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When should you plan your holiday to Cambodia?

Cambodia's climate

Cambodia's climate is best described as tropical and, as with much of the region, there are two distinct seasons - wet and dry. The rainy season typically falls from June to October, while the dry season is actually split into two periods - cool and hot.

The former runs from November until February, with temperatures during this time averaging between 17 and 27 degrees Celsius. The hot dry months are from March until May, when the mercury hits between 29 and 38 degrees Celsius.

During the wet season, temperatures hover around 27 to 35 degrees Celsius. It's key to remember that Cambodia's climate is generally humid, which causes it to feel much hotter and muggier than it otherwise would.

Although June to October are when the most rainfall arrives in Cambodia, this typically comes in short, sharp bursts, rather than consistent downpours. There can be heavy storms at this time of the year, which may cause flooding and landslides, particularly in rural areas.

When is it best to travel?

You can go on a holiday to Cambodia at various times of the year, although December and January are generally considered the most favourable months for travelling around the nation, as it's not overly hot and there is little rain.

April is usually the hottest month of the year and, as a result, it's best to avoid travelling during this month, as temperatures can hit 40 degrees Celsius or more. This, coupled with the humidity, makes it difficult to do much during the day, so it's far from ideal conditions for sightseeing.

During the wet season, you'll find many of the country's top sites are quieter and, although there will be downpours, this makes the scenery in rural areas incredibly verdant. The area surrounding the Angkor complex looks especially beautiful at this time of the year, when all the trees are a bright green and the moats surrounding the temples are full, creating wonderful reflections of the iconic architecture.

Being active in Cambodia

There are many opportunities to get active during a holiday in Cambodia. One of the most popular ways to get around in the country is by bike and this is, naturally, easiest in the cooler months of the dry season when the heat isn't too oppressive. The same goes for hiking, so if you'd like to explore either the country's cities or rural areas on two wheels or on foot, it's advisable to plan your trip between November and February.

Along the coast, meanwhile, you can have a go at activities like canoeing and scuba diving. If the latter takes your fancy, it's worth remembering that the best conditions for diving are between late October and the end of June, although the waters off the coast of Cambodia are considered to be diveable for the majority of the year.

Public holidays and festivals

The majority of Cambodians follow Theravada Buddhism, so many of the public holidays are related to the faith. There are also commemorations for royal birthdays, such as the King Mother's on 18th June and the King's, whose celebrations run for three days on 13th, 14th and 15th May.

Among the biggest festivals are Khmer New Year, which falls in April and sees three days of festivities, and Bon Om Tuk, or the Water Festival. This event in November is one of the most spectacular to take place in Cambodia. Phnom Penh is the focus of the festivities, with stunning ceremonies held on the water where the three rivers of Tonle Sap, Tonle Bassac and the Mekong converge. These celebrations continue into the night, with the boats on the water lit up in a glorious spectacle and fireworks set off over the capital - it really is a sight to behold and many travellers plan their holiday to coincide with the event.

Meterological information

Average °C 272728303130302929292827
Minimum °C 232323252626262625252524
Maximum °C 303132343534333232323130
Sunshine (hours) 111212121213131312121212
Rain (cm) 3011705351640616623

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