The seasons, when to go, what to expect…
The Cambodia climate is a tropical monsoon climate. So the whole year is basically consisted of two seasons.
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The monsoon or the rainy season, which is from May – November.
And the dry season, which is from November – April.
During the rainy season, the water level of the great Tonle Sap lake rises up, flooding vast amount of areas.
During the dry season, the water level goes down, drying up roads and fields, revealing what previously were completely submerged under water.
Which time is best for visiting? That all depends on what you’re looking for.
Cambodia climate: Siem Reap during the monsoon season
Many have said that the Angkor Wat temple looks its best and most photogenic during the monsoon season.
During this time, all the vegetations come to life, the temple pond is full, giving you a great reflection of Angkor Wat. The moss covered stones on the temples and the jungle gives a magical aura of ancient times.
The wet season is when there’s an abundant opportunity for taking beautiful pictures.
The relatively cool Cambodia weather during the wet season also makes it enjoyable for temple exploring. You less likely to be easily tired while walking the temples. However, at times you’ll have to deal with overcast skies and rain, which could limit your activities somewhat.
Cambodia climate: Siem Reap during the dry season
If Angkor Wat pictures during the wet season look green and soothing, during the dry season they look golden and strong. The contrast of pictures make it great reason to visit Cambodia at both seasons.
During the dry season, Siem Reap is also hot, hot, and hot. Dusty, too.
Do not even contemplate going out without sunscreen, or a hat, or some type of shades while exploring the temples, because you’ll get sunburned in no time.
While the dry season is somewhat a guarantee for sun filled days, which provides you with greater control for planning activities, the lack of rain sometimes makes it more difficult for road travel.
Since some of the road have been submerged under water for half a year, when the water dries up, the result is unbelievably bad road.
Take for example the road to KampungPhluk. During the wet season, 80% of the trip can be very conveniently covered by boat.
But during the dry season, some areas of the river completely dries up, making boats inoperable. People then switch to other forms of transportation, usually bicycles, motorcycles and mini vans.
I think visiting during the dry season is unique, because you get to see how the Cambodians are very much affected by the amount of rain they get.
When I saw the horrible road condition, the rice paddy fields that only few months ago were submerged under water, and how throughout all this the Cambodians are very adaptive to the extreme change of lifestyle, it just left me in speechless wonderment.
So which Cambodia weather is better?
There’s no clear answer to that question.
Whether you’re planning a visit during the wet or dry season, at both times you’ll get to see different sides of Cambodia.
And both of them are equally worth seeing!
If you’re looking for ‘great’ weather to plan for lots of activities, Cambodia visit during the dry season is in order.
If you’re looking forward to experience the lush greenery that makes the temples magical, and roam the ancient city under a cooler climate, then Cambodia during the wet season is for you.
On the right you can also see an extended weather forecast.
Cambodia climate during the dry season is predictable, but you may want to look the forecast closely if you’re visiting during the rainy season.