Lai Chau Weather, Best Time to Visit

Lai Chau Province has a tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons: dry from December through April and rainy season from May through October. Lai Chau is affected by two main monsoons: Southwesterly in the summer and Northeasterly in the winter. The monsoons combined with the terrain of high mountains dissected by small valleys and ravines and with steep gradients shape up the climate in Lai Chau.

Green tea plantations at Tan Uyen, Lai Chau, VietnamLai Chau is affected strongly by the foehn wind (Southwesterly Monsoon) from April to July which causes dry air and hot temperatures. The air becomes drier once passing the Truong Son Range and the mountain range (1,800m) along the Ma River before blowing through Lai Chau. The highest temperatures are found from May through July which may reach 42.5oC. From June through October, Lai Chau may be affected by tropical depressions or typhoons which may cause torrential rains, landslides and flash floods. The annual rainfall ranges from 1,600-2,100mm.

During the winter from November through February, Lai Chau is affected by the cold Northeasterly Monsoon. But due to the high mountain range of Hoang Lien Son (3,143m) which runs northwest-southeast, the cold wind is much weaker hence warmer temperatures in Lai Chau than the other affected regions. But due to high altitudes, Lai Chau often has cold temperatures from freezing point to below 20oC. It is often dry during the winter in Lai Chau.

Lai Chau weather by month
- January: sun mostly, some clouds, and isolated rain, 12-28oC.
- February:
- March:
- April:
- May: sun mostly, clouds, t-storms, 20-41oC.
- June: some sun, clouds, some torrential rains, 21-37oC.
- July: sun, clouds, torrential rains, 22-33oC.
- August: sun, clouds, rains, 22-35oC.
- September: sun, clouds, rains, 18-34oC.
- October: sun, clouds, rains, 13-33oC.
- November: sun, clouds, isolated rains, 14-30oC.
- December: sun, clouds, some light rains, 1-30oC.

The best time for nice weather to visit Lai Chau
The best time for nice weather to travel to Lai Chau is during the dry time from December through April. During this time, the air is dry and suitable for all adventure activities: mountain biking tours, trekking tours, motorcycle tours. Be sure to bring lots of warm clothes in December and January though as the temperatures are very low. In January-February, you’ll get forests of peach and plum blossoms. In March, you’ll get camel-foot flowers with amazing fragrance.