The cool season (Nov–Feb) is the peak time for tourism – mild enough to explore the temples in comfort but warm enough to sunbathe by the coast and it is rarely dipping below 20°C. Humidity and temperatures rise slightly during the hot season (March–May), with Phnom Penh and Battambang seeing peak daytime temperatures of 33–38°C.
The Cambodia’s dry season occurs when the northeast monsoon arrives with a slight increase in temperature from March onwards. The months of November to January are cooler, while February to April are hot and dusty. November is the coolest month, April is the hottest. The period between November and February is arguably the most popular time for tourists when the weather is warm and sunny. It is not stiflingly hot and the rainfall is much lower. You can see clear blue skies, beautiful beaches and enjoy a relaxing getaway on the southern coast. If you want to explore Cambodia’s beaches, you should come there during the dry season, which is especially pleasant for beach visits. This season is also considered as the high tourism season in Cambodia.
In contrast, Cambodia’s wet season comes courtesy of the southwest monsoon. This season is characterized by rain, and during the peak of wet season from July to September, it can rain every day. This can be a fascinating yet potentially challenging time to visit Cambodia. However, in the rest of the wet season, the rain generally falls in the late afternoon or evening, and it doesn’t usually last too long. The rainfalls also provide a refreshing break from the midday heat with largely dry mornings. During this time, the countryside is lush and green, rivers are full and flowing, and the temples are quiet.
Where to go in each season
The best time to visit Cambodia does depend on what you are heading to Cambodia for and where you want to visit.
The dry season is the great time to visit the world-famous temples of Siem Reap, as temperatures are much cooler but keep in mind that there will be full of tourists at some stunning places. Hitting the beaches of the southern coast like Sihanoukville, Kep and Koh Rong is also highly recommended, as you can immerse in the brilliant sunshine, blue skies, sea breezes and low humidity all day without having to worry about a chance of rain.
To dodge the crowds, and to see the Cambodia’s top attractions at their quietest, you should come there in the wet season. This is the best time to visit some of the outer-lying temples, which will often be deserted. The Angkor temple complex, in particular, is splendorous with moats brimming with water, everything is green and the number of tourists decreases. Also, high rainfalls make it the perfect time of year to visit the flooded forests and floating villages of Tonle Sap - the largest permanent fresh-water lake in South Asia - by boat. Besides, you may visit Phnom Penh – the capital of Cambodia during this time since rainfall totals here are much lower than elsewhere in the country.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with Travel Consultants of Cambodia Tours in question before planning your trip.