The best time to travel Cambodia is between November and April, when you can enjoy its dry season with much pleasant weather and bright sunshine. The dry season in Cambodia can be divided into two periods; the first is the least hot of the year, while the second, from mid-February to May, is the hottest time of the year. River travel on the Mekong is best between November and February, when the weather is cooler and the water levels are higher.
Generally, Cambodia’s climate is tropical, the weather is warm year-round with temperatures rarely dipping below 68°F (20°C). Seasons are broken into wet and dry seasons.
The wet season is from May to October, which is usually marked by a brief downpour in the afternoon. That rarely affects your travel plans and still includes many hours of bright sunshine. This time of the year is known locally as green season, as the countryside springs to life. Therefore, if you prefer to dodge the crowds, go when the country is green and prices are lower, the best time to travel Cambodia is from May to early October.
Its dry season lasts from mid-November to April, and marked by hot dry days. Coolest month in Cambodia is December with average temperate at 23°C (73°F), while the hottest month is April with maximums reaching 37°C (99°F).
The country can get hit by typhoons – the tropical hurricanes of western Pacific, which are quite rare as they usually pass through northern Vietnam and Laos, so those arriving in Cambodia are generally weakened. However, they can still bring heavy rains, which may cause flooding in rural areas.
Here is your Cambodia climate guide on what to expect, where and when:
Angkor temples enjoy the dry season from November through April, temperatures range between 20°C (68°F) and 35°C (95°F). During this time of the year, humidity remains around 73% and rainfall is minimal, so roads can be a little dusty. This is high tourism season in Cambodia, so popular sites including temples are more crowded.
The refreshing afternoon downpours during the wet season, from May to October, make the country green. The average temperatures stay around 30°C (86°F). It’s best time to see full moats around the temples of Angkor, verdant rice paddy fields and dramatic skies.
Tonle Sap Lake
Commonly translated to “Great Lake”, Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. The lake connects to the Mekong River at the capital Phnom Penh by the 120km (75mi) long Tonle Sap River, and fills during the green season. The best time explore is between July and December when the water is at perfect levels to explore the floating villages. Battambang shares the same wet and dry seasons with Siem Reap, so if you are travelling here by unpaved roads, avoid September and October as heavy rains may cause delays.
Phnom Penh has lowest temperatures and rainfall from November to February, which is the best time to visit this capital city for most travelers. During the dry season from November to April, Phnom Penh’s average temperatures are around 25°C (77°F), while in its wet season, temperatures ranges from 22°C (71°F) to 35°C (95°F).
Coast of Cambodia
The beaches at Kep or Sihanoukville on the coast of Cambodia has the most sunshine from November to April, temperatures averaging 25°C (77°F). May and June are the best months for scuba diving, as the water is at its clearest.