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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Laos in 2024 (Our Take)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Laos in 2024 (Our Take)

What's the best time to visit Laos?

The best time to visit Laos is from November to February, during the dry season, when temperatures are cooler, averaging 77°F, making it comfortable for exploration. This period ensures access to attractions without the rainy season’s heavy downpours and is perfect for enjoying Laos’s outdoor attractions like the Mekong River and Kuang Si Waterfalls, with lush landscapes and passable trails.

 Laos is a quiet Southeast Asian country that used to be overshadowed by its neighbors Thailand and Vietnam but is slowly gaining popularity among backpackers and other travelers. Laos boasts beautiful, untouched jungle landscapes that you can explore along the Mekong River or on the Bolaven Plateau.

The country is also home to some impressive ancient sites, such as the Plain of Jars, which is truly unlike any other place in the world, and the castles and temples of Luang Prabang.

Throughout Laos, you can enjoy delicious food, similar to its regional neighbors but also unique, and unprecedented hospitality. Laos has a tragic past but is fast becoming a popular tourist destination. Keep reading to learn more about the best time to visit.

The 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

The best time to visit Laos is during the dry season, which runs from November to February, when weather in this tropical climate is at its best. Laos, like the rest of Southeast Asia, has a tropical climate, according to the World Bank’s Climatology portal.

That means that it has warm to hot temperatures all year round, with slight fluctuations depending on the season. The rhythm of the year is dictated by the change between the rainy season and the dry season.

The dry season in Laos lasts from November to April, while the rainy season lasts from May to mid-October. During the rainiest months, Laos can get over 12 inches of rain! You can see why it’s best to visit when the weather is drier so you can avoid these downpours.

Right after the end of the rainy season, temperatures are much more comfortable for exploring. From November to February, average daily high temperatures are 77-80 degrees Fahrenheit (25-27 degrees Celsius).

In March and April, the weather is hot and dry, with maximum daily temperatures reaching an average of  87 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius).

Exploring during the dry season is going to be more pleasant since you won’t be soaking wet from the rain. It’s also way more practical. Laos is still a developing country, which means that roads to many popular attractions such as the Plain of Jars are not always paved and can be impassable in the rainy season.

Visiting from November to April ensures that you can actually get to all of the things you want to see. The best time to explore along the Mekong River is definitely during the beginning of the dry season.

Conditions aren’t hot yet or terribly rainy, but the landscapes around the river are lush and green from last season’s rains. Since river cruises are some of the most popular activities in Laos, it’s a good idea to time your trip so you can enjoy this activity.

The lush waterfalls, such as the Kuang Si Waterfalls, are also at their best from November to February.

They have a high volume of water from the rainy season, but the trails to get to the falls are actually passable. This season is the best time to visit the many outdoor attractions around Laos.

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, when the tourist high season is over, and accommodations offer discounts to try and attract more tourists.

March, April, and May are the hottest months of the year in Laos, and the temperature in the south and other low-altitude regions can get unbearable during the day. This heat chases away many potential visitors, but that also means lower prices for those savvy enough to travel during this time.

The biggest savings you can have during this time are on accommodation. In Vientiane, hotels offer discounts of up to 20% on beds at the end of the dry season, while in other popular destinations such as Luang Prabang you can find even top resorts offering discounts of up to 40%.

Compare prices on a few different booking sites and you can save good money on your hotel stay. To get to Laos, most visitors have to fly to Bangkok then transfer to another flight to Luang Prabang or Vientiane.

Flights to Bangkok cost the least during Thailand’s low season, from May to October, so your transportation costs for Laos will also be lowest during this time.

Least Busy Time to Visit Laos

Open-air market in the old town of Luang Prabang in Laos, pictured during the overall least busy time to visit


The least busy time to visit Laos and still enjoy somewhat decent weather is in September, October, and early November, when the rains die down, but the crowds aren’t in town yet.

September and October are technically part of the rainy season in Laos, but the worst of the showers are over by then. The amount of monthly average rainfall falls drastically from August to September, then again in October.

By late September, you’ll only experience sporadic showers and a break from the worst of the season’s humidity. During these months, you can start to get out into nature again. The landscape is lush and green, although more remote attractions are still inaccessible.

Since the tourists aren’t back yet, this is also a good month to enjoy the streets of popular towns such as Luang Prabang, which is one of the most popular attractions in the country and can get quite crowded during the high season.

Another benefit of visiting during these months is that you can catch some of Laos’ best festivals. In October, Luang Prabang comes alive with Boun Lai Heua Fai, the Buddhist light festival, when elaborate lantern constructions parade through the city.

Later in the season, you can take in traditional boat racing festivals along the Mekong River. This is the best time to visit for experiencing traditional culture.

Worst Time to Visit Laos

Rain clouds above a chocolate colored river in Laos

Richard Whitecombe/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Laos is from March to August, when the weather is difficult to bear throughout most of the country. March and April are at the end of the dry season, when temperatures are very hot.

They can reach well into the 90s on the Fahrenheit scale. Towards the end of the season, the humidity can also get high, making it downright unhealthy to spend lots of time indoors.

Since this is the least expensive time to visit Laos, you may still be tempted to come. The best way to save money and still beat the heat is to visit the right regions.

In the highlands such as the Bolaven Plateau and other regions with higher altitudes, the heat is not so bad, and you can enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities during the last of the dry weather. The downright worst time to visit Laos is from May to August, which is the peak of the rainy season.

Expect near-daily heavy showers during this time. While it doesn’t rain all day, even when it isn’t raining, the high humidity makes it difficult to spend any meaningful time exploring outdoors.

Exploring some parts of Laos can be downright dangerous during the rainy season.

Extensive flooding tends to happen, particularly during the rainiest month of August. Hiking trails are slippery and dangerous to cross, while rural roads turn into mud. If you can, avoid traveling to the country during this time.

Things to Consider

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


Here are a few additional tips to help you plan for visiting Laos:

  • In November-February, evenings can get cool. In the highlands or on the Mekong River, expect cooler temperatures at night. Don’t forget to pack layers just because you’re visiting a tropical country.
  • Make sure you have cash. Most places in Laos only accept cash (including US dollars and Thai baht) so don’t expect to pay with your card.
  • Bring layers and a sarong. Not only will you need it when the evenings are cooler, but longer items are also necessary to visit Buddhist temples, which have more modest dress codes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Boats pictured floating on the water of the Nam Song River in Vang Vieng during the best time to visit Laos

David Ionut/Shutterstock

Here are some commonly asked questions people have about picking the best time to visit Laos:

When is the rainy season in Laos?

The rainy season in Laos is from May to October, and intensifies in June, July, and August.

How many days are enough in Laos?

You should spend seven to ten days in Laos since you will want to check out several different regions and getting from one part of the country to another can take a while.

Is Laos less expensive than Thailand?

Laos is a bit more expensive than Thailand because its infrastructure is less developed, so there are fewer choices, but it’s not very expensive.

What is the hottest month in Laos?

The hottest month in Laos is April, right before the rainy season, when temperatures reach the high 90s Fahrenheit.

What is the coolest month in Laos?

The coolest month in Laos is December, followed by January, but even then, daytime temperatures are fairly warm.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Laos?

The best time to visit Laos is from November to February, when the weather is the most bearable in this tropical country. The dry temperatures and moderate heat make it the perfect time for exploring.

So, with so much to see and do and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Laos has to offer. Happy travels!