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When is it the best time to travel in Laos?

At a glance, Laos has a tropical climate with an average temperature of 25-29C. November through February are the cooler months and temperature, especially at night in mountainous regions where the weather can sometimes drop to 15-20C. The daytime is usually warm and sunny most of the year.

March, April and May are the warmest months but still mostly dry. The southwestern monsoon during June to October causes heavy downpours almost daily and usually in late afternoon or evening. But this is tropical rain and unlike rains in the UK where it can drizzle all day, the rains here are heavy, but short and refreshing. Rain here is usually followed by a short window of beautiful skies with dark ominous clouds and amazing thunder and lightning.

Note: Do not let the downpours of the green season stop you from coming here. Streets may turn into streams and rivers during the tropical rain but all in all, the water and rain are gone before you know it. Most of all, nature is in its most radiant peak, rice-paddies wear their most vibrant shade of green while different flowers and fruits find their way to the local market stalls.

The best time for visiting most of Laos is between November and February, when it rains the least and is not too hot.

Getting to Laos

Currently there are no direct flights to Laos but this is sure to change as the country is growing in popularity with holiday makers. However, Laos is still a relatively easy destination to get to. Travelers have the options of flying through one of the following airports; Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saigon or Seoul, before the final short leg to either Vientiane, Luang Prabang or Pakse. In terms of travel time this obviously depends on how long you have to wait for your connection, but you are looking at approximately a total of 12 hours of flying time.

Weather by Month

JANUARY

January in Laos sees low rainfall and dry, sunny days, so this is an excellent time of year for a visit. Travelling conditions are excellent throughout the country, with very little rainfall to be expected.
Vientiane and Luang Prabang enjoy comfortable average temperatures of around 24°C. It gets warmer in southern areas such as Pakse; here you can expect highs of around 30°C. If your itinerary includes the higher regions in the north east of Laos, or you plan to stop in Pakbeng during a Mekong River cruise, you may encounter cooler temperatures, averaging around 15°C. It is especially cool at night. In some regions, such as Phongsali, the mercury can drop to a low of 5°C, so it’s advisable to pack some warm clothing.

FEBRUARY

The dry season continues in February, with dry, sunny conditions similar to January, and very low possibility of rainfall. All in all this is an excellent time to visit Laos.
Averaging around 24°C, temperatures in Vientiane and Luang Prabang are very pleasant. In southern Laos, Pakse and the 4000 Islands are somewhat warmer; here you can expect highs of 30°C.
February is also an excellent month for hiking in Muang La, Luang Namtha and Phongsali, in northern Laos, due to the relatively cool temperatures. Bear in mind that temperatures can drop considerably at night and it’s recommended to take some warm clothing with you.

MARCH

There is little chance of rain throughout the country during March, but temperatures will be steadily rising as we move into the penultimate month of the dry season.
Vientiane and Luang Prabang can expect a rise in average temperatures to around 29°C. The 4000 Islands area in southern Laos, and Pakse, are a little warmer at around 32°C. To the north, Phongsali and Luang Namtha continue to enjoy cool temperatures, and this is a very good time of year for trekking. Although temperatures are slowly rising, humidity levels remain low, hovering around 60%.

APRIL

Laos is at its hottest in April, with temperatures reaching a possible high of 40°C in the 4000 Islands region and Pakse to the south; Vientiane and Luang Prabang are rather warm with temperatures around 30°C. Humidity levels hover around 70%.
The rainy season is now approaching, so there is the chance of some showers as it gets closer to the end of the month, particularly to the north around Phongsali, although the showers will be short-lived and infrequent, so they won’t affect travel in the region.
You may encounter some ‘slash and burn’ haze at this time. Farmers throughout Asia light fires to burn wood and bush they don’t need from newly-cleared ground. This can cause haze, especially in rural areas.

MAY

In some years, Laos can remain relatively dry in early – mid May, but by the second half of the month, the wet season is virtually guaranteed to be underway throughout the country, especially in Phongsali and the provinces to the north. The downpours are usually quite heavy but short-lived, and are quite refreshing, with blue skies and sunshine to enjoy in between. If you plan to visit the Bolaven Plateau, or Champasak Province, or the 4000 Islands in the south, more prolonged rainfall is to be expected.
In Luang Prabang and Vientiane, you can expect quite high temperatures, around 28°C, while the south, around Pakse, will be hotter still, hovering around 35°C.
You may encounter some ‘slash and burn’ haze in May. This is a farming practice throughout Asia at this time of year. Farmers burn wood and bush they can’t use from newly-cleared ground. This can produce haze, especially in the countryside areas.
There will be fewer visitors than in previous months, and, if you avoid the short, intermittent downpours, there is plenty of sunshine to enjoy in between. May can be a great month for a visit to Laos.

JUNE

The rainy season is well underway in Laos in June, though rainfall tends to be short and intense, lasting only a couple of hours rather than all day long. As a rule of thumb, the higher your altitude, the heavier the rainfall. The riverside towns to the south of Vientiane see the least rainfall. The countryside is now lush and green, particularly around Vang Vieng. The 4000 Islands have splendid waterfalls at this time of year.
Luang Prabang and Vientiane see temperatures around 25°C. Pakse to the south is a little warmer, around 27°C. Phongsali in the north is slightly cooler. Humidity rises in June, up to 80%.

JULY

By July, the rainy season is well entrenched in Laos, but downpours are usually short and sharp – just a few hours rather than all day long. There will still be dry days. To the south, in Pakse and the 4000 Islands, the rainfall is heavier and longer-lasting, which makes for spectacular waterfalls. In the region of Vang Vieng, the landscape is green and lush, but rock-climbing and caving can be difficult due to the rain. Travelling can be problematic in the remoter regions, such as Muang Sing and Phongsali, because the tracks may become unpassable.
The skies may be overcast, but temperatures in Vientiane and Luang Prabang are in the region of 25-27°C. Humidity is around 80%.

AUGUST

In August, the rainy season is in full swing in Laos, with a high probability of rain every day, and downpours becoming more severe. In more remote areas, such as Muang Sing and Phongsali, tracks and roads may become unpassable, with the possibility of landslides in some regions. ‘Off the trail’ travelling is not recommended in August.
Despite the rain, southern attractions such as the 4000 Islands are still accessible by boat, with waterfalls at their most spectacular, though if you want to relax on a beach, you might be better off including a few days on the beaches of central Vietnam.
Temperatures in Vientiane and Luang Prabang hover around 25-30°C, skies are largely overcast, and humidity can reach a high of 85%.

SEPTEMBER

Laos in September enjoys similar weather to August, with a great deal of rain to be expected. Towards the end of the month, as we move slowly towards the dry season, the rainfall becomes less severe and frequent, and there is more and more sunshine replacing the overcast skies. The countryside, after prolonged rainfall, is lush and verdant, and can be enjoyed at its best around Muang La and Vang Vieng.

OCTOBER

October sees a return of clement weather in Laos. There is far less rainfall than in previous months, and more sunshine replacing cloudy skies. Things are also a little cooler, with average temperatures around 25°C in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, though Pakse and the southern provinces may be a little warmer. In Phongsali and the mountainous regions in the far north, it can get cooler, particularly at night time, so don’t forget to pack some warm clothing.
October is a great time for a trip to Laos. The countryside is green and rich in vegetation. Temperatures are not too hot, and dry, sunny days are to be expected. The number of visitors remains low, particularly in the early part of the month, so popular tourist sites will have fewer crowds.

NOVEMBER

By November, the dry season is well underway in Laos, which means there is minimal chance of rain for the next five months. The skies are blue, sunny and warm, with pleasant temperatures averaging around 23°C in Luang Prabang and the capital, Vientiane. Pakse and the 4000 Islands to the south are somewhat warmer, around 26°C. Temperatures will eventually reach their height in March.
The dry conditions and moderate temperatures (averaging around 17°C) make November ideal for a visit to the north of the country, Nong Khiaw and Sam Neua, or for trekking in the mountains.

DECEMBER

December is one of the most popular months for a visit to Laos, so the main tourist sites will see a larger numbers of visitors, as tourists come to enjoy the dry, sunny conditions, clear skies and relatively moderate temperatures (averaging 19-22°C) throughout the land.
This is the ideal time of year to visit Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw and Sam Neua in the north, with safe trekking in Phongsali and safe rock-climbing and caving in Vang Vieng. Enjoying plenty of sun and minimal to no rain, the 4000 Islands to the south are ideal for recreation and relaxation. If you want to stretch out on a beach, the coast of central Vietnam and Hua Hin in Thailand are both easily reachable from Laos.

Passport & Visa Information

Do I need a Visa to enter Laos?
Yes: Residents of most nationalities must obtain a visa before entering the country.

 

How to get a Laos Visa?
There are two ways:

 

1) On Arrival – You can get a visa on arrival at the three International airports and all land border crossings with Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. A tourist visa costs $35 and is valid for a period of 30 days however extensions are available for longer stays.
*Please note that if you cross over a land boarder you may have to pay a stamping / processing fee of around $5.

2) In Advance (Embassy) – You can obtain your visa for Laos in advance by visiting your nearest embassy. The visa will cost you the same amount as getting it on arrival which is $35.

 

Additional Information:

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    Please make sure that your passport does not expire within 6 months of your holiday. And that your passport has at least one full clean pad for the visa and another page for additional stamps.

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    If applying for a visa on arrival please make sure that you have 2 passport photographs with you.

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    For every day you are in the country without a valid visa you will have to pay a fine per day.

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    Please note that you are no longer need to pay an airport departure tax as this is included in your airline ticket.

Destination Guide

Everything you need to know before you travel to Laos.

READ MORE

Our Favourite Hotels in Laos

Please ask us if you require more detailed information.

Ansara Hotel Laos

4 Star – Vientiane
The Ansara is a unique visual treat in the heart of the capital, the hotel combines quiet sophistication with genuine functionality. Providing just 14 rooms and suites, the emphasis is on personalized attention their guests by catering to the needs of individual travellers and only accommodating parties not exceeding 8 people. Elegant yet relaxed, the hotel exudes the warm and inviting feel of a private home while professionally addressing visitors needs for comfort and practicality.

Riverside Boutique Laos

4 Star – Vang Vieng
Located on the banks of the Nam Song River and next to a small wooden bridge, the Riverside Boutique Resort is a luxury hotel set around a glorious tropical garden and pool. All of the rooms as well as the restaurant and the bar, offer stunning views over the limestone mountains of Vang Vieng. Designed by award-winning architect Sakpaseuth Phanrajsavong, this boutique hotel is the first in the country that systematically celebrates the exceptional cultural and natural diversity of Laos.

Muang La Resort Laos

4 Star – Ouxomxay
The resort is a true hidden gem in Laos as Muang La offers the visitor absolute tranquillity. By being located at the foot of a natural source of hot water the intimate resort set in lush tropical gardens allows you to completely unwind in their natural Jacuzzis. Water is pumped daily in to the hot tubs from the hot springs where you can sit relax and enjoy a drink before spoiling yourself with the delicious food on offer at the restaurant that boasts stunning river views.

Satri House Laos

4 Star – Luang Prabang
Located in the heart of the city, Satri House was built at the turn of the last century as the residence of Prince Soupha-nouvong. The building was refurbished in 2002 by Mrs Lamphoune Voravongsa and has been run as a hotel ever since. Satri House is one of the most exquisite places in this ancient city, designed with a style inspired by Lao culture and set in a truly relaxing environment. Here you can enjoy private moments to yourself and really unwind or sit and watch the everyday life of local people from your balcony.

River Resort Laos

4 Star – Champasak
Situated on the banks of the Mekong, set amongst rice paddies, a mountain range behind and the river, that offers stunning sunsets. This elegant hotel gives guests the best of both worlds offering 20 contemporary and spacious rooms, 6 of which are situated in the rice paddy garden with the remaining 14 boasting incredible river views. The resort features open air dinning offering both western and local dishes; as well as a pool that overlooks the river.

Le Bel Air Laos

4 Star – Luang Prabang
Sala means school or place to stay for a stopover in Khmer language. Stay in one of the elegant eleven old reassembled wooden houses dating from 1956 to 1985, collected from different places around Cambodian. Located on a calm road not very far from the city central, Sala Lodges laid on a flat land surrounded by paddy fields, palm trees and lush garden, that makes the whole resort a peaceful village and pleasant stay.

Our most popular Laos Holidays

Browse through our Laos holiday suggestions and get some inspiration.
We can then tailor-make a Laos holiday just for you!

Laos Golf Tour

Laos Golf Tour

8 Days / 7 Nights Price from: $799 per person

Laos Vietnam Tour | From One Million Elephants to 2000 Islands

Laos Vietnam Tour | From One Million Elephants to 2000 Islands

14 Days / 13 Nights Price from: $POA per person

Following the Nine Tailed Dragon (Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam)

Following the Nine Tailed Dragon (Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam)

18 Days / 17 Nights Price from: $POA per person

Heritage of Indochina (Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia)

Heritage of Indochina (Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia)

15 Days / 14 Nights Price from: $POA per person

Laos & Thailand Boat Cruises

Laos & Thailand Boat Cruises

3 to 11 Day Cruises Price from: $POA per person

Hill Tribes & Highlands of Laos

Hill Tribes & Highlands of Laos

12 Days / 11 Nights Price from: $2,399 per person

Cultural Laos and the 4000 Islands

Cultural Laos and the 4000 Islands

10 Days / 9 Nights Price from: $1,999 per person

Explore Laos

Explore Laos

11 Days / 10 Nights Price from: $1,999 per person

Laos Heart, Soul & Spirit

Laos Heart, Soul & Spirit

7 Days / 6 Nights Price from: $1,299 per person

Northern Laos Explorer (Starting in Thailand)

Northern Laos Explorer (Starting in Thailand)

10 Days / 9 Nights Price from: $2,599 per person

4000 Islands, Elephants, Wild Coffee & Waterfalls

4000 Islands, Elephants, Wild Coffee & Waterfalls

8 Days / 7 Nights Price from: $1,549 per person

Luang Prabang Uncovered

Luang Prabang Uncovered

5 Days / 4 Nights Price from: $699 per person