The best time to visit the breathtaking temples of Angkor Wat near Siem Reap in Cambodia is in the dry season from November to March, with the least chance of it raining on your vacation. There are a few holidays in that period, so look out for very busy days with larger crowds and higher prices!
Weather: Siem Reap has a tropical climate and temperatures are consistently warm throughout the year, with temperatures between the low 20s and high 30s all year. The “coolest” months are December and January.
Siem Reap does have two distinct seasons, with a dry season from November to March/April and the rainy season from April/May to October. You’ll average 15 days with rain during that time, with the most rain falling in September and October.
That makes December and January the best months to visit from a weather perspective, with the most pleasant temperatures and the least rain. February to March are still very good, with temperatures rising and April starts to see more rain.
Holidays & Events: Angkor Wat is very popular with Chinese tourists and you’ll see a lot of visitors during the big Chinese holidays around National Day (October 1) and Chinese New Year (changing dates, around February). During these times, the temples of Angkor can be especially crowded and prices rise significantly. I recommend to avoid these time slots, if you can.
Khmer New Year is celebrated in the middle of April and will also be popular. Similar to Thai New Year, it’s one big, fun festival that’s celebrated by the locals. The official photos are all about parades and local dress, but young people have a lot more fun with it: It’s also sometimes called the “water festival” as the bad from the old year is washed away. Be prepared to get wet – you are likely to get splashed with water. It’s all good fun, it’s warm and you’ll try quickly! Some people love the festive atmosphere, some people avoid the water part – be prepared and choose what you like!
Other local public holidays are observed, but have limited impact on your experience!
Bottomline: If you want to see the best of Angkor with the best weather and smallest crowds, plan your trip between November and April and avoid Chinese and Khmer New Year!
If you do go during the rainy season, you can enjoy lower prices and fewer people, just make sure to get up early to see the temples – you typically have a higher chance of downpours in the afternoon!