Laos is a hidden gem located in south-east Asia. With lots of fun activities and various weather conditions, you may be unsure of what to wear in Laos. This guide covers what to wear when visiting Laos and helpful packing tips.
This guide is suitable for both men and women.
What Is The Weather Like In Laos?
When deciding on what to wear, the weather will be a key factor. Depending on when you visit Laos, you may need to pack different clothing items as the weather does vary slightly throughout the year.
In general, the weather is hot and humid all year round.
Dry season – October to April
Rainy season – May to September
Below is a table showing the average temperatures in Laos – they are based on the capital of Vientiane.
Please note that temperatures in northern parts of Laos, such as Luang Prabang, and in the mountainous areas will drop a bit lower in the winter compared with Vientiane and southern areas of Laos.
Laos Average Temperatures
|Month||Minimum Temperature||Maximum Temperature|
|January||16ºC (61ºF)||28ºC (82ºF)|
|February||19ºC (66ºF)||30ºC (86ºF)|
|March||22ºC (72ºF)||33ºC (91ºF)|
|April||24ºC (75ºF)||34ºC (93ºF)|
|May||25ºC (77ºF)||33ºC (91ºF)|
|June||25ºC (77ºF)||32ºC (90ºF)|
|July||25ºC (77ºF)||31ºC (88ºF)|
|August||25ºC (77ºF)||31ºC (88ºF)|
|September||24ºC (75ºF)||31ºC (88ºF)|
|October||23ºC (73ºF)||31ºC (88ºF)|
|November||19ºC (66ºF)||30ºC (86ºF)|
|December||17ºC (63ºF)||28ºC (82ºF)|
What To Wear In Laos
Generally the best thing to wear in Laos is lightweight and loose-fitting clothing as it tends to be hot and humid in Laos all year round. Lightweight materials such as cotton, linen or polyester tend to be the best option.
Depending on your style, you should pack loose, lightweight t-shirts and loose fitting trousers/shorts. For women, you could also pack light summer dresses/skirts. Long clothes that cover your skin will protect you from sun damage but you can wear shorts/t-shirts in Laos.
Make sure you pack a pair of sunglasses or a sun hat. This is especially important if you visit in the summer as the bright sun will give you a headache if you’re squinting a lot. Sunglasses or a sun hat will prevent this.
Laos is a pretty laid back country so you should pack casual clothes. In most bars and restaurants across Laos people dress very casually so you shouldn’t need smart clothes here. You may want to pack one smart option if you are planning to have evenings out in Vientiane e.g. a fancy bar etc.
You may also want to bring a cardigan or jumper for the evenings as the temperature tends to drop at this time.
What Shoes Should I Wear In Laos?
You may also want to pack a pair of sandals as these are good in the heat, good for if it rains (if you’re visiting during wet season) and they are also easy to slip on and off. If you’re visiting the temples, you may have to remove your shoes before entering and sandals make that much easier.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of walking or hiking then you may want something more sturdy such as a pair of boots or comfy trainers.
Do You Have To Dress Modestly In Laos?
Laos is not overly conservative and you don’t have to dress too modestly. Shorts and short sleeved tops etc are acceptable in Laos and you will see many people around the country wearing them.
The only place you will have to cover up more is in temples. When visiting a temple ensure you have something to cover your elbows and knees or you may not be allowed entry. You can often hire sarongs at the temples if you don’t have anything with you.
Can You Wear A Bikini In Laos?
If you’re visiting somewhere like Vang Vieng where tubing is a popular activity, you are fine to wear a bikini, swimming costume or swimming shorts in this area.
It’s best to bring something to wear over this after you’ve finished tubing such as a t- shirt, sarong or dress for when you head back into the town as it may not be considered appropriate to walk around town in a bikini. You’re fine to wear bikinis in the backpacker areas.
Laos is also home to some stunning waterfalls and natural pools that you can swim in e.g Kuang Si Falls close to Luang Prabang. Again, you can wear a bikini whilst swimming here. Make sure you cover up a bit when heading back into the town.
What To Wear At Night In Laos
You may also want to pack long pyjamas for nighttime. This may sound odd as it’s still quite warm at night in Laos but long pyjamas will protect you from mosquitoes.
Malaria and Dengue Fever are present in Laos and these are both carried by mosquitoes. The best way to avoid being bitten at night is to simply cover as much skin as possible.
You could also get some mosquito repellent as well to protect yourself.
Other Things To Pack
There are mountainous areas in the north of Laos. If you plan on visiting here then it’s a good idea to pack a jacket or jumper as it can be colder especially in the evenings. You should also pack a good pair of boots if you’re planning on going hiking.
If you’re visiting during the rainy season from May to September, then bring a light raincoat. You may experience short (but often heavy) bursts of rainfall so a raincoat or something to keep you dry is a must.
Thanks for reading this guide on what to wear in Laos. I hope it was helpful in helping you pack for your trip to Laos.
Visiting Laos? Check out my ultimate Laos bucket list that gives over 50 ideas of fun things to do in Laos.