Cambodia, a country blessed with a relatively simple weather system, offers a year-round travel opportunity. With two distinct seasons, Cambodia’s weather patterns remain consistent throughout the country, thanks to its uniform altitude and latitude. Whether you prefer the dry season or the wet season, Cambodia has something to offer for every traveler.
Cambodia Weather and Seasons
Cambodia experiences a dry season from October to late April, followed by a wet season from May to late September. Each season provides its unique charm and variations in temperature. The final few dry months leading up to the wet season, specifically March and April, and the early months of the wet season, May and June, are known to be the hottest, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 35°C. During these months, you may want to plan your outdoor activities for the cooler mornings and evenings.
On the other hand, October to December brings cooler temperatures, creating a pleasant climate for exploring Cambodia. Though it may not be chilly, it offers a respite from the scorching heat, with average temperatures hovering around 24°C-26°C.
The Dry Season in Cambodia
From October to April/Early May, Cambodia experiences the dry season. During this time, the dry northeast monsoon sweeps across the country, accompanied by hot winds. While November to January may be relatively cool, with temperatures in the high 20s°C, April can be scorching hot. Many tourists prefer early morning and late afternoon Angkor Temple tours during this time, taking breaks by the hotel pool during the hottest hours.
This hot and dry season attracts a large number of tourists to Cambodia, especially in popular regions like Kep, Sihanoukville, and the remote northeast regions of Mondulkiri & Ratanakiri. The roads in these regions are in their best condition, reducing travel time and allowing you to explore the hidden gems of Cambodia.
The Wet Season in Cambodia
Between May and October, Cambodia welcomes the wet season, courtesy of the southwest monsoon. This season brings almost 75% of Cambodia’s annual rainfall. Throughout most of the rainy season, daytime temperatures average between 25°C and 27°C. In the early months of the wet season, such as May to July, you can still expect hot weather with occasional short downpours. However, later in the season, from late July to September, the rain becomes more frequent and heavy, particularly in coastal and rural regions.
During the peak wet season, traveling to remote corners of the country, such as Mondulkiri & Ratanakiri, becomes challenging due to poor road conditions. Additionally, access to Bamboo Island near Kep may be limited due to high seas. It’s advisable to plan your itinerary accordingly.
Why Travel to Cambodia During the Green Season?
Embracing the monsoonal Cambodia in the wet season has its own unique advantages. The dust disappears, and the lush greenery of the countryside reemerges, transforming the landscape into a mesmerizing sight. Angkor Wat, in particular, becomes even more stunning, with its moats filled with water and fewer visitors. The high rainfall during this time makes it the perfect season to explore the flooded forests and floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake by boat. The lake swells to more than five times its size, providing a captivating experience.
So, whether you prefer the vibrant colors of the wet season or the dry heat of the dry season, Cambodia welcomes you all year round. Plan your trip based on your preferences, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of this captivating destination.