My partner and I are landing in Cambodia April 20th and spending about a month - month 1/2 exploring the country. As I understand it is the hottest time of the year and I am wondering if we are better off heading away from Siem Reap (where we land) to some cooler areas before coming back mid-late June to do Angkor Wat. Will the climate change much during this period?
If anyone has some suggestions of better places to be at this time of year in Cambodia then please let me know.
Thanks a lot :)
It does not matter that much since there will be no sudden change of climate during your stay (april-may). The whole of Cambodia (incl. Siem Reap) will be hot. Only the coastal area might give you some relieve with a sea breeze and fresh air. For a cooler climate you could also consider Ratanakiri or Mondulkiri but that depends on your interests.
Otherwise it's just a matter of "doing your thing" and run to your airconditioned room
Since you have plenty of time you should definitely consider those areas.
Of Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri I would recommend the latter. this Travelfish site has some good and reliable info on it.
The countryside around Battambang is nice to explore although a bit hot in april/may. Countryside around Kep/Kampot is also very nice and with a good chance of a nice breeze.
You will find both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh both very hot. Even though both cities have to be visited, at that time of the year you'll probably want to limit yourself to visiting the main sights. This is not a good period for sitting by the river sipping a coffee. Just too hot.
Thanks again for the advice. We will definately be on the hunt for some sea breezes and I will definately look into Ratanakiri further as I've never heard of it before. We have to see Angkor ruins no matter what the temperature, so I guess we will be heading to bed early for super early before dusk wake-ups. Thats the difficulty of doing an 8 month trip, you're always going to be somewhere in the hot hot season, i guess we could have planned a little better though :)
my last comment
When visiting Angkor your plan sounds fine. The only thing is: everybody does that. Rightfully so, but if you really want to have a temple for yourself (especially the main ones that can get crowded. Bayon, Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat) consider going during lunchtime. No-one, and I mean no-one will visit the temples during the hottest time of the day.
Have a feel for the place and then decide whether it might look good. Have a good trip
Yeah I have assumed that everyone visits early morning and evening. I guess we will have to sus-out the weather and decide on whether we can handle the heat. I have just come out of an Australian summer so I am used to hot weather, but I'm not sure it will be quite the same. I guess we'll wait and see. I am assuming there will be less tourists in April though so we maybe mornings and evenings wont be quite as bad as other months.. who knows. We have plenty of time on our hands and no committed plans so we will give it all a try and see what works best. Thanks so much for your time and help!! :D
Ps. Thanks for suggesting Ratanakiri, i have been looking into it and am very interested.