Dry season in Laos is the best time for sightseeing and other exciting activities to this country since the weather is warm and dry throughout.

Traveling to Laos during the time between October and April, you will have a chance to participate in exciting outdoor activities such as sightseeing, cycling, trekking, and even adventurous ones like zip-lining and hiking. This article will help you to prepare and plan a trip to Laos during dry season.

Dry Season in Laos

Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Waterfall

Literally, you can travel to this country year-round since it is not affected by the coastline. However, to avoid intense showers, it is recommended that you plan to visit Laos between October and April. Due to the difference in altitude, the average temperature is around 28-29 degrees Celsius in the lowlands and 22-23 degrees Celsius in the mountainous areas. The best time to travel to Laos is from October to March.

Recommended Tour Packages:

In October, the beginning of dry season, there may be some hints of raining but they will not affect your trip. From November to February, dry condition can be seen throughout the country and this is the perfect time for cruising. We advise that you bring light clothing along with jeans and cardigans to keep warm in the evening. The hottest times in Laos are the end of dry season (March to April) and the early rainy season (May and June).

Events and Festivals during Dry Season in Laos

1. Wat Phou Festival – Pakse (February)

Wat Phou Champasack is one of the most important Hindu temples complex built in Laos under the Khmer Empire from the 10th – 14th century. Boun Wat Phou (Wat Phou Festival) is organized annually on the 15th day of the 3rd month of Lao lunar calendar. Based on traditional practices, this festival lasts either three days and three nights or seven days and seven nights. Together with religious rituals, you can see many traditional music and dance performances on Wat Phou Festival. It also includes a parade of elephant and horses as well as a local crafts fair.

2. Boun Khoun Khao/ Rice Festival (March)

Boun Khoun Khao - Laos
Boun Khoun Khao

Boun Khoun Khao Festival is an agricultural festival which takes place in rural areas at the harvest time. It is a good time for tourists to understand the importance of agriculture to Lao people and observe rural customs and traditions. The festival will be divided into two parts: ceremony and entertainment. During the ceremony, local people sit around a bunch of beautiful flowers called Pha Khouan. One sacred ceremony at this festival is carried out by a senior who tie white cotton strings around others’ wrists and pray for their happiness. After that, people can enjoy eating, drinking, dancing and singing traditional songs.

3. Boun Pi Mai/ Lao New Year (April)

Pi Mai in Laos - Laos Travel Guide
Pi Mai in Laos

Boun Pi Mai or New Year’s Eve is the most important festival in Laos. Although this festival is celebrated with joyous spirit around the country, Luang Prabang is the place where you can see the festivities are at their most intense. On this occasion, everyone stops studying and working to gather together with their family and friends to start a party. Buddha images are wasted, temples are decorated, and houses are cleaned from top to bottom. Pilgrims bring offerings to temples and pagodas to wish for luck in the next year. Water splash is the highlight of this festival which symbolizes all sins of last year being washed away.

4. Boun Ok Phansa and Boat Racing Festival (October)

Boun Ok Phansa, the end of ‘Buddhist Lent’, is a religious festival which coincides with several boat racing activities. This takes part in October, at the end of rainy season. Three months prior to Boun Ok Phansa, monks in Laos hide in their temples to study the teachings of Buddha and meditate. This is a period of calm in this country with no wedding, no parties except the religious ones. When Boun Ok Phansa arrives, people offer gifts and offerings to the monks. This is also the last boat race that takes place in Xieng Ngeun, 30km from the town center.

5. That Luang Festival and Trade Fair in Vientiane (November)

That Luang Festival - Laos
That Luang Festival

That Luang is the national symbol of Laos and this temple’s festival takes place during the full moon of the 12th lunar month, usually in November. One week prior to the festival, a huge international trade fair is held in Vientiane which features goods and exhibitions from all over the world. During That Luang Festival, Monks and pilgrims from Laos and Thailand gather to celebrate it in three days.  Foreigners can enjoy folk music and drama performances at the festival. And at night, do not miss a grand fireworks display.

Recommended Places to Visit during Dry Seasons in Laos

Laos is well-known for its pristine nature, lush forests, magnificent waterfalls along with French architecture and unique temples. Dry season is the ideal time to thoroughly discover the beauty of this exotic country. Here are 7 must-see attractions to visit in Laos during the dry season:

1. Vientiane

4 days in Laos
Vientiane’s Buddha Park

Vientiane is the smallest capital city in the Southeast Asian region, but there is no lack of fun here. Situated on the bank of the Mekong River, this city possesses a sub-tropical climate and enjoys a slow-paced life. You can visit Vientiane almost any time a year since this city offers a great choice of accommodation, restaurants, sightseeing spots, and entertainment. This city features That Luang Stupa, which is a symbol of Laos in terms of both Buddhism and national sovereignty. The legend said that this stupa houses a breastbone of Buddha. 25 kilometers southeast of Vientiane, Buddha Park is an extraordinary sculpture park which contains more than 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues.

2. Pakbeng

Pakbeng - Laos
Pakbeng

Located halfway between Houei Say and Luang Prabang, Pakbeng is a small and rustic town with stilted houses along steep hillsides. Normally, travelers can take a slow boat trip along the Mekong River from Luang Prabang or Chiang Mai (Thailand) to this town. But do not simply regard Pakbeng as a transit point from Thailand to Laos. You can hike or trek through local villages and discover the laid-back lifestyle of people here. Wat Khok Koh and Wat Sin Jong Jeang are two must-see temples here since they are both located on the hills where you can admire the whole town.

3. Muang La

Muang La
Muang La

Nestling beside the Nam Pak River, Muang La is a picturesque mountainous town in the north of Laos. It is a heaven for those who are eager to discover colorful ethnic culture, trek to hill tribes and escape from stressful urban life. This town is literally covered by green color: you can immerse in lush vegetation, tranquil forests, and peaceful rice paddies here. Tourists can also enjoy soaking in hot springs here whilst listening to the sound of nature: birds singing, wind blowing, and water flowing. The town itself offers many wonderful trekking routes to the Khmu, Akha, Ikhos and Hmong people who inhabit the area.

4. Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng - Laos Travel Guide
Vang Vieng

Situated in the middle of Luang Prabang and Vientiane, Vang Vieng is probably a party town of Laos with many tourists’ eateries, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Dry season is the best time to visit this town since tourists can enjoy exciting and thrilling activities here such as rope swinging, zip lining, swimming, and diving into blue lagoon, and large decks. The spectacular view to Nam Song River along the town is also an unforgettable memory on travelers’ minds. Some attractions in Vang Vieng are Blue Lagoon, Water Cave (Tham Nam), Elephant Cave (Tham Chang) and Kaeng Nyui Waterfall.

5. Luang Prabang

Wat Xieng Thong - 3 Days in Laos
Wat Xieng Thong

Famous for being a tranquil ancient capital of the country, Luang Prabang is endowed with green mountains, red-roofed temples, and French-Indochinese architecture, not to mention refined cuisines, unique culture, and kind-hearted local people. This city was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage City in 1995. Some most attractive sites in the city center are Royal Palace National Museum, Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Visoun, Wat Mai and Mount Phousi. Outside the town, Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfall are worth visiting. Pak Ou Caves are one of the most respected holy sites in Laos, consisting of more than 4000 Buddha icons while Kuangsi Waterfall is an imposing waterfall with a 50-meter drop.

6. Pakse

Don Khong in Si Phan Don
Don Khong in Si Phan Don

Pakse is the capital of Champasak Province which is located in the southwest of Laos. The town center itself is not so attractive; however, Pakse is a base to travel to several exotic landscapes such as Bolaven Plateau, idyllic islands in Si Phan Don and the Angkor ruins Wat Phou. Situated on an old volcano which erupted millions of years ago, Bolaven Plateau is famous for its high-quality coffee. One special thing about this plateau is Arabica bean – one of the most delicious coffee beans. It is estimated that Bolaven Plateau accounts for nearly all of Laos’ coffee production. This area is also the home to numerous spectacular waterfalls, among which Tad Fade is the largest one. Si Phan Don, which means ‘Four Thousand Islands’, offers tourists rural tranquility and peace with secluded natural settings. Some must-visit islands in this area are Don Khon, Don Det, and Don Khong. 40 kilometers from Pakse, Wat Phou is the ancient ruins which can be dated back to the 10th century.

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