January through February is dry season in Laos, promising premium traveling conditions through the country. As with most Southeast Asian countries, cooler seasons will bring a larger number of tourists. In Laos, the situation is no different - larger crowds mean hotel and vendor prices will be higher.
Luang Prabang and Vientiane experience pleasant and moderate temperatures at the average of 20°C (68°F) and 24°C (75°F), whilst in Pakse and the 4000 islands in southern Laos, it is slightly warmer at average temperature at 26°C (81°F).
Dry days and relatively cool temperatures make February an ideal month for trekking in the remote northern mountains, such as Luang Namtha, Muang La and Phongsali. In Phongsali, for example, temperatures can dip to as low as 7°C (45°F). If you are heading to those destinations this time of the year, suitable warm clothing is recommended.
On the Mekong River via Pakbeng, it can still be chilly at night and in the early mornings with average temperature at 15°C (59°F). In the south, Pakse city of Champasak province sees the highest average temperature at 26°C (81°F).
Average temperatures in cities:
|15°C/ 59°F||20°C/ 68°F||24°C/ 75°F||26°C/ 81°F|
HOLIDAYS & EVENTS
End of January - Laos Food Festival: an annual event in the capital of Vientiane, brings almost 200 vendors to the streets. The largest food festival in the country, it shows all forms of produce including the iconic laap (famous Laos’ traditional dish) - a zesty meat salad flavored with garlic and lime - and a spirit of entrepreneurship among women.
Boun Pha Vet: This temple centered festival celebrates the birth of Prince Vessanthara, the Buddha's penultimate existence. The birth story of Buddha is recited, and this is the favored time for Lao men to become ordained as a monk. Festivities are staggered between villages so that different villages can visit one another to their celebrations.
Full Moon, February - Boun Ma Kha Bu Saar: This celebration commemorates a speech given by the Buddha, in which he laid down the first monastic regulations and predicted his own death. The speech was heard by 1250 enlightened monks who arrived without prior summons. The festival is to celebrate with chanting and presenting offering carious Vat throughout the country, its biggest celebrations take place at the Khmer ruins of Vat Phu, Champasack.
January 29 - Wat Phu Festival: This religious festival is held at the pre-Angkorian Wat Phu site every year in Champasak province, about 10-hour drive south of Vientiane. A trade fair of products from the southern province of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam is also held 3-5 days prior. Wat Phu is the most famous Hindu temple complex built in Laos under the Khmer Empire is one of Laos' world heritage sites.