Small Group Journey
We recommend traveling to Laos during the cool stretch of the dry season, between November and February. During these months temperatures are relatively low and the air is much cleaner. If you are planning a trip for November or December – rivers will still be high from the wet season, which means easier and breezier river travel. However, this season does yield larger crowds as it is also Laos’ peak travel season.
The dry season in Lao runs from November to April and is split into two subsections. November to February makes up the cool dry season while March and April, both blisteringly hot, make up the hot dry season, with April being the hottest month of the year. From March to May farmers set fire to rice stubble and degraded forests to improve soil fertility in preparation for a new rice crop. This time is something to be weary of when making travel plans and arrangements because the smoke factor in Laos at this time may ruin photos and irritate the eyes. However, traveling to Laos at this time will provide less crowds as it is not a peak travel time.
The wet season in Laos is from May to October and consists of a few hours of rain per day as opposed to torrential downpours all day long. In the Northern-most part of Laos and the Northeast showers may arrive early from Southern China and Vietnam. Towns along the Mekong River, south of Vientiane experience the least number of showers because of their higher elevation. Damaged infrastructure is an effect of the wet season across most of Southeast Asia. Although rutted roads are not as big of an issue in Laos due to sealed roads, the topography of Mountainous Laos is also prone to landslides. The rivers can become beastly and delays due to bridges being down are not uncommon – be prepared for slow travel times and delays. On the upside, the wet season does allow boat season to flourish. The rainfall makes the rivers water level rise, allowing slow-boats to make better pace. Another positive of this season is that temperatures are lower, the air is cleaner and there are less crowds. Traveling during the wet season won’t impose any problems other than the possibility for delayed travel times as long as you come prepared with rain gear visit the Bolaven Plateau exploding with vivid shades of green in southern Laos during the wet season and watch all the vegetation come to life. Don’t let the idea of possible showers deter you from making travel plans at this time. Although it sounds like there will be rain every day for five months; in reality the wet season will only consist of a few hours of showers per day, not constant torrential downpours.
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