"A traveler without observation is a bird without wings."
-Moslih Eddin Saadi
The weather in Cambodia is an important consideration when planning the timing of your travel. Cambodia is just 13° north of the equator with a tropical climate ideal for those seeking a change from the temperate European or North American climate. The seasons are strongly influenced by the wet and dry monsoon cycles of Southeast Asia as explained below.
If you have flexibiliy in your planning and you want to find the best time to travel to Cambodia you need information on climatic comfort, crowd avoidance & seasonal pricing.
For more ideas on what to see and do in Cambodia browse the extensive example itineraries or contact me with your requirements or questions and I will get a detailed and priced proposal out to you usually within a day.
In these pages you will find a month by month description of the weather, with data on rainfall, rain patterns and comfort levels (heat and humidity) measured at our Siem Reap office. Pure rainfall measurements in millimeters are not terribly useful for the prospective visitor so we have recorded more meaningful data like "the probability of any rain on a day" so that you can better plan your stay.
The high tourist season coincides with the dry northeast monsoon between November and April, peaking as Europeans and Americans take their Winter vacations. The monsoon brings dry warm air from the asian landmass so we get clear, sunny days with relatively lower humidity. This is considered the high season for tourism here in Siem Reap with higher prices for most hotels and greater crowds around the main tourist sites.
Travel during the wetter southwest monsoon and you are rewarded often with temples virtually to yourself and significantly lower prices on accommodation over a range of good hotels. I feel that Cambodia is more attractive in this season; the red dust of the dry season is transformed into a lush green vista with bright sunny mornings and occasional heavy afternoon showers of warm tropical rain.
The dry Southeast Asia monsoon determines the weather from around end October until mid May with only occasional rain, perhaps 3 times a month. The countryside dries out under the cloudless skies and the level of Tonle Sap lake drops to its minimum. Although dry throughout, the temperature and humidity both rise from October through to a maximum for the year in May.
The wetter Southeast Asia monsoon brings greenery back to the Cambodian countryside with rain from the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand. The usual pattern is for clear, sunny mornings and showers in the mid to late afternoon two days out of three. The humidity and temperatures drop to a low around October when the weather can feel almost Mediterranean.
The best time to visit Cambodia is between June and December. The countryside is a lush, tropical green and the days generally sunny with welcome showers or occasional photogenic thumderstorns in the late afternoons to lay the red dust.
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