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The best time to travel in Laos

The dry season is the best time to visit Laos, as it can rain for months on end. If you're heading to the mountains, go in April or May when the temperatures are pleasant and it's not too cold. At the same time, avoid these months if you're going to the south of country as it can get stiflingly hot.

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The best time to visit Laos is during the dry season, from November to May. Temperatures don't fall below 15°C and begin to rise from the end of March to May. Avoid the monsoon season, which starts between May and July and lasts until November. During these heavy rains, temperatures average between 25 and 30°C. It also wise to choose your time of travel according to the places you want to visit. The hot months of April and May make it uncomfortable in the south, but it's a great time if you're heading to the cooler north of the country. In Laos you'll find unquestionable authenticity, despite the country's tumultuous past. Parts of the countryside are untouched wildernesses and the Laotians are some of the most welcoming people on the planet.

The North

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The north of Laos is home to the country's mountains. You'll find Luang Prabang, the former royal capital and one of the most intriguing cities in Laos. Outside of the town, there's a rural life to explore, where culturally rich, sparsely populated areas are dotted with wood and bamboo houses. You can hop on a boat or kayak and coast along rivers that wind their way through a stunning countryside. And you musn't miss going on a forest trek. Aim to go during April and May, so as to avoid the rains and colder months.

The Centre

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The dry season is best for visiting the central parts of Laos. Avoid going between June and November if you want to explore this little-known region. Only go there in April and May if you can handle hot weather. Go on a trek in the Phu Hin Bua National Protected Area and enjoy its rich, varied wildlife and scenery. You may well see species that are now extinct in other parts of Southeast Asia. You can also do a tour of Tha Kheek and Savannakhet. Head through forests, where deities are supposed to live, and visit the villages dotted around the Dong Phu Vieng National Protected Area.

The South

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The south of Laos is perfect for the adventurers amongst you. You can enjoy loads of activites along the River Mekong, away from the tourist-focused ones organised in some villages. Breathe in the beauty of the ancient khmer temples and enjoy the pleasant ambiance of Pakse. Head out of Pakse to the Boloven Plateau with its stunning waterfalls. And explore Si Phan Don, the 'Four Thousand Islands' that sits on the Cambodian border. Best to go during the dry season between November and March. You'll avoid the rains and it isn't too hot.

Outdoor sports

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Laos is the perfect place to enjoy some outdoor fun. There are some great hikes/bike rides as well as kayak trips in the northwest of the country. At Vang Vieng, you can go river tubing as well as climbing and potholing. On the Boloven Plateau you can go on an elephant trek and even try ziplining! What could be better than racing down a zipline above a stunning landscape? The dry season is the best time to go; avoid the hot months of April and May, unless you're heading to the mountains.

Vientaine and its surroundings

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Vientiane is a great town, a million miles away from its rural surroundings. It's a booming place with magnificent temples and breathtaking architecture. It's a cultural melting pot and you'll be able to tour the 6,400 Buddhas at Vat Si Saket and the golden Pha That Luang temple. And why not take a bike ride around town? Going between November and March is a good time, but if the heat doesn't bother you, then April and May will also do. And you'll also miss the rainy season.
Tiphaine Leblanc
77 contributions
Updated 5 February 2019