Weather in Cambodia in December

Cambodia's varied landscape of mountains, lowlands and coasts creates different weather conditions throughout its compact territory. Due to this geographical diversity, cooler weather is usually experienced in the elevated areas, while the busy plains have a warmer atmosphere. Now let's understand the specifics of the weather in Cambodia in December.

What is the weather like in Cambodia in December?

Cambodia's dry season, which began in November, fully arrives in December, offering sunny and warm weather ideal for exploring and enjoying the country's diverse landscapes. This period is considered the high season, attracting many tourists due to the comfortable weather ideal for outdoor activities and cultural excursions.

The northern regions of Cambodia, known for their cool breezes and mild sunshine, provide pleasant conditions for visiting historical and natural attractions. In contrast, the slightly warmer southern regions are great for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts, with destinations such as Koh Rong and Sihanoukville being popular.

December sees minimal rainfall, averaging around 17mm for the month, so most days are dry with around eight hours of sunshine. It's a great time to visit Cambodia's famous temples, cycle through the countryside, or relax on the beautiful beaches.

Given the peak season, it is advisable to book accommodation and travel arrangements well in advance. Despite the increased demand, Cambodia remains an affordable destination with a variety of options to suit different budgets. Overall, December is a great time to visit Cambodia, combining inviting dry weather with the vibrant energy of holiday celebrations and cultural festivals.

Rough Guide's Tip: A trip to Cambodia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so connect with our travel experts for the best trip experience.

Cambodian ruins - Preah Vihear temple © rolling rock/Shutterstock

Preah Vihear Temple © rolling rock/Shutterstock

Temperatures in Cambodia in December

The weather in Cambodia in December is characterized by average high temperatures of around 30°C (86°F) and average low temperatures of around 22°C (71°F), signifying the beginning of the cool and dry season. This weather is generally considered warm and pleasant, making it one of the best times to visit the country.

In northern regions, including places like Siem Reap and its surroundings, temperatures can be cool, especially in the evenings and early mornings, due to chilly winds. Conversely, in the southern regions, closer to the coast and equator, temperatures are slightly warmer, making it ideal for beach vacations.

This variation means that although it's warm during the day throughout the country, it's not too hot and the humidity is lower than in other months, making it comfortable for outdoor activities and temple visits.

Set on taking a trip this winter? Read up on the best places to visit in January.

Is December a good time to visit Cambodia?

December is considered an excellent time to visit Cambodia as it falls during the dry season, which lasts from November to April. During this period, the weather is usually warm, dry, and sunny, which is ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the country's famous sights and beautiful landscapes.

Cambodia's dry season means minimal rainfall, resulting in clear skies and reduced humidity, allowing you to explore the huge temple complexes of Angkor Wat, venture into the countryside, or relax on the southern beaches. December also marks the beginning of the peak tourist season, so despite the favorable weather conditions, at this time in Cambodia, there is an increased influx of tourists.

In general, the weather in Cambodia in December greatly enhances the travel experience, allowing you to comfortably enjoy the full range of activities and attractions that the country has to offer. However, given the popularity of this period, accommodation and tours should be booked in advance to get the best options.

Can't decide on the season to travel? Explore our Cambodia year-round weather guide. Also, to better prepare for your trip you can read our travel tips for visiting Cambodia.


Otres Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia @ Shutterstock

What about crowds and costs?

December marks the start of Cambodia's high tourist season due to attractive dry weather and warm temperatures. As a consequence, the flow of tourists increases, especially around popular tourist sites.

The increase in the number of tourists leads to an increase in prices, especially for accommodation and tour services, as demand rises. Despite this, Cambodia remains an affordable destination even during peak periods, but it is worth booking accommodation and experiences in advance to ensure availability and possibly get the best prices.

If you prefer more seclusion and potentially lower prices, however, you may find it advantageous to visit during shoulder seasons, such as late October or April, despite the greater likelihood of rain and humidity. Although December offers optimal weather, visiting Cambodia in other months can also be an enjoyable experience, especially if you are prepared for variable conditions and can put up with more unpredictable weather.

Looking for budget travel ideas? Explore our detailed list of the most budget-friendly destinations around the world.

Festivals and events in Cambodia in December

Cambodia has some colorful festivals in December, particularly the Sea Festival, which is celebrated in coastal areas such as Sihanoukville. Attracting locals and tourists alike, this annual event is filled with activities ranging from traditional Cambodian martial arts and beach volleyball to motorboat races and a half marathon. It is not only a sporting event, but also cultural performances and music, making it a comprehensive celebration of Cambodia's maritime heritage. 

Since December also coincides with global holidays, you can enjoy Christmas events in major cities where hotels and establishments cater to international visitors. 

Due to the popularity of these events, it is advisable to make hotel reservations well in advance and participate in the festivities. These events provide an unforgettable insight into Cambodia's festive spirit and hospitality.

Wat Ounalom is a buddhist temple located on Sisowath Quay near the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh in Cambodia © Shutterstock

Wat Ounalom, Sisowath Quay in Phnom Penh © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Cambodia in December?

Depending on the weather in Cambodia in December, make your dream trip a reality by selecting one of our tailor-made trips. We simplify planning by providing itineraries created by local travel experts.

  • Siem Reap Family Adventure (4 days): Sprawling rice paddies, majestic temples, great food, and breathtaking countryside - this is Cambodia. Take some time in Siem Reap with its Old Market and boutiques, sample the local cuisine, and be ready for the trip of a lifetime. Ideal for groups and families.
  • Cambodia’s Beaches and Temples (11 days): See the best of beautiful Cambodia on this amazing tour. Explore the bustling capital Phnom Penh, laze on the golden sands of the south coast beaches, discover local villages and Cambodian cuisine, and then get lost among the mystical temples of Angkor.
  • Vietnam and Cambodia by Rail (15 days): Discover Vietnam and Cambodia on this multi-center journey. Explore Hanoi's charming neighborhoods on foot before cruising on Halong Bay. Then take the overnight train to Hue and continue your rail adventure through Hoi An and Nha Trang before crossing the border into Cambodia.
  • Discover more of our Cambodia itineraries.

Visit Cambodia in other months

While each month offers a unique Cambodia experience, the best time to visit depends on your travel preferences, whether it's exploring ancient temples, enjoying the beaches, or participating in cultural activities. Here's a quick overview of what to expect in Cambodia by month:

  • January: The dry season is in full swing, offering sunny days and cool evenings, making it perfect for temple tours and outdoor adventures.
  • February: Still within the dry season, February provides excellent weather conditions for sightseeing, with minimal rainfall and comfortable temperatures.
  • March: As the hot season begins, temperatures start to rise, making early morning and late afternoon the best times for outdoor activities.
  • April: Known for the hottest temperatures of the year, April is also celebrated for the Khmer New Year, a significant cultural festival.
  • May: The beginning of the monsoon season brings sporadic showers, cooling down the hot temperatures and bringing the landscape to life.
  • June: Rainfall increases, leading to lush landscapes and fewer tourists, ideal for those seeking a quieter experience.
  • July: Similar to June, expect warm weather with regular rain showers, offering verdant scenery and fewer crowds.
  • August: The wet season continues with frequent rains, making it a good time for river and waterfall visits.
  • September: As the rainy season persists, the countryside is at its most beautiful, with vibrant greenery and full waterways.
  • October: Rainfall starts to decrease, making way for clearer skies and comfortable travel conditions towards the end of the month.
  • November: Marking the start of the peak season, November offers cool, dry weather, ideal for exploring and comfortable travel.
Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 22.05.2024

Online editor at Rough Guides, specialising in travel content. Passionate about creating compelling stories and inspiring others to explore the world.

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