Ideal time of year to travel Luang Prabang

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Nestled on the confluence of the Khan and Mekong Rivers in Laos, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang is full of interest. European architecture left behind by French colonials mixes with traditional Laotian wooden houses, and Buddhist monks in saffron robes walk the streets at dawn collecting alms. Luang Prabang is easy to explore on foot, but going at the right time of year will enable you to enjoy its winding streets and beautiful temples in comfort.

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Luang Prabang’s season

Despite having two distinct weather seasons you can travel in Laos all-year-round and with no coastline to influence things. Laos enjoys a warm, tropical climate year-round. The cooler, drier months of the year are from November to March.
  • November to January: dry season is high season, when most people visit
  • March: high humidity and temperatures in the 90s mean this isn’t the best time to visit Luang Prabang
  • August: the wettest month of the year, with flooding a possibility
  • September/October: dragon boat races on the Nam Khan river are a must-see
Tad Sae Fall via Our Global Trek

Dry season (November to May)

Luang Prabang’s dry season lasts from November to May, but most people visit between November and January, when temperatures are particularly pleasant. This does, however, mean that accommodation is more expensive at this time of year, and restaurants and places of interest are more crowded. From March to May, the mercury climbs as high as 38°C (100°F) – which, as you can imagine, can get rather uncomfortable in the high humidity. If you do happen to visit around mid-April, you’re likely to encounter the festivities associated with the Laos New Year celebrations, which include the tradition of throwing water – welcome relief from the heat.

Rainy season (May to October)

The rainy season in Luang Prabang isn’t anything like as bad as it sounds, and it’s actually a surprisingly good time to visit Luang Prabang. It mostly means that there will be afternoon showers, with plenty of sunshine the rest of the time. Temperatures are cooler, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as they’re still over 20°C (70°CF) and perfectly comfortable. The rainiest months are August and September, when the Mekong sometimes experiences flooding.

Boun Ok Phansa Festival via Laos tours

With humidity lower, the air is fresher – and all that afternoon rain means that the jungle vegetation and rice paddies are at their most lush and green. Flowers are in colorful bloom, attended by hordes of beautiful butterflies, and the waterfalls – which often dry up in the dry season – are at their most impressive at this time of year. What’s more, with fewer tourists around, accommodation is cheaper and restaurants are easier to get into.

Another good reason to visit in Rainy Season: September or October sees dragon boat racing on the Nam Khan river take center stage in Luang Prabang, bringing competitors from surrounding villages and an atmosphere of palpable excitement.

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