When to Go

Laos has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the dry season, from November through May, and the rainy season, from June through October. The cooler portion of the dry season, from November through February, is a comfortable time to tour Laos. By mid-March temperatures begin to soar. The country becomes baking hot, and because farmers burn their fields in spring, the air turns brown and hazy. In the rainy season, road and air travel can be slower and the days are often very hot and sticky; August and September see the most rain. On the upside, the country is greener and less crowded during the rains and prices are lower.

The yearly average temperature is about 82°F (28°C), rising to a maximum of 100°F (38°C) during April and May. In the mountainous areas around Luang Nam Tha, Phonsavan, and Phongsaly, however, temperatures can drop to 59°F (15°C) in winter and sometimes hit the freezing point at night.

Laos has a busy festival calendar and Vientiane and Luang Prabang, in particular, can get very crowded during the most important of these festivals, among them Lao New Year, in April, and Vientiane's That Luang Festival, in November. Book your hotel room well in advance during these periods.

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