Cambodia Weather and Climate
Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia between Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. The kingdom is located on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand and its capital is Phnom Penh. Cambodia’s landscape is characterized by a mountain range that surrounds the central plain.
The Tonle Sap lake is located here, and one of the longest rivers on earth flows through the east, the Mekong. Numerous ruins in the historic cities of Angkor, Banteay Srei, Preah Vihear and Roluos are reminiscent of the former kingdom of Kambuja.
Around 14.14 million people live in Cambodia on an area of 181,040 square kilometers. This results in a population density of around 78 inhabitants per square kilometer.
From Frankfurt, the capital Phnom Penh can be reached in around 13 hours (usually with a stopover).
Climate in Cambodia
Cambodia has a tropical, warm and humid climate, which is largely shaped by the monsoon. From November to March there is a slightly cooler dry season. The southwest monsoon causes a rainy season that lasts from about mid- May to the end of October. Most of the rain falls in the second half of the day.
During this time, 70 to 80 percent of the annual precipitation falls. For example, in Phnom Penh, up to 255 millimeters can fall a month. Due to the proximity to the equator, the temperature fluctuations are quite small. The hottest month in all regions of Cambodia is April, with midday temperatures of 40 degrees and more.
The coldest months are December and January with around 26 degrees Celsius. In the capital, it never gets colder than 30 ° C during the day, and at night temperatures can drop to a minimum of 21 degrees. In the southwestern coastal city of Sihanoukville, the temperatures are similar, although it usually doesn’t get colder than 24 degrees at night. The water temperatures are in the range of more than 28 degrees all year round.
When to go to Cambodia
For Cambodia, the best travel time is during the dry season between November and mid-May, with extremely high temperatures occurring in April and May and the heat being generally perceived as uncomfortable for Europeans. The ideal travel time for a Cambodia trip is from mid-December to the end of March.
The rainy season in Cambodia from June to October makes roads impassable in many regions and is associated with a humidity of up to 90 percent. However, anyone planning a visit to Angkor Wat could experience a special charm during this time. The humid season brings a blooming rainforest with it and many of the artificial water basins and lakes are filled.
Optimal travel time for the regions
In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (Cambodia).
|Place||Best travel time|
|Phnom Penh||January, February, November and December|
|Sihanoukville||January, February, November and December|
|Siem Reap||January, February, March, November and December|
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
|Daytime temperature||31 ° C||32 ° C||34 ° C||35 ° C||34 ° C||33 ° C||32 ° C||32 ° C||31 ° C||30 ° C||30 ° C||30 ° C|
|Night temperature||21 ° C||22 ° C||23 ° C||24 ° C||24 ° C||24 ° C||24 ° C||25 ° C||25 ° C||24 ° C||23 ° C||22 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||8||9||32||73||148||148||153||155||232||255||128||37|
|Hours of sunshine||8||8||9||8||7||6||5||6||4||7||7||8|
The annual average temperature in Phnom Penh is 27.6 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is April (29.6 ° C), coldest month of December with averages of 25.7 ° C.
The annual precipitation is 1378 mm. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. The months of September and October are considered the rainy season, as more than 175 mm of precipitation can be expected per month. Overall, around 487 mm of precipitation can be expected in the rainy season. You cannot expect snow in any month in Phnom Penh.
As our climate table shows, March is the sunniest month with an average of 8.6 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year the sun shines for 6.8 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
Highlights and attractions
The undisputed highlight of Cambodia is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor in the north-west of the country near the city of Siem Reap. A unique backdrop of architecture and nature amazes millions of visitors every year. In the immediate vicinity of the famous Angor Wat there are many other impressive temples, including Bayon, Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom and Banteay Srei.
In the capital Phnom Penh, which is often referred to as the “Pearl of Asia”, numerous sights such as the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda or the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which give impressions of a dark section of Cambodia’s past, beckon. Little known, but beautiful, are the beaches of Cambodia in the Sihanoukville region.