The weather in Cambodia is an important consideration when planning the timing of your travel. Cambodia is just 13 degree north of the equator with a tropical climate ideal for those seeking a change from the temperate European or North American climate. The seasons are strongly influenced by the wet and dry monsoon cycles of Southeast Asia as explained below.
Considerations for travel planning:
Travel outside of the peak tourist season for crowd avoidance in Siem Reap and at the major temple sites, better prices and wider choice of hotels and guides.
Consider your personal tolerance of temperatures and humidity - high by Western standards.
Best photographic conditions: lighting, vibrant countryside and weather conditions often more interesting during the wet SW Monsoon.
Climate and Monsoon Cycle
Dry season - NE Monsoon
The dry Southeast Asia monsoon determines the weather from around end October until mid May with only occasional rain, perhaps 3 times a month. The countryside dries out under the cloudless skies and the level of Tonle Sap Lake drops to its minimum. Although dry throughout, the temperature and humidity both rise from October through to a maximum for the year in May.
Wet season - SW Monsoon
The wetter Southeast Asia monsoon brings greenery back to the Cambodian countryside with rain from the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand. The usual pattern is for clear, sunny mornings and showers in the mid to late afternoon two days out of three. The humidity and temperatures drop to a low around October when the weather can feel almost Mediterranean.
Cambodian Rainfalls & Temperature Chart