Laos is affected by the annual Southeast Asian monsoon cycle. The ‘wet’ season is from May to October. During this time, the tropical lowlands average 30 degrees Celsius, while the mountains remain cooler. The first half of the ‘dry’ season is from November to February; temperatures during this time range from 10 to 25 degrees Celsius. Mornings and evenings in the north of Laos around Luang Prabang can be quite cool at this time of the year. People travelling between Huay Xai and Luang Prabang on the Mekong should bring at last one layer of warm clothes. During the second half of the ‘dry’ season – from March to June – the temperature can rise to up to 35 degrees Celsius. Many travellers prefer Laos outside the dry season; there are fewer tourists, and rainfall is often limited to brief afternoon showers which lend a different atmosphere to the country and towns.