Cambodia is year-round warm, but due to monsoon climate effect, Cambodia has two distinct seasons, rainy and dry. Although the temperature is hot in the whole year, the dry period is divided into two, hot and dry. Thanks to simple weather system, the country can be travelled all year round.
To assess the suitable time to visit Cambodia, it is important to determine its weather patterns. Its distinct seasons are the dry season from October to April, and the wet season between May and September with the heaviest rainfall in August and September. Each season also experiences variations in temperature, with final few dry months head to the wet season (March and April) and the early months of rainy season (May and June) being the hottest with temperature in excess of 35°C at time.
Humidity reaches highest between March and April while the coolest months run from October to December with the temperature around 24°C-26°C.
General speaking, there is the same weather patterns in entire Cambodia, because of relative altitude and latitude throughout Cambodia.
When is the dry season in Cambodia?
Cambodia’s dry season takes place from October to April, thanks to the effect of dry north-east monsoon with hot wind blowing cross the whole country. While November to January are pretty cool (around 20°C – 25°C), the temperature is hotter to April, when visitors prefer to visit Angkor Wat in the early morning and late afternoon.
Because Cambodia undergoes the moderate temperature, less rainy and less humidity during this time, it also experiences the biggest number of tourists to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Battambang, etc.
In other remote parts, such as Mondulkiri & Ratanakiri in the north east regions, journey times are shorter and the roads are at the best. Kep and Sihanoukville Isand on the south coast are full of brilliant sunshine and favorable sea conditions.
When is the rainy season in Cambodia?
Cambodia’s wet season runs from May to October due to the southwest monsoon. During the period, daytime temperature reaches over 30°C. The early months of rainy season (May – July) remain so hot with infrequent rainfall. In the later months (late July to September), the rain is more constant and heavy, especially in coastal and rural regions.
Consequently, it is pretty difficult to visit remote areas such as Mondulkiri & Ratanakiri, because the bad situation of roads and journeys. It takes longer time for access to Bamboo Island near Kep due to high seas.
On the upside, there are some advantages to discover Cambodia in monsoonal time. It is the disappearance of dust and the return of lush greenery countryside. In the dramatic decrease of visitors, Angkor Wat still is majestic among moats brimming with water. And Tonle Sap will be 5 times bigger than usual during wet season, which makes travellers immerse in spectacular flooded forest and heroic floating villages.
When is the best time to visit Angkor Wat?
Each year, there are millions of tourists visiting Angkor Wat, especially between December and February. This period is seen as peak season for tourism in Cambodia and Angkor Wat because the weather is cooler at this time so crowds is unavoidable. In dry season, experiencing sunrise or sunset is extremely valued, and it also means you will undergo crowed, but you can avoid hot weather at midday when putting a visit in the early morning or late afternoon.
The weather is dry, bright but hotter between March and May. In some cases, walking around Angkor Way in the heat is compulsory because it is so big, taking a lot of time for travel around.
During the rainy season from Jun to October, the number of visitors to Angkor Wat drops severely because of the journey to Angkor full of mud roads or floods and intense humidity sometimes. It is likely to rain in the afternoon, so it is better to visit it in the morning.