Index


Introduction



In Cambodia, a Southeast Asian country overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, the climate is tropical, hot all year round, with a rainy season from May to mid-November due to the south-west monsoon and a dry season from mid-November to April. The dry season can be divided into two periods: the first is the least hot of the year, while the second, from mid-February to May, before the monsoon arrives, is the hottest of the year. The monsoon withdraws in early November in the north and between the middle and the end of the month in the center-south.
The coolest month is December, while the hottest months are April and May, when the heat becomes oppressive; in the rainy season, the temperature is a bit lower, but the humidity is higher, so the weather is hot and muggy.
Since the country is not large, the climate is fairly uniform.
In a typical year, from 1,300 to 1,800 millimeters (51 to 70 inches) of rain fall in inland areas; the rainiest region at sea level is the south-west, towards the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, where the rainfall exceeds 2,000 mm (80 in) per year and there are vast areas covered with forest.
The climate is a bit cooler in the highlands, such as the Cardamon Mountains, whose highest point is Phnom Aural, 1,800 meters (5,900 ft) high, and whose slopes are covered by an impenetrable forest and are protected by a nature reserve. The mountainous areas, in addition to being the coolest, are also the rainiest: they receive up to 5,000 millimeters (197 inches) of rain per year, and may experience some showers in the afternoon even before the monsoon season (ie from February to April).

Phnom Penh

In the capital, Phnom Penh, the daytime temperature is 30 °C (86 °F) in November and December, it begins to rise slightly already in January, and it reaches its highest values in April, with an average of 35 °C (95 °F), but with peaks of 40 °C (104 °F); then, it decreases slightly during the long rainy months. Here are the average temperatures.
Phnom Penh - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)222324252525252524242322
Max (°C)323335353434333332313030
Min (°F)727375777777777775757372
Max (°F)909195959393919190888686

In Phnom Penh, 1,400 mm (55 in) of rain fall per year, with a minimum in January, when it almost never rains, and a maximum in October, when rainfall reaches 250 mm (10 in). The latter part of the monsoon period is therefore the wettest, and presents the greatest risk of flooding, especially in the area crossed by the great river, the Mekong. Here is the average precipitation.
Phnom Penh - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)7104075135155170160225255125451402
Prec.(in)0.30.41.635.36.16.76.38.9104.91.855.2
Days113614151616191794121

The amount of sunshine in Cambodia is good from December to February, but also in March and April, despite the first thunderstorms, while it's barely sufficient if not low from June to October because of the cloudiness brought by the monsoon. Here are the average daily sunshine hours in Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours889876564778

Angkor Wat

The climate of the ancient capital, Angkor Wat, located in the northwest of the country, is similar to that of Phnom Penh. However, lying in the northern part, the monsoon in Angkor Wat retreats a bit sooner (i.e. in early November), in addition, the winter temperature is slightly lower.

Kampot

Along the coast, because of the thermal inertia of the sea, in the pre-monsoon season, it does not get as hot as in the interior, as we can see from the temperatures of Krong Kampot.
Kampot - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)212223252524232423232322
Max (°C)313132323231313030313030
Min (°F)707273777775737573737372
Max (°F)888890909088888686888686

As mentioned, the rains are more abundant on the coast, in fact, they amount to almost 2,000 mm (80 in) per year. In addition, the rainiest months here are July and August, when the rainfall exceeds 300 mm (12 in) per month. Here is the average precipitation.
Kampot - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)102080100190210320330250230140401920
Prec.(in)0.40.83.13.97.58.312.6139.89.15.51.675.6
Days1255512161612129398

The sea in Cambodia is warm enough to swim in all year round, as we can see in the following table, relative to the sea temperatures at Koh Kong.
Koh Kong - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)282829303030292929292928
Temp (°F)828284868686848484848482

Typhoons



Cambodia can be hit by typhoons, the tropical cyclones of the western Pacific, though they are quite rare because they usually pass to the north and hit Northern Vietnam and Laos. Moreover, when typhoons affect Cambodia, they are generally weakened because they have released the bulk of their energy over the coasts of Southern Vietnam. However, they can still bring heavy rains, which can cause flooding. In theory, typhoons can occur between June and December, but in Cambodia, they generally pass from mid-October to mid-November, with a maximum at the beginning of November.

Best Time



The best time to visit Cambodia goes from December to mid-February, in fact, it is the coolest, the driest and the sunniest of the year. If you want, you can avoid the first half of December, during which a typhoon has sometimes still affected the country.
The best time for a beach holiday in Cambodia is from December to February, even though, on the coast, the increase in temperature in the period from March to May is not as noticeable as in the interior.

What to pack



All year round, bring lightweight clothing of natural fibers, comfortable shoes, a scarf for the breeze on the coast. From December to March, you can add a sweatshirt for the evening, and in the rainy season, a light sweatshirt and a light raincoat or umbrella. For the mountains, pack spring/autumn clothes, a raincoat or umbrella, and a sweater and a jacket for the evening, a bit warmer from December to March.
When visiting temples, it is customary to remove shoes, dress neatly and cover a little.

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