Laos is a wonderful Southeast Asian country that seems on just about every backpacker’s travel bucket list, and for good reason.
After all, Laos is cheap to travel to, it’s jam-packed with fun outdoor activities in nature, and there are plenty of rich cultural and religious attractions to see in just about every city.
And now that Laos has caught your attention as one of the regions to explore on your ASEAN grand tour, it seems there is only one very important question left to ask that’ll get you started: When’s the best time to visit Laos?
The Best Time to Visit Laos
Like most of the tropically-located countries in the area, the best time to visit Laos is during its cooler dry season, which runs from November through January.
Laos’ annual climate is divided into two seasons: Wet and dry. The wet season falls between May and October, while the dry season is from November through April.
During the wet season or monsoon season, Laos is frequented by light to heavy rain showers, especially in the north, which can cause floods and damages that make travel through rural towns and to remote regions very challenging endeavors, to say the least. At some points, motorbiking, a popular way to travel in Laos becomes increasingly dangerous, and fun outdoor activities may even be closed.
Plus, Laos becomes a sweltering heat zone due to the high humidity throughout the monsoon season, especially from May through July.
Nevertheless, despite the onset of rain and blistering humidity during the wet season keeping tourism low (which equates to better deals, by the way), it is considered a good time to go on a Mekong River cruise as water levels are higher, and a good opportunity to visit waterfalls and explore plush rice fields.
Laos’ dry season actually has, well, two seasons of its own: Cool and hot. The cool dry season, November through February, brings with it milder temperatures averaging in the 70s. This period is considered the best time of year to visit Laos for sightseeing tours and fun outdoor activities in nature.
As the dry season progresses, so do the temperatures. From March to April, temperatures reach between 85 F° and 110 F°, making some activities unbearable for unprepared travelers. With the addition of smoke filling the air in places like Luang Prabang due to rice and crop fields being burned to prepare for the monsoon season, Laos can easily become an irritable tourist hub.
Festivals to Consider
There are some popular festivals and celebrations in Laos that travelers will attend no matter the weather. Here’s a list for your reference:
February: Vietnamese Tet and Chinese New Year
April: Lao New Year
May – June: Boun Bung Fai (Lao Rocket Festival) Time depends on location.
September: Haw Khao Salaack (Offering of foods to deceased)
October: Boun Ock Phansa (Boat Racing Festival)
November: That Luang Festival (Vientiane)
December: Lao National Day
When Will You Visit?
So, now you know the best time to visit Laos, November through January, and hopefully, that puts you one step closer to booking your flight and exploring the Southeast Asian country.
When do you think you’ll visit? Are you game to visit Laos during the wet season or are you a fan of outdoor activities under a scorching sun? Or maybe you’ll just stick to the cooler dry season in “winter”.
Either way, Laos is sure to welcome you with open arms. Safe and happy travels!