The Best Time to Go to Cambodia

Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Angkor Wat

Cambodia by seasons

With its tropical climate, Cambodia enjoys year-round warm weather. It experiences just two distinct seasons, the wet and the dry, with the bright blue skies, low humidity and sunny days of the dry season being the most popular time to visit. More people means higher prices though, so if you’re on a tight budget consider travelling in the lush wet season, which despite the name, still offers plenty of sunshine.

Houses over water in Tonle Sap
Dry Season

November – April

Cambodia’s dry season brings bright, cloudless days and low humidity levels – the perfect time to tour Angkor Wat or laze on the southern beaches around Sihanoukville. The Tonlé Sap Lake looks lovely between November and February as its water level remains high after the rains, while the Christmas period is very popular with Europeans and Americans looking for some winter sun.

Go for:

Khmer New Year: between April 13th and 16th, join the Cambodians as they celebrate their New Year by pouring water on each other and feasting on kralan, a cake made from steamed rice.

Bon Om Touk: otherwise known as the Cambodian Water Festival, celebrate the reversal of the Tonlé Sap River at Phnom Penh’s annual boat race or watch one of the numerous concerts. 

Local boy with father in the rain
Wet Season

May – October

As temperatures rise and humidity increases, the rains turn Cambodia’s landscapes a vibrant shade of green. Out in the countryside you’ll spot locals tending to the flooded rice paddies, while between April and October the country’s lotus ponds spring to life in various vibrant shades of pink. The wet season is still a great time to visit Angkor Wat, which can be almost deserted at times.

Go for:

Pchum Ben: for 15 days in September and October, watch as Cambodian families pay tribute to their deceased relatives through chanting and food offerings at the country’s temples.

Royal Ploughing Ceremony: in May, get yourself to Phnom Penh and join the ploughing procession, held in front of the King of Cambodia, a ceremony used to predict the success of the year’s harvest.

 

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