the former is the best time to visit the country.
Best time to travel to Laos
Broadly speaking, Laos has two clear seasons: the first, the dry season, runs from November to mid-May. During these months the temperatures oscillate between 15ºC and 30ºC. The second, the rainy season, beginning at the end of May and extending until October, are months of heat, humidity and heavy rainfall.
The climate of Laos is tropical monsoon, and within it are the two main seasons; for months we can make other distinctions. March and April are the driest and hottest months, while November and February are also dry, but cooler months. The rains, therefore, are concentrated between May and October.
Travellers agree that the best time to visit Laos is during the months of November to February. The climate is cooler than in April and May, and there is no rain. The only drawback is that this is the time when most tourists visit the country.
If you want to avoid the tourist high season, and not be afraid of the heat, you can choose March and April to visit Laos. Of course, take note that, in the south, in the Mekong valley, you will have temperatures of about 40ºC.
And if you really want to travel without being surrounded by tourists, choose the rainy season; you will find great offers for accommodation and airline tickets, and temperatures between 25ºC and 30ºC. Keep in mind that in the north it will rain much more than in the southern regions. Another drawback is that you can find roads cut off by the rains, in addition to there being more mosquitoes and leeches.
However, within Laos, each region has its own characteristics, which makes a particular time suitable for one area but not for another.
When to travel to Luang Prabang
If you haven’t decided when to travel to Laos to visit this city which has been declared a World Heritage Site, located between the Mekong and the Nam Khan, it is best to choose the dry season, preferably between November and February.
The south of the country has a climate which is too hot for you to visit between March and April, and if you go during the rainy season you will not be able to enjoy your trip quite so much. You will need a good amount of time to walk through the 33 Buddhist temples which this wonderful city plays host to.
When to travel to the north of Laos
If you want to discover the north of Laos while hiking, there are two destinations which you cannot miss: Nam Ha and Luang Namtha. These towns have specialised in ecological tourism, and offer you a tour of the best parts of the north of the country, including a route through the towns of the different ethnic groups which inhabit them.
The north must be visited during the dry season since, during the monsoons, the rains are very abundant. In this case, the best months to enjoy hiking in this region are March and April. The rest of the dry season is also recommended.
When to travel to Vang Vieng
This area of Laos has become a perfect place to enjoy nature and outdoor sports. Located halfway between Vientán and Luang Prabang, surrounded by the Nam Song River, it is the meeting place for lovers of trekking, climbing and tubing, as well as kayak trips.
Well, there is no doubt that, to be able to peacefully practice all these sports, it is best to avoid the rainy season. Once again, the dry season is the best time to travel to this tourist city of Laos. If it can be between November and February, all the better.
When to travel to Laos to navigate the Mekong
If you want to make the route from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai, which is the most popular, you should plan your trip during the dry season. In the rainy season, the flooding of the waters can hinder navigation, contrary to what you may think.
Between November and February, also including March and April for those who are not afraid of high temperatures, would be the best time to sail the Mekong. You will have a dry and temperate climate which will allow you to enjoy the trajectory of this famous river to the fullest.
For the rest of Laos jewels like Vientiane, Tham Kong Lo, or the Bolaven plateau, between November and February are the best months to make your trip. Don’t forget to plan the dates well according to the area you want to visit.