Seasons in Cambodia

Typical division of a year into seasons isn’t quite appropriate to Cambodian weather. Basically there are two seasons dry and rainy. This is the feature of tropical monsoon climate type. Rainy season lasts from July to September and amount of precipitation during this period is extreme. Hard impetuous showers with almost daily frequency cause floods on Tonle Sap the main lake of country.

Dry season between November and April is the best time visit Cambodia. Rains are over and temperature at winter months is quite comfortable. On the other hand this is the “high season” so prices are higher than at rainy season.


Weather and Climate

Spring in Cambodia

March and April in Cambodia are dry and hot months. First month of spring is good for cultural tourism and visiting natural sights. Prices and temperature are lower comparing to winter period. Rains are yet to come. Daytime temperature is about 33 °C (91 °F).

April is the hottest month of a year. Average daytime temperature reaches 36 °C (97 °F). Leap of temperature causes drop of prices. Seaside holidays or diving are preferable types of activities during vacation in Cambia at April.

Seas at May aren’t comfortable and frequency of rains increases in addition. So it’s better to dedicate visit to Cambodia at late spring to excursions to temples and other kinds of inland activities.

The climate of the spring months

(Phnom Penh)

March
Max average t°: +34 °C (93 °F)
Min average t°: +24 °C (75 °F)
Sundial in the day: 8.5 hours
Rainy days: 2 days
Precipitation: 30 mm (1.2")
April
Max average t°: +34.5 °C (94 °F)
Min average t°: +25 °C (77 °F)
Sundial in the day: 8.5 hours
Rainy days: 9 days
Precipitation: 88 mm (3.5")
May
Max average t°: +34 °C (93 °F)
Min average t°: +25 °C (77 °F)
Sundial in the day: 8 hours
Rainy days: 13 days
Precipitation: 146 mm (5.8")

Spring holidays

March 8 – International Women's Day.

April 14-16 – Khmer New Year.
April-May (variable date) – Visak Bochea (Day of Buddha’s Birth).

May 1 – Labor Day.
May 13-15 – King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday.
Variable date in May - Royal Ploughing Ceremony.

Summer in Cambodia

Cambodian summer is rainy and windy. Oceanic monsoons are driving heavy rainclouds back and forth. Sky becomes cloudy in a blink of an eye. Than 15 minutes of extreme shower and weather is sunny again. Those sudden transitions may occur several times per day.

Temperature remains somewhere around 33 °C (91 °F) through whole summer. During July and August seaside vacations aren’t best option. Rains and hurricanes are forcing to prefer inland activities. Luckily cultural features and diversity of historical heritage provide lots of experiences. Main concern is in damp dirt roads which are still prevailing in Cambodia.

The climate of the summer months

(Phnom Penh)

June
Max average t°: +33 °C (91 °F)
Min average t°: +24.5 °C (76 °F)
Sundial in the day: 7.5 hours
Rainy days: 11 days
Precipitation: 116 mm (4.6")
July
Max average t°: +31.5 °C (89 °F)
Min average t°: +24 °C (76 °F)
Sundial in the day: 7.5 hours
Rainy days: 13 days
Precipitation: 130 mm (5.1")
August
Max average t°: +31.5 °C (89 °F)
Min average t°: +24.5 °C (76 °F)
Sundial in the day: 7.5 hours
Rainy days: 12 days
Precipitation: 140 mm (5.5")


Summer holidays

June 1 – International Children's Day.

June 15 – on that day in 1965, the International Court of Justice ruled that the temple of Prea Viehea belongs to Cambodia.

June 18 – Queen Mother's Birthday.

Autumn in Cambodia

At September rainy season starts to slow down. Frequency and intensity of showers are decreasing. It is good time for both seaside vacation and sightseeing. But neighborhoods of Tonle Sap are insecure because of probability of flooding.

At October temperature drops a bit to about 30 °C (86 °F). This is the threshold of high season. Change of winds decreases amount of precipitation but increases cloudiness. November marks beginning of dry season. It is a good time for any types of activities in Cambodia so tourists flow is gradually gaining momentum through November.

The climate of the autumn months

(Phnom Penh)

September
Max average t°: +31 °C (88 °F)
Min average t°: +24 °C (76 °F)
Sundial in the day: 7 hours
Rainy days: 18 days
Precipitation: 212 mm (8.4")
October
Max average t°: +30 °C (87 °F)
Min average t°: +24 °C (75 °F)
Sundial in the day: 7 hours
Rainy days: 17 days
Precipitation: 219 mm (8.6")
November
Max average t°: +30 °C (86 °F)
Min average t°: +23 °C (74 °F)
Sundial in the day: 8 hours
Rainy days: 8 days
Precipitation: 109 mm (4.3")

Autumn holidays

September 24 – Constitution Day.

3 days of October with variable date – Pchum Ben (paying a respect for deceased relatives in Buddhist tradition).
October 15 – Commemoration Day of King's Father.
October 21 – Paris Peace Agreement Day.
October 29 – Coronation Day of King Sihamoni.

November 9 – Independence Day.
3 days in October or November with variable dates – Water Festival.

Winter in Cambodia

Winter months are the best time to visit Cambodia. Temperature is comfortable, rainy season is behind (or ahead depending on point of view) and winds have calmed down. Thus tours to Cambodia at December are popular so there might be difficulties with booking flight or hotel. These issues should be settled beforehand.

Other two months of winter are the heist of tourists’ season. All of possible experiences of Cambodia are available with no obstacles. At least in terms of weather conditions. Naturally peak of possibilities is accompanied by peak of prices. This should taking in to account while planning visit to Cambodia at winter.

The climate of the winter months

(Phnom Penh)

December
Max average t°: +30 °C (86 °F)
Min average t°: +22 °C (71 °F)
Sundial in the day: 8 hours
Rainy days: 3 days
Precipitation: 38 mm (1.5")
January
Max average t°: +31 °C (88 °F)
Min average t°: +21 °C (70 °F)
Sundial in the day: 8.5 hours
Rainy days: 2 days
Precipitation: 28 mm (1.1")
February
Max average t°: +32 °C (90 °F)
Min average t°: +22 °C (72 °F)
Sundial in the day: 9.5 hours
Rainy days: 0 days
Precipitation: 9 mm (0.35")

Winter holidays

December 10 – Human Rights Day.

January 1 – New Year.

January 7 – Victory Day over Genocide.

Variable date of February – Meak Bochea (commemorating of Buddha’s preaching).