As dry season draws to a close, March sees the temperatures gradually rise throughout Laos, with the mercury pushing 30°C and even warmer in the south. Travel early in the month or head to the hills to escape the heat.
As dry season draws to an end, the temperatures rise across Laos during March and April. Average temperatures of 29°C in Vientiane and Luang Prabang are to be expected, whilst further south in Pakse and the 4000 Islands region the mercury regularly hits a toasty 32°C. The northern regions of Luang Namtha and Phongsali are still enjoying cooler temperatures and favourable trekking conditions.
Despite the increasing temperatures, humidity levels hover around 60% - the lowest of the year.
Slash & burn, the farming technique deployed through much of Asia, can cause increased haze levels during March, especially in the valleys.
In recent years water levels on certain stretches of the Mekong River have reached record lows in February & March. This is not simply due to lower rainfall and global warming, but because of eight new Chinese ‘super-dams’ stemming the water flow to ensure a plentiful water supply to regions of China outside the Mekong River’s natural basin.
The result of this damming is that the river's fish stocks are declining dramatically in the lower Mekong countries, with other wildlife expected to become quickly over-hunted as a result. At this time a typically disappointing amount of international pressure is being applied to China to exercise more stringent control on their damming procedure to ensure the countries of the lower Mekong receive acceptable levels of water.
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