Weather in Cambodia
The Kingdom of Cambodia is situated in the south of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, 10° to 13° north of the Equator, west of Vietnam, with a coastline on the Gulf of Thailand.
The country’s climate is typical of the tropics in Asia in that it is subject to tropical monsoon seasons. There are two distinct seasons – wet and dry. The rainy season occurs between May and October, with relatively cool temperatures and high humidity levels. The dry season between November and April sees temperatures peaking at around 40 °C (104°F) by its close.
The wettest months in Cambodia are during September and October, when the moist winds blowing in from the Gulf of Thailand and Indian Ocean dump heavy showers on the country. The rain usually arrives in the afternoon and the downpours last only an hour or two. The driest months are January and February, in the heart of the non-monsoon season.
Apart from monsoon rains the main thing visitors to Cambodia have to contend is the all-pervading heat and humidity. During the southwest monsoon rainy season, which comes from the ocean, Cambodia is relatively cool with temperatures hovering around 25°C (77°F). The dry season, though, sends the mercury topping out at 40 °C(104°F) in April, made all the more uncomfortable by high humidity levels.
When is the best time to go to Cambodia?It is understandable that travellers avoid visiting Cambodia during the rainy season (May to October), but those after photo opportunities will find the temples at Angkor Wat very picturesque, surrounded by jungle greenery and full moats when the rain is falling. The dry season (November to April) tends to be hazy, and more crowded with tourists, despite the oppressive heat. To avoid both heavy and frequent rain and debilitating heat and humidity the best time to visit is between the hot and dry seasons in late October through November, although December and January are still very bearable for heat lovers.
What to pack for a holiday in Cambodia?
Cambodia is simple as far as clothing is concerned, but there are a few other important items to pack for an easy trip. Shorts and T-shirts, a warm jersey or two and a raincoat will do for most of the year, with a few changes of clothes, including swimwear. Long sleeved shirts or skins, trousers and good walking shoes are important for jungle treks and adventure travel; long tops and bottoms help prevent insect bites, cuts and abrasions from the forest vegetation.
Make sure to pack basic medical supplies (including insect repellent) and a bottle to keep enough fresh water for the day. Sturdy sandals are standard, but amphibian walking/hiking shoes are essential for adventure travel and come recommended for general travel too. Binoculars and a compass come in useful on jungle treks and earplugs allow for a nap on a noisy bus between destinations.
Average temperature in Cambodia in January: 26°C, 79°F
Weather in Cambodia in January
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in January: 28°C, 82.4°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in January: 7mm, 0.3in
Note: January is what passes for a cool month in Cambodia, before the onset of the extreme heat and humidity that will follow in the dry season. There is no rain, and plenty of blue skies across the country, although anywhere with shade is welcomed at midday by sweaty tourists.
Weather in Cambodia in FebruaryAverage temperature in Cambodia in February: 27°C, 81°F
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in February: 28°C, 82°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in February: 10mm, 0.4in
Note: Temperatures rise throughout Cambodia during February, as the hottest time of the year approaches. If you can stand the heat the advantage of a holiday in Cambodia in February is the absence of rain. The beaches on the coast, from Koh Kong to the Vietnam border, are hot, sunny and heavenly.
Weather in Cambodia in MarchAverage temperature in Cambodia in March: 29°C, 83°F
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in March: 29°C, 83°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in March: 40mm, 1.6in
Note: Most of Cambodia is blisteringly hot during March as the mercury climbs towards the hottest month of April. Sightseeing in Angkor Wat is laborious in the heat. Intrepid visitors are advised to take time out from the blazing sun in the heat of midday. The beaches are blistering too, and there is little relief to be had bathing in the warm sea.
Weather in Cambodia in AprilAverage temperature in Cambodia in April: 30°C, 85°F
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in April: 30°C, 85°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in April: 77mm, 3in
Note: Only the most brave tourists venture into Cambodia in April. Not only it is the hottest month of the year, but the country is pervaded with a haze caused by the “slash and burn” agricultural policy. The Khmer New Year is celebrated in the middle of the month, with everything shutting down for the holiday.
Weather in Cambodia in MayAverage temperature in Cambodia in May: 29°C, 84°F
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in May: 29°C, 84°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in May: 134mm, 5.3in
Note: The early part of May can continue to be dry in Cambodia, but as the month progresses the monsoon rains set in in the form of short but very heavy showers. This is welcomed by many as respite from the heat, which is relentless.
Weather in Cambodia in JuneAverage temperature in Cambodia in June: 29°C, 84°F
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in June: 28°C, 82°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in June: 155mm, 6.1in
Note: By June in Cambodia the monsoon rains have spread across the country, but the heavy afternoon showers bring some relief from the excessive heat humidity.The rainy season means far fewer tourists crowding Angkor Wat, but the beaches are swamped with most of the rain.
Average temperature in Cambodia in July: 28°C, 82°F
Weather in Cambodia in July
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in July: 28°C, 82°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in July: 171mm, 6.7in
Note: Heavy rains continue to pour down at intervals on Cambodia during July, but there are sunny spells between showers and the temperature is far more comfortable than during the dry season.
Weather in Cambodia in AugustAverage temperature in Cambodia in August: 28.5°C, 83°F
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in August: 28°C, 82°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in August: 160mm, 6.3in
Note: The rainy season is close to its peak in Cambodia in August, the countryside is lush and green, and all the waterways are full to bursting. There is still a measure of sunshine between the heavy showers.
Weather in Cambodia in SeptemberAverage temperature in Cambodia in September: 28°C, 82°F
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in September: 28°C, 82°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in September: 257mm, 8.8in
Note: The weather across Cambodia in September is wet, muddy, and muggy, with frequent torrential rain storms, which keep the temperatures down but up the humidity. There can be travel disruptions due to the peak monsoon season during September.
Weather in Cambodia in OctoberAverage temperature in Cambodia in October: 27°C, 81°F
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in October: 29°C, 84°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in October: 257mm, 10.1in
Note: October in Cambodia starts with deluges of rain, but as the month progresses the frequency of heavy showers diminishes, with the advent of the dry season imminent. The south coast, around Sihanoukville, is still very wet during October.Cam
Weather in Cambodia in NovemberAverage temperature in Cambodia in November: 27°C, 81°F
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in November: 28°C, 82°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in November: 127mm, 5in
Note: The monsoon rains begin to decrease during November in Cambodia, diminishing during the month to the odd, short shower. The temperature is still bearable, which in combination with drier conditions makes November a good time to travel to Cambodia.
Weather in Cambodia in DecemberAverage temperature in Cambodia in December: 26°C, 79°F
Sea temperature in Cambodia (Sihanoukville) in December: 29°C, 84°F
Average rainfall in Cambodia in December: 45mm, 1.8in
Note: Cambodia in December has arguably the best weather conditions of the year for sightseeing and beach-bathing. It is largely dry, hot and sunny, without the extremely high temperatures experienced in the height of the dry season.