When is the Best Time to Visit Angkor Wat

One of the beauties of Angkor Wat is the fact that it is the longest existing relic temple complex that forms an integral part of a lost city in the centre of a Cambodian jungle. Its tropical rainforest climate is one of the most exceptional experiences. Angkor's humid environment can be severe or better still worse than the most scorching weather in Louisiana or Florida. The best way to cool off the curiosity of this imagined harsh weather is to pay a visit to Angkor Wat. See more authentic Angkor Wat tour.

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Overview

The climate of Cambodia is similar to what is obtainable in the other part of Southeastern Asia which is characterized by a torrential downpour of rains. The monsoons domination is known as tropical wet and dry as a result of the noticeably marked differences in seasons. The monsoonal airflows are a result of the yearly occurrence of high and low pressure over the Central Asian landmass.

The southwest monsoon moisture-burdened summer air is inwardly drawn from the Indian Ocean. There is a reversal of this flow during the winter in which the northeast monsoon returns dehydrated air. From the middle of May to the middle of September or sometimes the beginning of October, the southwest storm brings the raining season while the northeast flow usually is drier and cooler from early November to early March. The third southern part of the country experiences a two-month long dry season while two third of the northern part only has a four-month dry season.

In-between these seasons is a short transitional phase characterized by humidity differences but little temperature variations. The Tonle Sap Basin area experiences relatively uniform temperature throughout the entire region with only small changes from the average annual mean temperature of approximately 25°C. The minimum and maximum mean temperatures are about 22°C and 28°C respectively. The maximum temperature of more than 32°C is very common at the beginning of the rainy season, and it can exceed 38°C. The minimum temperature hardly drops below 10°C. The coldest and the warmest month of the year are January and April respectively.  

The total amount of yearly rainfall stands between 100 and 150 centimeters while the southeast part experiences the highest amount of rain. The raining season of Tonle Sap Basin-Mekong Lowlands area is between April and September with an annual average rainfall of between 130 to 190 centimetres. Meanwhile, there are fluctuations in these figures year-in, year-out. The increase in the precipitation depends on the elevation around the basin area. The higher the altitude, the more substantial the amount of rainfall. The most significant amount of moisture is recorded in the mountains along the southwest coast with about 250 to 500 centimetres of precipitation on a yearly basis. 

This region experiencing the highest amount of rainfall drains majorly into the sea with only small percentage flowing into the rivers that further runs into the basin. The relatively high humidity that is more than ninety percent (90%) is recorded during the night throughout the entire year. Average relative humidity recorded during daytime of dry seasons is approximately fifty per cent (50%) or sometimes lower, but this values can be more than sixty percent (60%) during the rainy season.     

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  • Shun the scorching temperatures between March and May.

  • It is no longer a secret that the best time to travel is between November and February with clashes with the peak season which is mountainous in this modern age. Angkor welcomes more than two million visitors on an annual basis.

  • The summer months of July and August can be a surprisingly rewarding time. This is due to the emerald green landscape, the moats overflowing with water, and the moss and lichen in bright contrast to the grey sandstone.

  • The Angkor Wat International Half Marathon takes place annually in December, including the option of bicycle rides for those not into running.

MONSOON CLIMATE

Duration: From May to October 

Whoever is visiting Siem Reap during this period should be ready for roughly two hours late morning/early afternoon torrential rainfall on most of the days. Meanwhile, it is not like that on through the raining seasons. It doesn't rain every day during the wettest months. The gloomy skies mostly break into a bright and partially cloudy day. 

The monsoons come with the hottest and most tropical Siem Reap weather if the year. The temperature of those periods is between the upper 80s and mid-90s Fahrenheit. The high intensity of heat during this period and its humidity makes visitations to Angkor forested ruins makes it look as if you are having a steam bath.

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Monsoon Season Planning

  • Visitors coming into Angkor Wat during this period must come with their rain gear and dresses that are appropriate for raining because the country experiences heavy downpour of rains virtually every day.  

  • The torrential downpour of rain during this period mostly renders the use of an umbrella somehow ineffective and rain jackets, on the other hand, is not helpful because of the hot local weather. Therefore, a light poncho or a close alternative will do the magic will the appropriate choice! 

  • Your shoes will be soaked with water from the heavy daily rainfall except if you can find suitable shelter. Therefore to prevent this, you might consider wearing easy-to-dry footwear or flip-flops.

  • Because of the scorching heat of Angkor, Visitors are advised to go around with your water-filled bottles/water bottles so as not to get dehydrated.

  • You can seize the opportunity of enjoying moderately cool morning hours of the day by waking up early and make your way to Angkor archaeological park as soon as possible.

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THE DRY SEASON

Duration: From October to April/Early May

Early dry season period in Cambodia starts in October and ends as soon as North-East begins in April. One of the significant feature that will announce the arrival of Cambodia dry season is hot that blows nationwide. The temperature between November to January is not that hot; it's instead quite cold with the highest temperature recorded during these months in 20°C's. By April, the entire nation would have shifted to longer shorter night because the sun rises very early. The early scorching sun facilitates early morning and late afternoon Angkor Temple tours and few hours at poolside by lunchtime. This is the best time that most tourists prefer to visit in their numbers Cambodia. All thanks to the hot weather! 

This is the season that most road networks in the innermost North-Eastern part of Cambodia like Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri, are at their and it takes a shorter time to reach your destination. The most popular destinations during this time are Sihanoukville and Kep, being on the south coast with brilliant basking sunshine and favourable sea conditions.

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Dry Season Planning

  • Due to the hot and humid weather that Angkor Wat experiences during the dry season, dehydration, and heat-related illnesses remain a severe threat. 

  • It is a must for every tourist to go around with bottled water every time to avoid dehydration and to relieve the hot weather.   

  • The scorching sun doesn't help the matter as well. Therefore, it is advisable for Angkor Wat visitors to put on their sun caps always. Not only that. They should make it a duty to rub sunblock on their forearms and every other exposed part of their body to prevent burns. Light and lose dresses that cover bodies are the most appropriate clothing for this time of the year in Angkor Wat.

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