If you visit Cambodia then you likely plan to go to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. You definitely won't be disappointed! It's one of the most fascinating historical sites on our planet.
This is our season guide and a complete list of additional must-know tips for Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples. With our help, you find the best months and time of day to visit the stunning historic site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Like most of South East Asia, Cambodia enjoys a tropical climate which is warm throughout the year. This means it’s a great all-year destination, as long as you don’t mind bringing out the umbrella or rain jacket on occasion. Here’s a more detailed look at when to visit Angkor Archaeological Park. Hint: We usually refer to the main temple as Angkor Wat and say Angkor Archaeological Park when we mean the whole site. We also call it 'Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples' or 'the temple complex Angkor Wat'.
Seasons and Months | Weather and Busy Times
Visit either in the wet season with rain and sort of muddy temple sites or in the dry season with hordes of tourists. Most say that dry season between December and March is the best time. However, there are some advantages when you don't mind some rain and mud during the wet season.
Dry Season | December–January–February–March
Weather-wise, the best time to visit the temple complex Angkor Wat is in the dry season between December and March. During these months, the weather is warm, and rain is almost non-existent.
Typically, maximum dry season temperatures peak in late March, so be prepared for it to be warm, especially in February and March, the latter half of the dry season. Around this time, average maximum temperatures around 35 degrees Celsius (95°F), and only drop to the mid-twenties (75 - 80°F) overnight. If you don’t like the hot weather, December and January are a few degrees cooler.
Crowds/Busy Times: Aside from the heat, the main drawback of visiting Angkor Wat in the dry season is the crowds. The promise of round-the-clock sunshine certainly brings plenty of tourists, and you certainly won’t be lonely at Angkor Wat and the other temples. Avoiding the crowds in the dry season? You can manage the crowds by visiting the popular temples (such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom or Ta Prohm) late in the afternoon when the crowds are at their thinnest. Angkor Wat itself, in particular, is the busiest temple of all in general. While visiting in the late afternoon is great to avoid the crowds, you should still see the sunrise (see our tips below) at Angkor Wat at least on one day, regardless of the crowds. Check out our '3-day itinerary' below.
Special Heat Tip: In the middle of the day in summer, you might actually prefer to head back to your guesthouse to escape the searing midday heat. However, if you’re not scared off by the temperature then it’s a good time to visit the less famous temples (such as Ta Som). Here, you’ll get a much more relaxing – and no less beautiful – experience of the Angkor temples.
Shoulder Seasons | April – early May and November
The rain usually arrives fairly suddenly in Cambodia, meaning the shoulder season is relatively short. Nonetheless, it does present a great opportunity to enjoy good weather before (or just after) the heavy crowds arrive.
April (after the dry season): The months of April and early May are usually still dry, and very hot, with average temperatures hovering around the mid-30s Celsius (85 - 95°F). April is the hottest month overall. As a result, you’ll probably want to plan your day so that you are exploring early before the sun gets too intense.
November (after the wet season): Already drier than wet season and not as hot as in the dry season. However, visitors report Maximum temperatures are in the low 30s (85 – 90°F). On the other hand, it can rain of course, but it’s usually clearing. Therefore, as long as you don’t mind bringing a rain jacket or umbrella just in case, November can be a great time to travel to Angkor Wat.
Crowds/Busy Times: Unfortunately, shoulder seasons in April or November at Angkor Archaeological Park don’t mean there are no crowds. But still, it’s at least a little less busy - especially at the lesser-known temple complexes - making both shoulder months a great time to visit. Just keep in mind, that April is the hottest month.
Wet Season | May-June-July-August-September-October
Around late May, the monsoon season arrives in Cambodia, bringing humidity and lots of rain. The rain typically arrives quite suddenly. While the number of rainfall days between May and October seems quite even (check our weather chart above), the months of September and October experience the most overall precipitation. In the wet season, temperatures drop a little from the peaks, but still hover around the mid-30s (85 - 95°F). The humidity can also make the temperatures seem more intense, with humidity above 80% a common occurrence.
There are two advantages of visiting in the wet season besides fewer crowds: The truly gorgeous lush green scenery is back and there is more fascinating birdlife to watch.
Crowds/Busy Times: The weather can certainly put a dampener on your travel plans, however, they are also the quietest time to visit. While the Angkor Wat temple itself can still be sort of busy in the wet season, you’ll have much more space to enjoy the intricate beauty of it and the other temples.
Time of Day Tips
The popular temples (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm) are very busy throughout the day, even more in high season (dry season). However, it thins out slightly in the late evening. Keep in mind, that Angkor Wat is also extremely busy in the early morning because everybody wants to experience the stunning sunrise. But still, we recommend being there at least once during sunrise, regardless of the crowds (check our itinerary as well as our sunrise tips below in the main text). Later in the day always means (at least slightly) fewer crowds. The less popular temples are even less crowded in the late evening as well as in the early morning (when everyone watches the sunrise at Angkor Wat Temple). While the temples can only be accessed until 5:30 pm, you can still visit many of them after that time. However, you can’t explore the interior after ‘official closing’ time.
- Ticket Office: 4:30 am – 5:30 pm (Ticket Office Google Maps Location)
- Angkor Wat (+ Srah Srang): 5:00 am – 5:30 pm
- Pre Rup, Phnom Bakheng: 5:00 am - 7:00 pm
- Other Temples: 7:30 am to 5:30 pm
The ticket office is open from 4:30 am – 5:30 pm every day. Note that if you buy your ticket after 5 pm, then it will count as valid for the next day rather than the day of purchase.
Most of the Angkor temples are open from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm every day. However, Angkor Wat itself is one exception! It is open from 5:00 am to 5:30 pm so that guests can watch the sunrise. Srah Srang, Pre Rup and Phnom Bakheng also open at 5:00 am. Special Tip: Even though the temples officially “close” at 5:30 pm, you can still access some of them – and it doesn’t cost you anything!