There's no need to introduce Cambodia. It has long been one of the most well-liked vacation spots. Every year, millions of tourists flock to Cambodia for its numerous monuments that commemorate the nation's stormy history, its rich culture, its welcoming people, its delectable cuisine, and, of course, the climate encourages tourists to come! To learn more about Cambodia's entry regulations, visit our Cambodia Entry Regulations 2023 article.
Climate and Weather in Cambodia
Cambodia is situated near Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam on the Indochina Peninsula and the Gulf of Thailand. There are 181,035 km2 in the entire nation. The Mekong Plain covers the majority of Cambodia; Tonle Sap Lake is located in its western portion, and the Mekong River flows through the eastern portion. The mountainous regions reach as far north as the Dangrek Mountains and as far west as (the Cardamom Mountains, and Elephant Mountains).
Cambodia has two seasons, dry from November to May and rainy (wet) from June to October, similar to many other Asian nations.
The characterization of Cambodia's climate is a tropical monsoon, influenced by cyclical variations in air pressure across Central Asia. From June to October, pressure decreases, and humid air from the ocean moves ashore, delivering monsoon rains to Cambodia and other nations in the region. Air pressure rises from November to the end of May, bringing dry, chilly air through Asia and resulting in dry weather.
The dry months are when most tourists travel to Cambodia. The hottest temperatures in Cambodia are between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius when it is chilly, dreary, and damp outside.
Cambodia's Monthly Climate
What can you expect from a trip in January and in July? As we noted before, Cambodia has two seasons: dry and rainy. The climate of Cambodia is described below, month by month: temperature, precipitation, as well as: what sights are worthwhile to visit at a particular time, what attractions are worthwhile of consideration, and what to pack for a trip?
From December to March
What do you think about celebrating the New Year on a Cambodian beach while sipping champagne? If you're going to spend New Year's Eve in Cambodia, keep in mind that you'll be there during the busiest travel season, which means higher prices and more visitors at major tourist spots like Angkor than at other times of the year. It is not surprising because the season is dry, warm, and sunny, with just infrequent precipitation. The range of temperatures is 21 to 32 degrees Celsius.
What should you pack for the trip? Swimwear is required! You simply cannot avoid taking a dip in and unwinding on the Gulf of Thailand. Don't forget to bring a hat and sunscreen. For cooler evenings, it is also advisable to bring a light sweater and comfortable shoes.
From April to May
The hottest months in Cambodia are April and May. Regional variations in the temperature range from 26 to 36 degrees Celsius. The air is rather humid. The wet season is almost here. The frequency of rain is increasing, but it usually falls in the afternoon. With such high temperatures, it is impossible to dispute that they provide relief. Slowly, vegetation begins to grow.
Given that it is off-peak now, you can anticipate slightly reduced costs. Now is a good time to visit Angkor. It's interesting to note that the Khmer themselves frequently travel during this time.
It is wise to pack both a beach suit (swimming in the sea will allow you to cool off after a day of sightseeing) and something rainy if you are traveling to Cambodia in April or May. Get an SPF 50 cream to protect your skin from damaging sun rays as is customary for any travel to a warm region.
From June to September
In Cambodia, the rainy season starts in June. Rainfall happens infrequently during its beginning and end. The average temperature is high then, between 30 and 31 degrees Celsius. Although slightly cooler, Siem Reap in northern Cambodia is still very warm. Although August and September see the most rainfall, it is typically sunny until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. It is important to be aware that days without rain can occur even then. In Cambodia, the monsoon season is referred to as the low tourist season.
Larger downpours can occasionally create transportation issues, particularly in less developed regions of the nation where there are no paved roads. The best time to take in the splendor of Cambodian nature is during the rainy season.
At this time of year, Tonle Sap attracts the largest number of tourists, and because of the lush, green tree crowns, it appears nearly fantastic.
June, July, August, September, and October can be ideal for you if you dislike crowds and Cambodia is primarily interested in extensive touring. Then Angkor is worthwhile to see.
Even if it can be rainy, there will undoubtedly be fewer visitors than during the months of November to May. The benefit is being able to view Angkor Wat's moats filled with water, which is not feasible during the dry season.
Compared to the dry season, this time of year is cheaper for lodging and dining.
Rainproof clothing is essential because it rains frequently in this area. Additionally, acquiring a portable poncho is simple and quick. Given the high temperatures, it is advisable to wear light, breathable clothing, ideally made of cotton, so that you may comfortably travel about Cambodia. When visiting temples, keep in mind that your knees and shoulders must be covered.
November - The best time to visit Cambodia
Starting early November is the dry season. It is among the greatest times of year to travel to Cambodia, particularly if you want to see the eastern regions like Ratanakiri or Mondulkiri, which are noted for their lush forests, mountains, and waterfalls. The mild weather will undoubtedly make it more enjoyable.
Even though it's still raining, the amount of rain is declining week by week. The ambient temperature ranges from 23 to 30 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures at night are typically 20 degrees Celsius. Additionally, because the busy travel season has not yet begun, you can anticipate slightly lower pricing in Cambodia.
The upcoming Water Festival in November is yet another reason to go to Cambodia.
How to book a custom private tour?
Phnom Penh (South Central Cambodia)
In the southern region of the nation, on the Mekong Plain, is where Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is situated.
There are only minor diurnal variations in the region's high year-round air temperatures. The likelihood of rain is often very low (and lowest in January, February, and March). The driest and wettest months in the capital of Cambodia are January and September, respectively. In Phnom Penh, the hottest months are March, April, and May. Temperatures can even get to 35.3 ° C in the middle of April.
The peak travel months in Phnom Penh are January, May, and July, with August seeing the least amount of international visitors. Phnom Penh may be visited all year round, however, the best time to go is from November to June.
Siem Reap, Angkor, and Tonle Sap (North-West Cambodia)
The mysterious city of Siem Reap, located in northwest Cambodia, is regarded as the entrance to Angkor, Asia's greatest archaeological site. Tourists can have fun at the neighboring, gorgeous Tonlé Sap lake by visiting the well-known villages on the water, in addition to bringing fertility to the soil nearby.
It has a milder climate than central Cambodia, with somewhat lower temperatures and less precipitation. It's generally agreed upon that the finest times to visit Siem Reap and the surrounding area are from October to July. The hottest months will be March, April, and May, with the highest average temperature hitting 35.2 ° C. The least quantity of rain falls during the months of December, January, and February. January is the driest, and August and September are the wettest.
Check out our Siem Reap Tour for travel insprirations!
Kratie, Koh Trong, Mondol Kiri (East Cambodia)
The regions east of the Mekong are less visited by visitors than the aforementioned Angkor and Siem Reap. Since the area is mostly mountainous and forested, it can become quite cool there (for the tropics).
July, August, and September are the least ideal months to visit eastern Cambodia; June and October are transitional months with variable weather; and from November to May, the region has a wonderful atmosphere.
Koh Rong, Kep, Kampot (Cambodian coast)
Koh Rong, Kep, Kampot (Cambodian coast)
The coastal areas of Cambodia receive somewhat higher rainfall and humidity compared to the inland regions. For an ideal visit, plan your trip to the Cambodian coast from December through May. Taking the weather in Kep, a coastal town near the Vietnamese border, as an example, this period offers pleasant conditions. While October and November can also provide favorable weather, the months of June, July, August, and September are best avoided for a visit due to less favorable conditions.
In conclusion, Cambodia is a destination of rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture that offers something unique for every traveler. The best time to visit Cambodia truly depends on your preferences and what you wish to experience. Whether you're exploring the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, relaxing on pristine beaches, or allowing yourself into the local way of life, Cambodia welcomes you with open arms throughout the year.
We hope this guide has helped you understand the diverse climates in different regions of Cambodia and the best times to visit them. Remember, each season brings its own charm and opportunities for exploration. So, go ahead and plan your Cambodian adventure, whether it's under the clear skies of the dry season or amidst the lush landscapes of the wet season. Cambodia is ready to unveil its wonders, whatever time you choose to visit!