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When is it the best time to travel in Cambodia?

Cambodia has two main seasons the green season and the dry season, with a couple of what could be called sub-seasons in between where it is slightly hotter or cooler. Cambodia can be visited at any time of the year and has a mild tropical climate. Travellers should also not be put off by the myth of Southeast Asia’s monsoon period or ‘Green Period’ as we like to call it and travel to the region should be considered all year round.

The ‘Green Season’ extends from May until October and is an extremely good time to travel. The rain tends to come in short sharp downpours and at this time the country is probably at its most beautiful. The popular sights are also a lot less crowded and Angkor is surrounded by lush foliage and the moats are all full of water, perfect for photography.

The ‘Dry Season’ is from November to April. The most pleasant time to travel is from November to January when the weather is dry and cool; the days are full of bright crisp autumn-like days. The weather is at its hottest and stickiest in late March and April, where temperatures hover around thirty-five degrees centigrade.

Cambodia is enjoyable at any time of the year and we make sure you get the most out of your trip whatever time of year you travel.

Getting to Cambodia

Currently there are no direct flights to the country from outside Southeast Asia, but this is sure to change as it is growing in popularity with holiday makers wishing to enjoy a Cambodia tour.  Cambodia is still, though, a relatively easy destination to get to. Travelers have the options of flying through one of the following airports; Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai or Seoul before the final short leg to either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. In terms of travel time this obviously depends on how long you have to wait for your connection, but you are looking at approximately a total of 12 hours of flying time.

Weather by Month

JANUARY

If you want to see Angkor Wat or any part of Cambodia, January is one of the best months for a visit. The moderate climate makes long treks or temple explorations much less of an endurance test (though you will probably still be grateful for mid-day shade!).
With an average temperature of 26°C, you can expect relative coolness, cloudless skies, and little to no rainfall. If you venture further north to the mountain areas of Ratanakiri or Mondulkiri, you will enjoy even lower temperatures – 20°C on average.
The beaches and islands on the south coast, from Sihanoukville and Koh Kong over to Kampot and Kep near the Vietnamese border, enjoy splendid sunshine during January, with very little chance of rain. The temperate sea and dry weather conditions are also perfect for diving – at this time of the year the waters surrounding the islands of Koh Rong Samloem and Koh Rong positively teem with marine life.

FEBRUARY

The whole of Cambodia enjoys splendid weather in February. The hot season is not too far away, so temperatures may rise slowly but steadily as the month progresses. But it’s still relatively cool, with an average of about 27°C country-wide.
The beaches of Sihanoukville, Kep and Koh Rong to the south see little rain and enjoy plenty of sunshine. Diving is superb at this time of year, with clear visibility and warm water temperatures; the tropical islands of Koh Rong Samloem and Koh Rong are great bases for diving in February.
Of course, most visitors to Cambodia want to see the amazing Angkor Wat temples, and the moderate temperature in February makes exploring these much more manageable. The same goes for those other popular tourist destinations – the northeast provinces of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri. Though you may still be grateful for some shade around mid-day!

MARCH

Cambodia experiences excellent weather in March. There is little to no rain and days are sunny and dry. Throughout the country, temperatures average around 30°C, but it will be a little cooler in Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri to the northeast.
At this time of year, a whole day in the temples of Angkor Wat can be a little trying. It’s a good idea to make an early start and take a mid-day break back in the comfort of your hotel.
March is a great month for diving – the beaches of Sihanoukville, Koh Kong and Kep on the south coast bask in sunshine and there is very little chance of rain.

APRIL

With temperatures averaging around 35°C (possibly nudging towards the 40°Cs), April is not the coolest month in Cambodia. The rainy season is not too far away (it normally starts raining in early-mid May), but April is mainly dry, with the possibility of the occasional shower towards the end of the month.
Under these hot conditions exploring the Angkor Wat temples can be tiring, so rather than whole day visits, it might be an idea to schedule shorter stints throughout the day. There is an upside – the popular temples will have fewer visitors at this time of year, giving you more room to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
April is also the perfect time to enjoy a few days of relaxation on the south coast beaches of Kep, Sihanoukville, or the islands, Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloem. Here you can really make the most of the hot sunshine.
Something to bear in mind: ‘slash and burn’ farming is an unfortunate practice at this time of year in most of Asia. In February new ground is cleared. Once it’s dry, any bush and wood that can’t be used is burnt. The fires lit country-wide can cause haze, especially in rural areas.

MAY

May sees the onset of the rainy season, but the early part of the month is still relatively dry. By the end of the month, the rainy season is usually underway across Cambodia, although the rainfall is sporadic at first.
Despite the heat, the rain eases humidity, making life quite comfortable, with average temperatures of 29°C. It’s easy to enjoy a very pleasant month in Cambodia if you build your day around the short, heavy downpours. Another advantage is that the crowds at the Angkor Wat temple complex will be thinner.
All in all, May is a great month for a visit to Cambodia. There is still plenty of sunshine, and there are fewer visitors than in previous months. The south coast beaches in Kep and Sihanoukville are still great destinations because the temperatures are warm and the showers are short and infrequent.

Slash and Burn

There is an unfortunate farming practice in April and May throughout most of Asia: slash and burn. In February, new ground is cleared. Once the wood is dry, any wood and bush that can’t be used is burnt off. The fires lit across the country can create haze, especially in the countryside.

JUNE

Rain is to be expected throughout Cambodia in June. At an average of 28°C, temperatures remain high. Humidity can reach a high of 70% during the day, but life is made more comfortable by the heavy, intermittent showers.
The Cardamom Mountains and the beaches on the south coast, such as Sihanoukville and Kep, bear the brunt of the rain. In some areas, like the rural north east, Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri, travelling can be quite difficult at this time of year, due to the rain.
Between the showers, there is no lack of sunshine, so June can be a pleasant month for a visit to Cambodia. There are far fewer visitors than in previous months and some good low season hotel deals can be found.

JULY

July sees a continuation of the rain, though there are still dry days. Temperatures gradually drop (averaging around 27°C), which makes life more comfortable during the daytime.
This is still a good month to visit Cambodia – the showers are usually heavy but short-lived, and it’s possible to plan your day around them. The rainfall does tend to increase nearer the end of the month. There are occasional spectacular thunderstorms – especially around the Angkor Wat temple complex.
In the rural areas, such as Mondulkiri, and the south coast beaches of Kep and Sihanoukville, the rain can be heavier and last longer, though there are still dry days. Due to the rain, Cambodia’s south coast beaches may not be the ideal destination at this time of year, but central Vietnam’s beaches are at their best in July, and an excursion there can be easily integrated into a tour of Cambodia.

AUGUST

The rainfall has almost reached its peak by August. The downpours are usually short and intense – tending to last a couple of hours instead of all day. The countryside is consequently lush and green. The water level on the central Tonle Sap Lake is high, so the floating villages and flooded forests can be visited by boat. Temperatures average around 26-27°C, which is quite comfortable.
The south coast sees the heaviest rainfall, so this may not be the best time of year for a visit to Cambodia’s beaches. However, the Vietnamese beaches of Danang and Hoi An are usually sunny and dry at this time, and are only a short hop away.
The heavy rain can cause problems in the rural northeast areas, such as Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri, often rendering tracks unpassable. ‘Off the trail’ travel is best avoided in August.

SEPTEMBER

Expect September to be warm and wet with average temperatures of 26°C and fairly heavy rain. It usually only rains for a few hours rather than all day, though it sometimes does rain all day.
The countryside is in full bloom, lush and green. There are excellent photo opportunities for temple reflections in water: the pools and moats that surround the Angkor temples are full at this time. There are far fewer people visiting the Angkor complex, and at some of the remoter temples you could well have the place to yourself. If a thunderstorm occurs, it will be a memorable experience!
The central Tonle Sap Lake grows 5 times in size during the rainy season, so this is the perfect time of year to visit the floating villages and flooded forests.
Rainfall is at its heaviest on the south coast and in rural areas, such as Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri. There you can expect rain to be heavier and last longer. In these regions roads become water-logged and access to remote areas can be problematic.

OCTOBER

The dry season is not too far away, so the rainfall eases off during the course of October, though there are still rainy days. Temperatures are warm, averaging around 27°C.
After months of rain, water levels are now at their maximum, so this is an excellent time of year to enjoy a visit to the floating villages and flooded forests of Tonle Sap Lake, swollen to 5 times its normal size. The north eastern areas of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri have some spectacular waterfalls to reward the intrepid visitor.
Some rain is still to be expected on the south coast beaches of Kep and Sihanoukville, though the showers become more intermittent and the periods of sunshine longer as we head towards the beginning of the dry season in November.

NOVEMBER

Though intermittent showers may still be encountered during the month, November marks the beginning of Cambodia’s dry season; there will not be much rain for the next six months. Temperatures are comfortable, averaging around 25°C, humidity is low, and with plenty of sunshine to enjoy, November is an excellent time to visit Cambodia.
The relative coolness will make your visit to the Angkor Wat temple complex much more comfortable, though you will still be grateful for some mid-day shade! Water levels are still high, so this is a good time to see the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake, and the beautiful waterfalls to the north east in Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri provinces. The south coast beaches of Sihanoukville and Kep come back to life, thanks to the calmer seas and moderate, pleasant sunshine.

DECEMBER

In December you can expect dry and sunny conditions and relatively cool temperatures, averaging around 26°C, with low humidity throughout Cambodia. This is one of the most popular months to visit the country.
Visits to the Angkor Wat temples are much easier, with moderate temperatures and little rainfall to contend with. The attractions of Tonle Sap Lake – the floating villages – can still be reached by boat as water levels are still quite high. The beaches on the south coast, Sihanoukville and Kep, are ideal for chilling out, and there are ideal diving conditions on the islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem at this time of year.

Passport & Visa Information

Do I need a Visa to enter Cambodia?
Yes: Residents of most nationalities must obtain a visa before entering the country with the exception of the following countries: Philippines, Malaysian, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos or Indonesia.

 

How to get a Cambodian Visa?
There are two ways:

1) On Arrival – You can get a visa on arrival at both International airports and all land border crossings with Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. A tourist visa costs $35 and is valid for a period of 30 days however extensions are available for longer stays.
Please note that if you cross over a land boarder you may have to pay a stamping / processing fee of around $5.

2) In Advance (E-Visa) – You can now obtain an e-visa for Cambodia in advance. The visa costs $37 and payment can be made online via a credit or debit card.
*You can apply for you visa in advance by applying here www.evisa.gov.kh

 

Additional Information:

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    Please make sure that your passport does not expire within 6 months of your holiday. And that your passport has at least one full clean page for the visa and another page for additional stamps.

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    If applying for a visa on arrival please make sure that you have 2 passport photographs with you.

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    For every day you are in the country without a valid visa you will have to pay a $5 fine per day.

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    Please note that you are no longer need to pay an airport departure tax as this is included in your airline ticket.

Destination Guide

Everything you need to know before you travel to Cambodia

READ MORE

Raffles Le Royal Cambodia

5 Star – Phnom Penh
Ideally situated at the heart of the city, the Raffles Hotel Le Royal has been the choice of royalty, dignitaries and celebrities travelling through the capital of modern Cambodia. Graced through the years by legends such as former U.S First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and French adventurer André Malraux, this landmark Phnom Penh hotel sets the benchmark for refined enchantment in Cambodia.

Phum Baitang Cambodia

5 Star – Siem Reap
The stunning resort is a complete upscale 5* boutique hotel with an authentic Cambodian experience. Locally known as being the home for Angelina Jolie, and her family when they were filming – First They Killed My Father. This intimate and opulent resort covers eight acres and is surrounded by lush greenery and paddy fields. This hotel offer beautifully designed villas and a totally unique experience in Siem Reap.

4 Rivers Floating Lodge Cambodia

4 Star – Koh Kong
Located in the wilds of Cambodia’s Southwest and sitting on the Tatai river rests a simply wonderful floating eco-resort. This environmentally friendly resort surrounded by thick forest captures the imagination while offering luxury and high-end facilities of a four-star boutique resort. The service and food are top notch making a perfect end to any Cambodian holiday.

Navutu Dreams Cambodia

4 Star – Siem Reap
Set in a lovely peaceful area of town, not too far from the main shops and restaurants. Navutu Dreams is a wonderful oasis set in a glorious green garden surrounded by 3 swimming pools (1 for family and kids, 1 fresh water pool and 1 salt water pool). This hotel has thought of everything and is the perfect retreat to relax and rewind after a busy day at the temples.

Terres Rouges Cambodia

3 Star – Ban Lung
Terres Rouges Lodge is the only boutique hotel in the province of Ratanakiri. Ideally situated on the edge of the Ban Lung Lake, the Lodge is the combination of a Cambodian villas and luxurious bungalows in the middle of an exotic garden. The lodge which was the former residence of the governor of the province combines traditions of the past and the comforts you expect today.

Sala Lodges Cambodia

4 Star – Siem Reap
Sala means school or place to stay for a stopover in Khmer language. Stay in one of the elegant eleven old reassembled wooden houses dating from 1956 to 1985, collected from different places around Cambodian. Located on a calm road not very far from the city central, Sala Lodges laid on a flat land surrounded by paddy fields, palm trees and lush garden, that makes the whole resort a peaceful village and pleasant stay.

Our most popular Cambodia Holidays

Browse through our Cambodia holiday suggestions and get some inspiration.
We can then tailor-make a Cambodia holiday just for you!

Postcards of Cambodia Photography Tour

Postcards of Cambodia Photography Tour

15 Days / 14 Nights
Price from: $1,899 per person

Angkor Temples & Gulf of Thailand (Cambodia & Thailand)

Angkor Temples & Gulf of Thailand (Cambodia & Thailand)

8 Days / 7 Nights
Price from: $POA per person

Cambodia & Vietnam Boat Cruises

Cambodia & Vietnam Boat Cruises

3 to 8 Day Cruises
Price from: $POA per person

Discover Cambodia’s Wild Side

Discover Cambodia’s Wild Side

8 Days / 7 Nights
Price from: $1,799 per person

Cardamom Mountain Extreme (Dirt Bike Adventure)

Cardamom Mountain Extreme (Dirt Bike Adventure)

8 Days / 7 Nights
Price from: $POA per person

Golf & Temples Cambodia

Golf & Temples Cambodia

5 Days / 4 Nights
Price from: $799 per person

Cambodia Cleansing Wellness, Yoga & Spa Retreat

Cambodia Cleansing Wellness, Yoga & Spa Retreat

6 Days / 5 Nights
Price from: $POA per person

Cambodia Joining Group Tour (Solo Trip)

Cambodia Joining Group Tour (Solo Trip)

13 Days / 12 Nights
Price from: $2,259 per person

Cambodia Hotspots

Cambodia Hotspots

6 Days / 5 Nights
Price from: $899 per person

Cultural Cambodia

Cultural Cambodia

11 Days / 10 Nights
Price from: $1,499 per person

Beaches of Cambodia

Beaches of Cambodia

11 Days / 10 Nights
Price from: $1,199 per person

Explore Cambodia

Explore Cambodia

14 Days / 13 Nights
Price from: $1,699 per person

Following the Nine Tailed Dragon (Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam)

Following the Nine Tailed Dragon (Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam)

18 Days / 17 Nights
Price from: $POA per person

Heritage of Indochina (Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia)

Heritage of Indochina (Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia)

15 Days / 14 Nights
Price from: $POA per person

Wildlife & Adventure Tour of Cambodia

Wildlife & Adventure Tour of Cambodia

12 Days / 11 Nights
Price from: $1,859 per person

Siem Reap Tour

Siem Reap Tour

4 Days / 3 Nights
Price from: $599 per person

Cambodia’s Secret Temples

Cambodia’s Secret Temples

7 Days / 6 Nights
Price from: $1,299 per person

Cambodian Elephant Adventure

Cambodian Elephant Adventure

4 Days / 3 Nights
Price from: $799 per person