Best time to visit Cambodia

Unlike some of our destination countries, whose complicated geographies make for a whole mess of different weather conditions in different regions, Cambodia’s climate is refreshingly simple. 

Cambodia is fairly small and mainly flat, which means you don’t get much variation between north and south, nor between higher and lower altitudes. Basically, depending on the time of year, it’s either hot and wet, or hot and dry (and sometimes very hot and very dry).  

Travel is possible all year round, but the best time to go really depends on what you want to get out of your trip.

Beautiful aerial view of Angkor Wat at sunrise. Siem Reap, Cambodia

November to March: Dry season 

Does what it says on the tin. At this time of year, you’re likely to experience little or no rain, blue skies, and hot-but-not-sweltering temperatures around 23-32 degrees celsius.  

All this means that it’s the most popular time for tourists to visit Cambodia, so expect crowds at Angkor Wat (though it’s always possible to find a quieter temple to explore).  

While the major hotspots will be busy, this is a fantastic time of year for hiking and outdoor activities, and there are plenty of destinations where you can escape the crowds. The earlier in the season you travel, the lusher and greener the countryside will be — but the more likely you’ll be to encounter rain (more on that later). 

April to May: HOT dry season 

Hot is the operative word here. Hot, sticky and humid. Expect temperatures as high as 40 degrees, and a parched and dusty landscape. This is the only time of year we don’t really recommend travelling to Cambodia, unless you’re a real badass and don’t mind sizzling.  

One big upside for many is that most tourists avoid this season, so you’ll definitely have fewer crowds at major hotspots. Khmer New Year falls in April, and the tradition of water-throwing in the streets can be a welcome break from the heat. There’s also the Royal Ploughing Ceremony in May, which heralds the start of rice growing season and offers the chance to get involved in traditional Khmer festivities. 

June to October: Green season 

Cambodia’s green season (AKA its rainy season) tends to get a bad rap from sun-seekers — but it can actually be our favourite time to travel.  

At this time of year it’s typically lovely and sunny for most of the day, with a big, tropical downpour of rain for an hour or so in the afternoon. Because of the high humidity, a quick drenching can actually be quite refreshing, breaking the morning heat and making the afternoon more bearable. Of all the months, September tends to see the most rain, and October the highest humidity. 

A major benefit of the frequent storms is that the countryside turns green and beautiful by August. Angkor’s temples are particularly stunning surrounded by lush jungle, and this is definitely the time of year to see Cambodia’s rural destinations at their most picturesque. Just don’t forget your walking boots – it can get muddy. 

Finally, since most travellers steer clear of the green season, you can also expect fewer crowds, lower prices and more availability than at peak times. What’s not to love about that? 

“I visited Cambodia in September (considered one of the wetter months). True, on all of our tuk tuk journeys the plastic rain covers were down and we had to help our driver rescue his tuk tuk from a particularly deep pothole disguised as a puddle, but during a break in the weather we visited Beng Mealea temple and had the entire place to ourselves. It was particularly atmospheric as the season’s rains had bought the jungle to life and the vines were making head roads into reclaiming the ruins”

Charlotte Bower, Southeast Asia Product Executive

If you’re thinking about a trip to Cambodia, why not have a chat with one of our travel consultants? They’ll be able to talk you through the best destinations and activities for any time of year. 

0 replies on “Best time to visit Cambodia”