im going to be travelling north thailand and laos in august for 5 weeks (first week sept), planing to spend 2/3 weeks north thailand the cross border and take slow boat to LP n work through laos for another couple weeks. have read lots about the boat and border crossings, places to go etc but haven't found a lot of info regarding doing it in the wettest month of the year. has anyone done this kind of trip in august, how hard/easy is it and is it a good idea?? i have already been to Vietnam and Cambodia so was hoping to see somewhere different and august is the only time i can go.. is it worth it? thanks in advance for any advice. Cheers
#1 ricee has been a member since 17/5/2011. Posts: 1
"Wettest" month might be August or July or September or October. That's the general wet season but with the world's freaky weather lately who knows when the heavier rains will come? I've lived in Chiang Mai 7 years and traveled north Laos by bus/boat/motorbike during pretty much every season. It's been unusually wet this year after being unusually dry last year. Record floods along the Mekong a couple years ago then a month later the river dropped dramatically and Feb record low levels with slow boat service stopped about a month. Not just rain but Chinese dams upstream can affect the Mekong too.
Bottom line even in wet season as long as you stay with sealed roads and main routes rains don't usually affect travel too much except for the occasional extreme downpour. Landslides triggered by heavy rain sometimes block northern Laos roads for a day then your bus ride might be seriously delayed, but it's statistically not too likely. But good anyway to allow extra time for these odd occurences and put your watch on "Laos Time" (slow). Don't forget sunscreen too because when the rain stops it can still get hot.
Captain Bob sums it up. It will probably rain a lot, but there will also be plenty of sunshine as well. Unless a cyclone comes in front Vietnam, then it can rain for days on end (Once I had five continuous days of hard rain - it sucked). But that's not too common. More likely you'll get wet, and spend a little more time in doors reading book than if you came in February.