Laos Weather & Climate

The climate in Laos is best described as tropical, with a seasonal monsoon meaning that the weather is hot and humid with plenty of rain in the wet season. The average temperature is around 29 degrees C although this can drop in the cooler months to about 15 – 20 degrees C. The days are usually warm and sunny most of the year. There are two basic seasons, the rainy season which runs from May to October which is characterized by downpours lasting a few hours every few days or so, in this season, the humidity is much higher, but after a downpour the country is greeted by fresher cleaner air, beautiful clear blue skies and rainbows after the afternoon rain. The dry season runs from November to April or early may, and is subdivided into 2 distinct sections, November to February is the cool dry season and March to April is the hot dry season. We visit during the ‘dry’ season, and will not experience much rainfall during our trips.


Cool season in Laos (from November to February) 

The weather in Laos around the central, northern, and southern regions is mostly cool and dry between November and February, consequently these are the most popular months to visit Laos.  Considering its location in the tropics however, the Laos climate is quite warm most of the year and genuinely “cool” weather really only occurs in the northern mountains, while areas like Luang Prbanag and Vientiane receive perhaps few weeks of “cool” weather in late December or early January.

The southern region of Laos really has only two seasons – “rainy” and dry, not technically experiencing “cool” weather, per se, but featuring glorious sunshine without unbearable heat, beginning in late November and continuing onto April or May.


Hot season in Laos (March to June ) 

 The weather in Laos classified as the hot season lasts from March to June when higher relative temperatures and occasional rain are the norm. Around the inland areas, including Vientiane and Pakse, this often means punishing heat and high humidity. The temperatures in the hot season begin climbing in February and by April the unrelenting heat makes many residents eager for the upcoming rains, which begin sporadically falling around mid-April. Traditionally, the least popular season for travelers to visit Laos.


West season in Laos (May to October)

The rainy season lasts from July to October and is dominated by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in most of Laos is at its heaviest. However, like the “cool” season, the name “rainy season” is slightly misleading.  While it certainly does rain during this season it’s more likely to consist of flash-flood afternoon downpours than a continual drizzle for days. If you can bear the heat and humidity, the weather in Laos is typically sunny throughout the rainy season, but when the rain comes, it’s fast and it’s furious.


Best time to visit Laos

The best time to visit the small, landlocked country of Laos is between October and April, when the weather’s warm and dry throughout. River travel is best between November and January, when high water levels make passage easy along Laos' main waterway, the Mekong River. Visiting the Bolaven Plateau is also pleasant at this time of year. Laos’ geography plays a major part in shaping its climate, and cool temperatures can still be found in the highlands, which lie mainly in northern, eastern and central regions. The 'green season’ falls between late May and October, when the rains return to the country. However, showers are usually short and sharp, having little impact on your exploration. At this time of year the country comes to life, with waterfalls beginning to flow once more and the lush scenery attracting a variety of wildlife.