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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Laos in 2023

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Laos in 2023

Laos is a beautiful and diverse country located in Southeast Asia. The rich culture, stunning scenery, and welcoming locals make Laos an incredibly attractive destination for travelers.

Whether you’re looking for a cultural journey or want to relax among some of the world’s most pristine natures, there is something for everyone in this nation. But when should you go?

Don’t worry — our travel experts did the hard work for you and have rounded up the best, least busy, cheapest, and worst times to visit, along with a few things to consider before booking your trip. Let us be your guide!

Why You Should Visit Laos

Laos is an ancient and remarkable destination, with stunning landscapes and culture. It’s a quiet place, far removed from the hustle and bustle of touristic hotspots, making it a uniquely peaceful experience.

A visit to Laos can immerse you in its unique history – stop by UNESCO World Heritage sites like Vat Phou and Vat Phou Champasak.

Here you can see ancient architecture and monuments that have remained perfectly intact over dozens of centuries, even as the world has changed around them. You can witness ancient traditions if you come across Lao festivals, like Vientiane’s That Luang festival.

Traditions offer glimpses into another culture and way of life that has remained pretty much unchanged over centuries. Laos also boasts vibrant local markets, culinary delights, and stunning natural beauty.

Even trek through lush bamboo forests, swim in azure lagoons, or spend a serene day bird-watching. Visiting Laos is guaranteed to provide an unforgettable adventure full of unique experiences!

Overall Best Time to Visit Laos

Young woman walking on a wooden boardwalk in Vang Vieng during the best time to go to Laos

Guitar Photographer/Shutterstock

If you want to enjoy beautiful natural landscapes, wonderful culture, and delicious food without dealing with crowds, then visiting Laos between the months of November and early April is your best bet.

November is also the most optimal time to travel through the water, as the Mekong River levels are at its peak.

With temperatures ranging from comfortable lows in the 60s Fahrenheit (20s Celsius) during the cooler months to warm highs in the 80s range (30s Celsius) during April, it’s a great time for anyone looking for a balance between gorgeous weather and some adventurous activities.

Some of the most popular activities during this time include kayaking, hiking, and biking.

Plus, November through April gives plenty of opportunities for exploring top sights like Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang as well as indulging in delicious Lao-style cuisine.

Cheapest Time to Visit Laos

Gorgeous waterfalls in Laos pictured during the cheapest time to visit, with fog and mist above a viewing platform made of wood


The cheapest time to visit Laos is from March to May during the off-season. Visiting Laos during this time can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

With fewer crowds, these months are perfect for sightseeing and exploring some of the country’s most breathtaking destinations.

Accommodation options, hotels, flights, etc. become more affordable during this time, so visitors can take full advantage of discounted rates while still enjoying high-quality services.

Although this may be the off-season to visit, there are plenty of activities and events during this time.

  • March: A religious 3 day event named Boun Pha Vet celebrating the “incarnation of Buddha”.
  • April: A festival lasting several days named the Boun Pi Mai New year, which holds cleansing rituals for the new year with scented water, etc.
  • May: A candlelight tradition named Boun Visakhaboucha to honor the life of Buddha and celebrated at various temples.

Least Busy Time to Visit Laos

Gorgeous wood bridge over a river in Vang Vieng during the best time to go to Laos


To make the most out of your visit to Laos, you may want to travel during the least busy time – December.

Even though this is monsoon season in some parts of the country, central parts remain relatively dry and offer comfortable weather for travel. Prices generally go down due to low demand, so it is often possible to have an amazing journey without breaking your budget.

Worst Time to Visit Laos

Rain clouds above a chocolate colored river in Laos

Richard Whitecombe/Shutterstock

Visiting Laos during its wet season, which occurs between late April and October, is not advisable for travelers.

The April-to-October months are Laos’ hot season, when you can expect daily highs of nearly 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) and incredibly high humidity.

It can get so hot in April that locating a place with air conditioning becomes a priority for many visitors. Those inclined to venture out despite the weather will have the added hassle of managing rains which occur without warning during this part of the year.

This means that there are many times when your plans to explore some of the natural wonders and sites may have to be put on hold until the conditions improve.

On top of it all, monsoon season (May – October) brings frequent disruption to road transport services, adding further complications to Lao expeditions. For these reasons, it’s best to explore this beautiful nation between November to March instead.

However, for those looking for a unique experience, these months offer a glimpse into how Laos remains so vibrant despite the rainy weather. From boat tours through rivers with water buffalo to fishing stilted villages, travelers will find something new to see.

Things to Consider

Before setting off on your trip, there are plenty of considerations to keep in mind:

  • Ensure that you have all the necessary travel documents; while they often don’t ask for visas if you stay less than 30 days, it’s best to check visa and travel requirements.
  • Pack appropriate apparel such as modest clothing and take the chance to stock up on essentials from home.
  • Familiarize yourself with local customs and languages to make your journey smoother.
  • Learn about transportation systems and methods before visiting, this will prevent you from getting lost or confused as you travel to Laos.

What Clothes to Pack When Visiting Laos

As a traveler to Laos, packing the right clothing is essential for an enjoyable vacation. For warm weather activities during the day, lightweight items in light colors such as shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and linen or cotton trousers are recommended.

Extra layers including shawls or a sweater should also be packed to keep you warm during the cool nights.

Incorporating traditional clothing elements into your outfits, like shoulderless shirts and midi skirts, will provide you with respect and admiration among locals; however, note that revealing attire such as mini skirts or shorts should be avoided.

Other Essentials to Pack

Here are some essential items you should consider bringing on your trip to Laos:

  • To show respect for the local culture of Laos, bring gifts such as snacks, alcohol, and handicrafts.
  • An international driver’s license, in case you decide on renting a vehicle while traveling within Laos.
  • Spare cash in case credit cards aren’t accepted in some stores or restaurants.
  • Bring sunscreen and insect repellent to protect from direct sunlight or pesky mosquito bites.
  • Bring a camera, you are going to want to record your happiest memories! Remember that camera batteries die quicker in warmer climates, so be prepared with extra batteries or a backup charger.

With all these essential items packed, you’ll be ready for a memorable adventure around Laos!

Most Recommended Places to Visit in Laos

Here are some of the most popular places to visit in Laos:

  • Vientiane: Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is an idyllic oasis along the Mekong River. Offering a mix of classic Lao architecture and contemporary culture, this city captivates visitors with its peaceful atmosphere, unique Lao cuisine, and diverse sightseeing and leisure activities. Visitors should make sure to sample the famous local laab kai (a northern specialty), and barbeque river fish, or take a stroll with friends around one of the many nearby parks and monuments. It’s also a great place to pick up souvenirs—from handmade jewelry to traditional silk handicrafts.
  • Luang Prabang: Luang Prabang is a city located in northern Laos and presents an exquisite combination of cultural and natural splendor. Luang Prabang offers elegant temple grounds held sacred by many Buddhists and French Colonial architecture for a truly unique experience. For outdoor adventure, there are many nearby natural attractions, such as Kuang Si Waterfall and much more. Moreover, the picturesque downtown area offers numerous options for dining, nightlife, and shopping.
  • Tham Kong Lo: Tham Kong Lo, or The Pak Ou Caves, is a limestone cave system located along the banks of the Mekong River in Laos. This iconic landmark has been an important symbol of religious and cultural significance to locals for many centuries. Tham Kong Lo is only accessible by boat. This attraction provides an incomparable exploration opportunity as visitors trek through darkness and grandeur in the form of thousands of Buddha statues carved into sacred alcoves. In these caves, you will see massive stalactite & stalagmite formations. Although mysterious and tranquil, Tham Kong Lo could also propel visitors on a historical adventure as it unveils ancient secrets and stories passed down orally within local mythologies.
  • Plain of Jars: The Plain of Jars is a mysterious archaeological site located in the province of Xieng Khouang in Laos. Put simply, it’s an expanse of rolling grassy hills dotted with thousands of large stone jars. Dating back to at least 500 BC, these jars are thought to have been used for funerary practices and burial rituals during the Iron Age. Many theories abound as to why this unique landscape exists, and its mysterious origins add to its allure. What’s particularly interesting about the site is that some of the jars still hold human remains – bolstering its status as one of the most enigmatic ancient sites in Southeast Asia.
  • Vang Vieng: Vang Vieng is a riverside city in central Laos, situated along the Nam Song River and wedged between two mountain ranges. It is best known for its outdoor activities such as tubing and trekking but offers much more than just that. The city serves as an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern cities and allows visitors to explore forests teeming with wildlife, ancient caves filled with fascinating geological formations, and stunning temples that are centuries old. Adventurers can even take a hot air balloon ride over Vang Vieng to marvel at its breathtaking beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hikers climbing a wooden tower built on a rock formation during the best time to visit Laos


Traveling to a new country can be overwhelming. Here are some of the most asked questions to help you plan an amazing trip to Laos:

How many days are enough to visit Laos?

For an unforgettable experience in the charming land of Laos, a minimum of five days is essential. With enough planning, this gives you time to explore some of the most captivating attractions while also providing great insight into the rich culture and lifestyle.

How much should I budget for a trip to Laos?

Whether you’re looking for a luxurious experience or a backpacking adventure, there are tons of options when it comes to budgeting for your trip to Laos. Depending on the activities you want to do, you can comfortably enjoy your trip with a budget of $30-$60 per day per person.

Can you drink alcohol in Laos?

Due to its culture and laws, it is important to understand the specifics of drinking alcohol in Laos when visiting the country. In short, it is possible to drink alcoholic beverages in Laos when you are 18+ years old.

But there are restrictions on when and where it can be consumed. Generally, drinking alcoholic beverages in public places is prohibited.

What is the most popular food in Laos?

Lao cuisine is known for its aromatic, spicy dishes which are a feast for the senses. One of the most popular Lao dishes is Khao Piak Sen, a noodle soup typically served with pork or chicken and a mix of fresh herbs.

Additionally, Laotian cuisine often features larb, a mouthwatering dish of minced meat mixed with different spices and herbs like mint leaves and kaffir lime, served with sticky rice or over salad.

Is Laos tourist friendly?

While not as heavily visited as some of its neighboring countries, Laos still manages to captivate tourists with its unique mix of cultural diversity and landscapes.

The country boasts a remarkably hospitable culture, and locals are known for their generosity and friendliness when interacting with travelers.

So, When Should You Visit Laos?

Generally, most people prefer to visit Laos from November to early April. And be sure to book enough time; we think five days is necessary to explore all this beautiful country has to offer. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!