Cambodia's Best Time to Visit
Dry season gets you to be cool and cozy
Much tucked in by land with limited coastline, seasons in Cambodia can be divided into wet season and dry season according to rainfall and temperature. November to March is the best season for traveling.
Seaons with Features
- Wet season starts from late April and lasts till mid-October, accompanied by excess rain and tourists are the least seen during this time.
- The sky clears up from early October. Although it can also be hot and rainy sometimes, we’d consider the time during mid-October to early December would be ideal traveling time, due to both weather and travel experiences.
- As a country depending greatly on tourism, over 1/3 of Cambodia GDP is made during the dry season of December to February; be prepared for dramatic price inflations.
- Although it’s less known for beaches, Cambodia’s beaches can be a nice substitute when its neighbor Thailand suffers from the typhoon season.
Best Things to Do in Different Seasons
The fact that Cambodia is oftentimes combined in a border-crossing trip that usually includes Vietnam, Thailand or other SE Asia countries somehow recedes its importance in trip planning, expect for the must-see site that is Angkor Wat. Here are some ideas of what you can do during different seasons in Cambodia.
Angkor Wat Trip
This is one of the reasons (if not the only) why you fly all the way to this relatively small country. Normally this massive complex can be taken within 2 days but things can always change.
Best Time: All-year
- Wet season puts you in a humidity cage inside the forest and likely to be caught in rain and muddy road, plan a loosen itinerary of at least 3 days to cover all the highlights. 2 days is good enough for the dry season if you are only after the best parts.
- Most outdoor activities (zip-lining for example) are closed down for maintenance during the wet season. Lucky thing is that you get great hotel deals at which you can spend all day staying in.
Tonle Sap Lake and Boat Trips
Tonle Sap Lake, not far from Siem Reap, is a seasonal lake and inflow starts in May or June and ends before November when the water level reaches the lowest. River trips, namely the Mekong Cruise crossing border with Vietnam, see the biggest volume of travelers during late September to November; that is the time for nice weather and steady stream for boating.
Time: June to November, December to April is ideal for bird-watching on Tonle Sap Lake
Tips: Some areas of Tonle Sap cannot be reached by boat due to shallow water level during the dry season of mid-December to March.
City Tours in Phnom Penh or Battambang
Most travelers spend 1 to 2 days in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. The city itself has little to offer yet it’s the S21 Museum outside of town makes the reason of visiting. This site is a complex of outdoor open-air remains of the killing site and an indoor museum, which can be visited anytime of the year but of course, scotching heat would make you feel even more depressed. Other downtown sites are easily accessible by walking or short drivings.
As for Battambang, almost nothing to see inside the city. Sightseeing is around the countryside, which can be unaccesile during the wet season.
Time: All-year; S21 site would be less hideous visited on a sunny day, though.
Cycling, Hiking, Outdoor and Beach Holiday
Cambodia has long been a mecca for outdoor fans. Caves in Battambang, hiking trails near Siem Reap and various national parks close by Phnom Penh, you name it. The best time for adventurers falls during the dry season, both for the weather and safety reasons.
If you are trying to avoid the peak season hordes of Thailand's beaches during December, Cambodia should fill the bill perfectly. Although cannot win the competition of the best beaches, Sihanoukville during January and February is just fine for a cool dipping in the warm ocean. Plus, less people and great deals for hotels.
Discover Cambodia in Your Own Way
Cambodia has been one of the most popular Southeast Asian destinations for ages, that is not only for Angkor Wat. If you haven't seen this beautiful country in person, now is the right time. Talk to our team and find out more possibilities now!
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