Im travelling aroung laos in March and I hear its as smokey as a dragons arse with all the burning of crops and what not.
I am a wee bit gutted about this as my friend who is there now has fallen completly in love with the place. Im wondering how bad is this smoke on a scale of bearable to non.
Im hoping to travel around vientiene and vang vieng mabye do a bit of bikeing...
Almost guaranteed haze mid-Feb to mid-April, as in not being able to distinguish hilltops just a few km away, but it also fluctuates a fair bit. On a particular day the folks may decide to light up an entire mountain or hillside and then it can be stifling, especially combined with the peak hot season. But head over to the next valley or wait for a nice breeze and it can clear out again. Sometimes you'll be sitting outdoors having a meal and little flurries of ash come wafting down or if you sleep up high where it can hit dewpoint at night the burnt smell becomes prevalent. It can also interfere (or in some cases assist with) landscape photography but hey those red ball sunsets that start at 3pm are pretty. Certainly not enough of an issue to re-schedule though. Have done several March-April Laos trips and still enjoy.
Burnt mountain http://www.flickr.com/photos/captain-bob/3820193228/sizes/l
Hazy view http://www.flickr.com/photos/captain-bob/3819393529/sizes/l
Groovy sunset http://www.flickr.com/photos/captain-bob/3819380241/sizes/l