The Best Time to Travel to Cambodia • The Blonde Abroad
Cambodia is one of the few Asian countries that boasts a fairly constant climate year-round, making it a year-round destination. However, it does have two distinct seasons: wet and dry. Both of which will definitely be a factor in determining the best time to go!
Whether you’re looking to bathe in the sunshine or explore the city life, there’s never a wrong time to visit the country full of culture and beautiful lush scenery. With such a wonderful climate, it’s a great place to start backpacking around Southeast Asia.
Here’s my guide for the best time to travel to Cambodia!
March to May
Spring in Cambodia means plenty of sunshine and a lot of humidity.
Starting in March, the winter tourists have left, making it a great time to visit if you’re looking to avoid crowds and save some money. Visit Cardamom Mountain’s jungle or float down on the river on the outskirts of Kampot during these months as the weather is perfect.
In April, Khmer New Year takes place and is celebrated with traditional games, rice cake baking competitions, drinking, and dancing. May is littered with public holidays from International Labour Day to the Royal Ploughing Ceremony to the Day of Remembrance.
June to September
The wet season in Cambodia officially begins in June and can present certain challenges to travelers. Humidity can reach up to 80% every day and heavy downpours dampen trips to places like Cardamom and Sihanoukville. Despite this, the rains don’t last all day and if you’re willing to find shelter for a bit, it’s a great time to explore.
Temperatures cool due to the rain and the countryside is lush and green.
Paddies are flooded and rivers are overflowing, making it one of the best times to visit the countryside. Tonle Sap Lake swells up to five times its normal size and is home to many floating villages and flooded forests. There are also little to no crowds at Angkor Wat.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
October to November
With the rains starting to subside, October is one of the best months to visit Cambodia.
The winter crowds have yet to arrive and the green landscapes are lush because of the rains. The waterfalls of Rattanakiri and Mondulkiri are overflowing, making them great swimming spots. Come November, travelers begin to flock to the country, making visits to the temples a bit longer.
However, don’t let this deter you. With temperatures averaging around 77 and the sun shining, this is one of the best times to visit the islands and the coast.
October and November are also filled with festivals and celebrations!
In October, Pchum Benh, a Buddhist festival that celebrates the deceased ancestors, is celebrated over the course of 15 days throughout the country. Many of the main celebrations take place on the final day as the locals pay their respect to deceased family members.
In Phnom Penh in November, the Water Festival aka Bon Om Touk is held. During the three-day event, which marks the beginning of the fishing season, hundreds of colorful dragon boats race across the Tonle Sap River. Millions of people from all over the country come to the festival so the capital gets quite busy.
December to February
December means the beginning of peak season for Cambodia.
The weather is undoubtedly the best, with rainfall being very rare and humidity being next to nothing. Although the Buddhist country does not typically celebrate Christmas—Christmas trees, decorations, and festive events dominate the month.
Hotels are often booked up far in advance so you’ll want to do the same if you’re looking to visit in December.
Lastly, come February, the crowds are still holding on strong. If you’re willing to fight the crowds a bit and you’re looking for a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway, consider Cambodia. The country has welcomed the Western holiday over the last few years and you will find heart-shaped balloons, giant teddy bears, and bunches of flowers everywhere you look.