The best time to visit Cambodia is right now. People often think of far-away lands as having extreme weather at certain times of the year, but the fact is that Cambodia has a fairly simple weather system that makes year-round travel very possible.
In Cambodia, you will find two seasons. In October through April, it is typically dry, and from May until September it is wet. You’ll find variations in temperature, so if you’re not a “hot weather person,” you might want to avoid May through June when temperatures can exceed 35°C. If you like it a little cool, the months from October through to December will give you temperatures of about 25°C – still very pleasant for a vacation, but not overly cold.
Winter in Cambodia lasts from about October through to April. This is the time of the northeast monsoon, and can be very windy. Cambodian winters are ideal for tourists who don’t like it too hot. However, if you favor lounging by the pool, fanning yourself and enjoying “umbrella” drinks, you might want to visit Cambodia in April or later, when temperatures reach the high 20s. It’s also the best time if you like to visit local attractions, as the roads will be dry. Locations like Shihanoukville and Kep are very popular during this time of year, as it’s sunny, and if you like to swim, the waters are warm.
When the southwest monsoons come in, usually from May to October, Cambodia gets nearly three-quarters of its annual rainfall. Temperatures can be expected to be around 26°C, but the earlier months (May through July) may be hotter. This is also the time when rain will be sporadic but heavy. From July until September, the rain will be more steady, and also heavy. At this time, the roads will be bad and the seas will be high, so if you like to swim or tour the countryside, this may not be the best time. On the other hand, resort living can be very pleasant with the good temperatures. As well, tourism traffic tends to drop at this time of year, so you might conceivably get a really good deal at a Cambodian resort.
It’s Up to You
If you’re thinking about visiting Cambodia, give some thought to what pleases you. Do you like to tour the local sites, or would you prefer to just relax in a temperate setting, having your every need catered to? Are you travelling with friends or family who just want to kick back and take it easy? Cambodia is, generally speaking, very temperate, but if you’re overly put off by dust in the dry times, or excessive water in the wet times, think about what suits you. For generally pleasing conditions regardless of the time of year, you really can’t do much better than a Cambodian vacation, but everyone is different. If you’re an “Alaskan cruise” type of person, don’t come to Cambodia. If you prefer basting in your own sweat on a tropical island, same thing – Cambodia isn’t for you. But for sheer, temperate pleasure, consider Cambodia.