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Weather & Climate in Laos

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Most of the plains of Laos have a tropical climate, while the far north and mountainous areas are characterized by a subtropical climate. Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, Laos climate is simple, which can be divided into two seasons throughout the year: the Rainy Season and the Dry Season.

The rainy season begins in May and lasts until early October, bringing heavy rainfall and high humidity to Laos. August and September are the two two rainiest months in Laos, accounting for 40% of the total annual rainfall. The hottest time of the year in Laos is usually between March and June, when average temperatures can climb to 35 ºC (95 ºF) and above.

The dry season lasts from November to April, during which the winter monsoon makes temperatures drop across the country, with average temperatures ranging from 15 ºC to 27 ºC (59-80.6 ºF). January is the coldest month in Laos. In some northern mountainous areas, the temperature can drop to 0 ºC (32 ºF) at night. In general, Laos weather is cool and dry in most parts of the country during the dry season. November to February is considered the best time to visit Laos due to the pleasant climate and perfect conditions for river cruises.

Laos Seasons - Temperature & Clothing Guide

Rainy Season (May – October)

May marks the beginning of the rainy season in Laos and high humidity is expected throughout the country. The first month of the wet season will still be sultry, especially during the day when the average temperature remains around 34 ºC (93.2 ºF). However, thunder shower in the early morning or late evening will cool the air down a bit.

The rains become heavier and more frequent in August and September, when the air humidity reaches its highest level of the year. Laos is mountainous and forested, with complex terrain and poor road conditions, so avoid traveling during the rainy season. In October, the rainfall decreases significantly and the weather in Laos starts to get cooler and drier.

What to Wear

Given the hot and humid weather during the day, you are advised to wear cool, breathable clothing such as short sleeves made of cotton and hemp, shorts, and thin T-shirts.

It’s best to bring an umbrella or waterproof clothing when traveling in the rainy season. Many landscapes in Laos are pristine, so there are more mosquitoes. It is recommended that you pack mosquito repellents or purchase them at a local pharmacy.

Dry Season (November – April)

The dry season in Laos runs from November to April, with the temperature dropping every month, reaching its lowest point in January. At the same time the northern mountainous areas will experience temperatures close to zero. From February onwards, temperatures gradually climb, reaching a yearly high in April, which can exceed 38 ºC (100.4 ºF). The best time to visit Laos is from November to February, when the weather is sunny and the temperature is perfect for hiking, exploring and other outdoor recreational activities.

What to Wear

In the period from November to February, the average daytime temperature is 28 ºC (82.4 ºF). It is recommended to wear comfortable clothes such as thin long skirts and T-shirts. At night, the average temperature drops to 16 ºC (60.8 ºF), so remember to bring a warm clothing such as a windbreaker, a jacket, or a thin sweater.

Where to Go

The Mekong’s water level is at its highest between November and January, perfect conditions for river cruises. Kayaking trips and white-water rafting in Vientiane and Luang Prabang are highly recommended. Rock climbing, cycling, caving, and forest trekking are ideal activities throughout the dry season.

In addition, you can experience some Lao cultural festivals during the dry season, including the Bun Pha That Luang (in November) and the Lao New Year (in April).

☛ See also: 10 Important Annual Festivals in Laos

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