If you’re tired of freezing, snowy winters, Cambodia might just be the place for you! This tropical country, located just above the equator, offers a delightful escape from harsh weather. With temperatures ranging from 21 to 35 °C (69.8 to 95 °F), Cambodia is always warm and inviting. Imagine strolling around at night in a T-shirt, free from the need for a sweater. Plus, you can indulge in cheap tropical fruits all year round. So, let’s dive into the wonderful world of Cambodia’s climate!
Cambodia’s Seasons: Cool, Hot, and Rainy
Cambodia experiences two distinct seasons: the dry season and the monsoon season. However, within these seasons, there are also cool and hot periods. Many people refer to Cambodia as having three seasons: cool season, hot season, and rainy season.
Cool Season: December-February
During cool season, which spans from December to February, Cambodia experiences pleasant weather. It’s the perfect time to visit if you want to witness Cambodia’s tropical paradise. The beach weather in Sihanoukville and the surrounding islands is simply divine. In Phnom Penh, temperatures range from 21 to 32 °C (70 to 90 °F). It may surprise you to see locals wearing parkas and complaining about the cold when temperatures dip slightly.
Cool season is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds, especially at renowned attractions like Angkor Wat. However, this season offers the best climate for temple visits, hiking, and trekking. Embrace the mild temperatures and enjoy all that Cambodia has to offer.
Hot Season: March-June
March to June marks the hot season in Cambodia. April is typically the hottest month, with temperatures reaching up to 40 °C (104 °F). Although it is called the dry season, the humidity makes it feel even hotter. Shade is scarce, the air is still, and the streets are dusty. Expats often plan trips to their home countries during this period to escape the scorching heat.
Occasional showers bring temporary relief, lasting less than an hour. During this season, many expats in Phnom Penh take refuge in pools or bars, sipping cocktails and finding solace in air-conditioned spaces.
Rainy Season: June-September, October-November
Monsoon season in Cambodia, spanning from June to September and October to November, is sometimes feared by expats. However, after enduring the heat of the previous months, the rains provide a welcome respite. While rain can be frequent, occurring up to 20 days per month, the showers are typically short and predictable, often happening in the afternoons.
Umbrellas are not the most effective protection against the rain, as strong winds often accompany the showers. Instead, colorful plastic ponchos, available for a mere 2,000 riel ($0.50), are the preferred choice. Plastic flip-flops also prove practical for both expats and locals. Flooding can occur in cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap during the rainy season, so be prepared.
Rainy season offers relief from the high temperatures experienced from July to September. In October and November, temperatures start to decrease, averaging highs of around 30 °C (86 °F) and lows around 23 °C (73 °F). This season is an excellent time to explore Cambodia, as tourist crowds are significantly reduced.
The Best Time to Visit Cambodia
For those who prefer milder temperatures, the cool season from November to February is ideal for a visit. December and January, in particular, offer beach weather and are considered the high season for tourism in Cambodia. Make your accommodation reservations in advance, especially if you plan to visit Sihanoukville and the Cambodian islands. Rates tend to be higher during this period.
Don’t be deterred from visiting during the hot season, which is from March to June. Although it can be hot and humid, it is still manageable. Consider taking tuk-tuks instead of walking to beat the crowds and take advantage of hotel deals.
If saving money and avoiding crowds are your priorities, the rainy season is perfect for exploring Cambodia. From July to November, many hotels, especially in Sihanoukville, have empty rooms and offer great deals. Furthermore, photographers love the rainy season for its clear skies and vibrant green rice paddies.
So, whether you’re seeking paradise-like beaches, breathtaking temples, or unique cultural experiences, Cambodia is ready to welcome you with open arms. Plan your visit accordingly, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!
This article is brought to you by Ekilove, your ultimate guide to all things Cambodia.