Best Time to Visit Cambodia: Plan Your Perfect Trip

Best Time to Visit Cambodia: Plan Your Perfect Trip

Cambodia is a very beautiful alternative destination in Southeast Asia. There you can discover a history rich in wonders but also priceless heritage marked with the seal of UNESCO such as the Temples of Angkor. But to benefit from the best conditions, you need to know when to go to Cambodia. Below is some weather information to help travelers get an idea of ​​the weather during their chosen dates.

Updated on 07-06-2024
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Cambodia's Climate and Best Time to Visit Cambodia

Cambodia has a tropical climate characterized by warm temperatures year-round, typically ranging between 30°C and 35°C. The central regions are warmer compared to the elevated, wooded areas and the southern coastal regions. There are two distinct seasons: the dry season from November to April and the rainy season from May to October.

Monsoon Season

The monsoon season is marked by high humidity and heavy, but brief, showers mainly in the late afternoon. The rest of the day is usually sunny. During this period, the water level of Tonlé Sap Lake and its river increases significantly, making it an ideal time for river trips. The cruise from Battambang to Siem Reap is only possible during this period due to the sufficient water level.

A beautiful day at Angkor Wat temple
A beautiful day at Angkor Wat temple

Dry Season

The dry season is characterized by cool and pleasant temperatures, ranging between 25°C and 30°C. It is cooler in the mountainous regions to the east and west after dark. From March onwards, temperatures begin to rise, peaking in April and May with averages between 30°C and 38°C. Despite the dry season, there is a risk of flooding from mid-October to early November due to flash floods.

 Best Time To Visit Cambodia?
When Is The Best Time To Visit Cambodia?

In summary, the best time to visit Cambodia is during the dry season from November to March. This period offers mild air, clear blue skies, and minimal rain, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the country. However, be prepared for larger crowds, especially at popular sites like Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Sihanoukville, and during the end-of-year holidays.

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During the rainy season, the absence of visitors allows for a more tranquil experience at tourist sites. The landscapes become lush and green, making it the best time for sailing on the waterways and admiring impressive waterfalls.

farmer tending to the lush fields
A dedicated farmer tending to the lush fields

Best Time to Visit Cambodia by Region

Siem Reap

The best time to visit this famous archaeological site is from December to February. The temperature is cool, rain is rare, and humidity is low. However, these months also attract the most tourists. For a quieter visit, consider going from April to June, though the heat can be intense.

 >>>> Learn more about Siem Reap here: Discovering Siem Reap, the Land of the Angkor Temples

The Ta Prohm temple in the Angkor Wat complex, Siem Reap
The Ta Prohm temple in the Angkor Wat complex, Siem Reap

Tonlé Sap Lake

This region can be visited year-round. The dry season from November to March is best for walking tours, but the water level will be low. During the rainy season, the water level rises, making boat tours ideal. 

During the golden age of Angkor, the Tonle Sap lake and river, which separates from the Mekong in modern Cambodia, were to the Khmer Empire what the Nile was to the Egyptians. To learn more about things to see and do in Tonlé Sap, check out our article: Visit Tonlé Sap Lake 2024: Discover the Most Beautiful Floating Villages

A floating village at Tonlé Sap Lake
A floating village at Tonlé Sap Lake

Northeast Region

 This is a remote region, little affected by mass tourism. Access is difficult, if not impossible, during the months of June to mid-October when rainfall is heavy, and where intense rains are often accompanied by violent winds.

Northeast Region
Sen Monorom (Mondulkiri), Cambodia

It is therefore advisable to explore this mountainous region in the dry season from November to March, especially in November - transition from the rainy season to the dry season. The rain is coming to an end and nature is therefore particularly generous and green. Don't forget to bring a sweater for cool evenings of around 15°C.

Mondulkiri
In the heart of the nature of Mondulkiri

In April and May, the strong heat dominates the vast Kratié region in Phnom Penh. It is recommended to visit Ratanakiri or Mondulkiri at a slightly higher altitude.

Western Coastline

Bordered by the Gulf of Thailand, this region has a milder climate with average temperatures around 28°C. January and February are the best months to enjoy the beaches, with pleasant temperatures and ample sunshine. In April and May, the heat peaks, making the higher altitudes like Koh Kong and Kampot more comfortable. From July to September, there is a lot of precipitation, but it usually doesn't rain all day, and travel rates are very attractive.

>>> Read more about Sihanoukville:  Your Ultimate Guide to Cambodia's Dream Beaches

Sihanoukville
Sokha Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Sihanoukville

Traveling During Holidays in Cambodia

Cambodians enjoy 28 public holidays each year, with many festivals organized according to the Buddhist calendar. Here are some notable festivals:

  • Chaul Chnam Thmey - Khmer New Year: This important festival takes place in mid-April, marking the end of the dry season. Celebrations include visits to pagodas and water sprinkling rituals. Learn more about Cambodian New Year.
Khmer New Year
The festival of Chaul Chnam Thmey - Khmer New Year
  • Visak Bochea - Buddha Festival: This is the most important Buddhist festival which is held on the 8th day of the 4th month according to the lunar calendar. It celebrates three stages of Buddha's existence: birth, enlightenment, and death. This day is also recognized by the UN under the name “Vesak Day”. The celebration is organized throughout the territory but mainly takes place in Phnom Preah Reajatrop - Phnom Uddong where a relic of Buddha is kept and venerated. At the royal palace, the silver pagoda in Phnom Penh, and at the temples of Angkor Wat, the atmosphere is impressive with the torchlight processions of the monks.
Visak Bochea - Buddha Festival
Visak Bochea - Buddha Festival
  • Pchum Ben - Day of the Dead: After Chaul Chnam Thmey, it is the second most important festival in Cambodia, organized for a fortnight, in September or October. People return to the homeland and bring offerings to monks from 7 different pagodas to improve their karma and pray in memory of their ancestors.
Pchum Ben - Day of the Dead
Pchum Ben - Day of the Dead
  • Bon Om Tuk - Water Festival: Celebrating the reversal of the Tonlé Sap River's flow, this festival in late October to early November features boat races, dances, and fireworks.

Each season in Cambodia offers unique landscapes and experiences. The rainy season transforms the scenery into a lush green paradise, while the dry season provides clear blue skies. Knowing the best time to visit Cambodia can help you make the most of your trip, ensuring you enjoy all the beautiful sights and cultural experiences this country has to offer.

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<div class=fs18>Mrs Duong Thi LAN</div>Travel Consultant
Mrs Duong Thi LAN
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