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Best time to visit Cambodia

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Cambodia, officially the Kingdom of Cambodia is a country located in the south of Indochina, South East Asia, bordered by Thailand to the west, Laos to the north Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the south. 

Cambodia can be your destination all year round. Here is some information for you to consider when is the best time to visit Cambodia.

1. Weather

The most important factor in travelling is weather. Like every other country in South East Asia, Cambodia has the warm weather all year round. But there are some distinct seasons affecting the best time to visit Cambodia, they are the dry season and wet season. Each season are variety in temperature, in the hottest period the temperature usually exceeds 35oC.

Cambodia has good weather all year round

Cambodia is a year-round destination

Dry season

The dry season in Cambodia lasts from October to April when the dry north-east monsoon arrives and hot wind blowing across the country like a hair-dryer. But November and January is quite cool. Due to the weather, this is the peak tourist season in Cambodia. They arrive and travel around in November and January to take advantages of the lack of rain and cool weather. By March, travelling might be hot and uncomfortable and April can be a big nope. As the country dies out, muddy roads improve dramatically but they also get dusty.

Wet season

Cambodia’s wet season comes in May and lasts until October. During this period 70% of Cambodia soil is raining annually. During the peak of wet season which is from July to September, it can rain every single day. Rainy days will have a couple of hour heavy rain instead of raining all day. But sometimes it rains all day, you should pay attention.

Cambodia in the wet season

Be careful travelling in the wet season

The main disadvantages of the wet season are flooding and road condition. Roads in Cambodia mostly are dusty road which can turn into super muddy and slippery during the wet season. Travelling can be slowed down. You can go anywhere, but slower.       

Read more cambodia tips and advise

2. Festivals and Holidays

With more than 2 dozens of public holidays every year. Because of that, Cambodia is considered as a most festive place on earth. Here are some most significant holidays:

Khmer New Year

Time: April 13th -15th

Obviously, Khmer New Year is the most waited festival in Cambodia, a yearly cultural event. The festival lasts for 3 days, from April 13th to 15th, much later than Lunar’s new year of other Asian countries. Khmer New Year marks the end of the harvest season, the farmers can have a break and relax after a hard-working season. Cambodian people go home during the festival, which means cities will become empty. But however, villages will become excited and festive because of parties and celebrations. If you decide to visit Cambodia during this time, you should book hotel in advance because the room rates can go up.

Cambodia Khmer new year

Khmer new year

Water Festival

Time: November

This is probably the largest festival in Cambodia that tourist can join. Take place in 3 days in November in both biggest cities in Cambodia – Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. People from everywhere gather. Colorful boats race on the river and millions of people watching them. There will be fireworks and dancing, but if you are expecting water fights on the street like Songkran – Thailand, then forget it, it’s not going to happen. But however this festival is the most exciting of the year.

Cambodia boat racing

Boat racing

Read more about water festivals

Pchum Ben

Time: End of September or early October

Another extremely important holiday in Cambodia is Ancestor’s day. The festival lasts for 15 days with the last 3 days is public holidays. Cambodian believe that during this time, their ancestor’s spirits will return to home land. They will go home and visit pagodas, bringing food to offer the monks.

Royal Ploughing Ceremony

Time: May

The festival is held for marking the rice-growing season. It is led by the king scared oxen plow a ceremonial plow and then are presented with a plate of food, represent the crops of Cambodia. Based on which food the oxen eat, the Royal will make predictions for the season ahead.

So now you have some basic information of Cambodia about the weather and festivals. As I said, you can come to Cambodia all year round. But let’s pay attention to the information I give to make your best decision.

Hoang Nguyen

Pictures: internet

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