Cambodia is a real gem in Southeast Asia. Bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Gulf of Thailand, the country is a land of staggering natural beauty and cultural complexities, perfect for travelers seeking an offbeat experience. Attractions in the country include century-old temples, mind-blowing ancient ruins, alluring royal palaces, gorgeous floating villages, and idyllic islands.
But, in order to fully enjoy the wonders of Cambodia, it’s necessary to plan your trip wisely — especially weather-wise. The country has a tropical monsoon climate with periods of heavy rainfall, which can make certain activities such as going to the beach, less pleasant.
In this thoughtful guide, we break down what is the best time to visit Cambodia based on not only weather, but also prices, and events. Have a look below to learn more!
Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate, which is characterized by warm monthly temperatures (above 18 °C) year-round. There’s no harsh winter, making it a perfect destination for snowbirds seeking to escape the cold weather.
The country has two distinct seasons: the rainy season, which runs from May to October, and the dry season which lasts from November to April.
Wet Season (May to October)
Cambodia’s wet season runs from May until October, with temperatures peaking at around 35ºC. This season brings with it almost 75% of the country’s annual rainfall, with the heaviest rain happening in August & September (rain can happen up to 20 days in a month).
The early months of the wet season (May and June) usually bring the hottest daytime temperatures of the year, which can surpass 35°C at times.
From April until September, Cambodia also experiences the so-called “green season”, which is when the lush greenery of the countryside returns, and temples bloom with lush forests.
Dry Season (November to April)
Running from November to April, when the dry north-east monsoon arrives and dries out the country fast. The best weather arrives between December and March, with average temperatures between 25°C and 28°C. Towards the end of the dry season (March to May), temperatures rise considerably, with April being the hottest month of the year.
The dry season coincides with Cambodia’s peak tourist season, and crowds of tourists arrive in the country between November and January to take advantage of the lack of rain and lower temperatures.
The Best Time To Visit Cambodia
For Pleasant Weather
The best time of year to visit Cambodia depends on what you intend to experience. For the best weather, November to May is a great bet. These cool-season months are when the country experiences very little rain and still enjoys warm temperatures, which range from comfortable 23º to 31ºC.
This, however, is the peak season in Cambodia, meaning that overall rates for flights and accommodation are more expensive.
For Lowest Prices & Fewer Crowds
When it comes to cheaper prices, visiting Cambodia during the monsoon season is the best option. Because the monsoon swoops in and brings regular rain, the period that stretches from May to October represents the low season for tourism in the country. This means that overall rates for flights and accommodation tend to be cheaper. Not to mention that local attractions, such as temples, are less crowded.
For Activities & Events
Known for its rich culture and history, Cambodia has a lively calendar of events that happen all year round. So, whether you visit the country during the cool months or the monsoon season, you’re sure to find a dazzling festival happening.
One of the country’s most sought-after events is Bon Om Tuk (Water Festival). Happening either in October or November, the Cambodian Water Festival celebrates the victory of King Jayavarman VII over the Chams and features eye-popping boat races in Phnom Penh, which is the capital city.
In April, the country hosts the vibrant Choul Chhnam Thmey festival, aka the Cambodian New Year, featuring colorful traditional dresses, and traditional games.
Another must is the annual Angkor Photo Festival, Southeast Asia’s longest-running international photography event happening every November/December.
Visiting Cambodia during the monsoon season? Then cheer up, because in May the Visakha Puja (Buddha Day) takes place, and sees processions of monks carrying lit candles through the stunning Angkor Wat at night.
When it comes to activities, if you can bear the heat and rain, the wet season is actually a prime time to visit Cambodia. The temples, including Angkor, are a lot greener and surrounded by beautiful lush forests that are a sight to be seen! This is also the rice-growing season in the country, making it the perfect time to visit emerald-green rice paddies.
However, if you plan on exploring the local beaches and islands, avoid visiting Cambodia during the hottest months.
Due to the perfect weather patterns (temperatures are slightly cooler), the cool season is ideal for sightseeing. During that time of year, many tourists take the opportunity to visit big-name attractions such as The Angkor complex, just out of Siem Reap, and the pristine Koh Rong Sanloem Island.
What is the best time to visit Cambodia?
Weather-wise, the best time to visit Cambodia is November until January, when temperatures stay at a pleasant 30ºC, and there’s less rain. For the lowest prices and fewer crowds, visit the country during the wet season, which runs from May to November.
What is the hottest month in Cambodia?
April is usually the hottest month of the year when temperatures start to climb to 40 °C.
What is the cheapest time to visit Cambodia?
The cheapest time to fly to Cambodia is during the wet season, which runs from May until October.
When it’s the rainy season in Cambodia?
The rainiest time in Cambodia corresponds to the months running from May until October.
What is the peak season in Cambodia?
The coolest months of November to January are the peak time for tourism in Cambodia.
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