Location & Climate


The People’s Democratic Republic of Lao is located in the centre of Indochina, sharing borders with China to the north, Myanmar to the north-west, Thailand to the west, Cambodia to the south, and Vietnam to the east.

With an area of 236,800 square kilometers, around 70% of its terrain is mountainous, reaching a maximum elevation of 2,820 m in Xieng Khouang province. The landscapes of northern Laos, and the regions adjacent to Vietnam in particular, are dominated by hills.

The Mekong river is the main geographical feature in the west and, in fact, forms a natural border with Thailand in some areas. The Mekong flows through nearly 1,900 km of Lao territory and shapes much of the lifestyle of the people of Laos. In the south the Mekong reaches a breadth of 14 km, creating an area with thousands of islands.

Time in Laos is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT*7).


Laos enjoys a tropical climate with two distinct seasons – the rainy season from the beginning of May to the end of September and dry season from October through to April. The yearly average temperature is about 28 C, rising to a maximum of 38 C in April and May. In Vientiane minimum temperatures of 19 C are to be expected in January. In mountainous areas, however, temperatures drop to 14-15 C during the winter months, and in cold nights easily reach the freezing point.

The average precipitation is highest in southern Laos, where the Annamite mountains receive over 3000 mm annually. In Vientiane rainfall is about 1500-2000 mm, and in the northern provinces only 1000-1500 mm.