A comprehensive guide to Phnom Penh weather

Dec 28, 2023

Nestled along the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers, Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, is a destination of rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse weather patterns. Understanding the climate is key to planning an enjoyable visit. Join us as we dive into the nuances of Phnom Penh’s weather, providing insights that will help you make the most of your time in this captivating city.

November to February: Cool and Dry Season

The calm and dry northeast monsoon season graces Phnom Penh from November to February. This is considered the best time to visit, with temperatures ranging from pleasantly cool to warm. Clear skies and lower humidity make it an ideal period for exploring the city’s historical sites and cultural gems.

March to April: Hot Season

As the dry season progresses, temperatures rise from March to April. Prepare for warmer days, with daytime highs reaching their peak. While the heat can be intense, this period is perfect for those seeking a sun-soaked experience, whether by the riverside or exploring the bustling markets.

May to October: Rainy Season

The rainy season, extending from May to October brings relief from the heat but occasional challenges for outdoor activities. The southwest monsoon, which arrives from May to October, brings heavy rainfall. However, it’s also the time when the countryside flourishes with verdant landscapes. Carry an umbrella and explore the city’s museums, indoor markets, and vibrant street food scene during intermittent rain showers. Embrace the lush green landscapes during this season, but be prepared for occasional downpours, especially in the afternoons.

Packing Essentials

    • Dry Season (November to February): Light clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat for sun protection.
    • Hot Season (March to April): Light and breathable fabrics, a refillable water bottle, and sunscreen.
    • Rainy Season (May to October): Waterproof footwear, a light rain jacket, and a compact umbrella.

Festivals and Events

Consider the city’s cultural calendar when planning your visit. Festivals such as Bon Om Touk (Water Festival) in November and Khmer New Year in April provide unique cultural experiences, though they may coincide with peak tourist seasons.

Local Tips for Each Season

    • Dry Season: Explore outdoor attractions like the Royal Palace and Wat Phnom during this period.
    • Hot Season: Opt for early morning or late afternoon visits to outdoor sites to avoid the peak heat.
    • Rainy Season: Enjoy the city’s cultural indoor attractions and vibrant nightlife during rainy evenings.

Phnom Penh’s weather adds a dynamic layer to the city’s allure, and understanding the seasonal variations can greatly enhance your travel experience. Whether you’re drawn to the cool and dry season’s comfortable temperatures or the vibrant greenery of the monsoon months, Phnom Penh awaits with open arms, ready to unveil its treasures in every weather pattern. So, pack accordingly, plan wisely, and embark on a journey through the captivating weather moods of the Cambodian capital.


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