The best time to visit Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam

Laos – Cambodia – Vietnam is a special option for people who prefer both leisure and adventure in one tour. Weather pros and cons will make a journey or break it. The high season has pleasant weather and local festivals, but it can be overwhelmingly crowded and costly. So, when is the best time to visit Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam?

Southeast Asia is the dream of a backpacker. This is where wonderful beaches, friendly people, tasty food, amazing natural wonders, ancient history, and seemingly endless days of sunshine intrigue. That, of course, depends on when you travel.

Overall, the best time to visit Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam is November through February, when temperatures are lower and it rains the least.  March through May is hot and is best spent in the hills and mountains, or on the beach.

Exploring the best time to visit Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam of the year

Three countries have their seasonal peculiarities, and if you dig deeper, you might find that there are some regional specifics. Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam are loved regions of the world, hope you fall in love with these parts of Asia.

Best time of year to visit Vietnam 

Vietnam is regarded as a year-round destination, the best time to visit Vietnam depends on the region you are visiting. The south sees brief afternoon downpours from May to November. And the best weather in December. and April, when you can enjoy Phu Quoc beaches or witness flowers blooming in the Mekong Delta. 

best time to visit Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam

The north boasts 4 distinct seasons. From January to March, you’ll experience a bit cooler temperatures. It is also time for Tet (Lunar New Year) celebrations in late winter. This is the best time to discover Halong Bay and Sa Pa’s rice terraces. 

Summers are hot and humid up north. From February to August, central coastal areas are strongest, and typhoons strike the sea in October-November. The northern mountainous region has a more temperate climate and can even have snow in the winter. Humidity is constant.

Best time of year to visit Laos

Laos is blessed with enormous ecological bounties, including some of Asia’s largest waterfalls and vast stands of primary forest covering a good part of the country. Laos is governed by monsoons, including a winter monsoon from November to February that brings good weather and a summer monsoon with rain and humidity from May to mid-October. The hottest time of the year is pre-monsoon from March to May.

The dry season lasts from October to May and it is the best time to visit Laos to enjoy beautiful Buddhist monasteries, the Mekong cruises, colonial architecture, delicious food—Laos and lush nature offers many attractions for tourists. 

best time to visit Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam

This time is also the most favorable period to go hiking at Mount Phou Si and Xieng Khuan Park, observe gibbons and butterflies, take a slow boat along the Mekong, and check out the coffee harvest. 

Tourists should go to Northern Laos in December to see Hmong New Year traditions, and to Luang Prabang in mid-April to join Songkran, a water festival to celebrate the Lao New Year. The entire city, including travelers, is engaged in a huge three-day water fight. With your phone in a Ziploc bag and Super Soaker water gun in hand, it’s great fun.

Best time of year to visit Cambodia

Cambodia is close to Saigon in that, during the year, the temperature does not change too much. That said, in the afternoon, you can find more frequent thunderstorms. One can almost ensure afternoon rain from April to November.  Therefore, the dry season from November to April is undoubtedly more popular among tourists going to Cambodia. 

However, it’s during the wet season that the country is most beautiful. The best time to visit Cambodia in both seasons is in late October and early November. In October, you can still see the most stunning scenery in Cambodia—lotus flowers blooming around the Angkor Wat temple. 

best time to visit Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam

The end of the rainy season is also an excellent time to explore the jungle and secluded temples of Angkor, see waterfalls, and take a boat trip down the Mekong River. Make sure you try a local delicacy such as fried spiders! And from December to February it is the perfect time to visit Cambodian beaches when they are dry and sunny.

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Year-round things to do in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam

January or February

Tet, the lunar new year in Vietnam, is celebrated during the first day of the first month in the Lunar Calendar and lasts a week. In 2021, Tet will be on February 12. Many stores are closed this season as people visit families and friends to exchange presents and enjoy generous meals. Visitors should know that transportation can be a problem. If you’re traveling during Tet, you’ll experience fireworks, lavish flower shows, parades, and specialty food made only during Tet.

In February, Vietnam has the Perfume Pagoda Festival in Chua Huong, near Hanoi. Buddhistic pilgrims flock to the pagoda to celebrate the full moon and pray for happiness and prosperity.

March

The Boun Khoun Khao in Laos is known as the Rice Festival. It is not only held to express appreciation for the abundant harvest season but also celebrated with a wide range of local dishes and rice wine. Besides, there are many exciting activities such as singing, dancing, and traditional music. During February and March festivities take place at pagodas in Laos.

April

Khmer New Year in Cambodia and Boun Pi Mai in Laos new year are celebrated with parades, dancing, singing, and water throwing. They are great fun, and not to be missed.

May

Boun Bang Fai Rocket Festival of Laos takes place in May. The rockets are intended to bring prayers to the god of rain, to request a season of harvest without drought, floods, and plagues.

June

On June 15th of the Buddhist calendar, Visaka Bochea Day in Cambodia is held to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday, enlightenment and nirvana. The celebrations in Angkor Wat are the grandest. On this day, the monks march in a parade in the Angkor Wat with candlelight.

July 

In mid-July, Boun Khao Phansa takes place in Laos. This is a Laos festival marking the beginning of the Buddhist Lent. It is an annual three months rain retreat for monastics. After this day, the monks will stay in their temples to study the Buddha’s teachings as well as meditating. In the early morning of this day, Lao people prepare foods and necessities such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and towels… to donate to the monks.

August­–October

These months are the time of the boat racing festival Boun Souang Heua is held. Almost six weeks before the end of the Buddhist lent in Laos similar festivals are held from the end of August until October.

September–October

Pchum Ben is a Cambodian festival to honor the souls of ancestors, who are thought to be coming back to earth. It’s one of Cambodia’s most vibrant and photogenic times of the year.

October–November

Cambodian water festival – Bon Om Touk held in Phnom Penh. It marks a shift in the flow between the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers. Visitors will see races on dragon boats and see fireworks.

December

This is one of the best months for beach traveling to places like Sihanoukville, Cambodia, or Con DaO islands in South Vietnam.

Cambodia’s Sea Festival is held in December. Around Sihanoukville will host exciting activities such as music, acrobatics, fireworks, and food markets.

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