Weather in Cambodia in January

The varied topography of Cambodia's mountains, lowlands, and coasts results in different weather conditions across its small territory. Due to this geographical diversity, cooler climates can be found in the high areas of the Cardamom and Dangrek mountains, while warmer temperatures prevail in the busy plains. Now let's understand the specifics of the weather in Cambodia in January.

What is the weather like in Cambodia in January?

January is the peak season in Cambodia with warm and pleasant weather, making it an ideal destination to visit at this time. With minimal rainfall, averaging 10-20mm, dry conditions and clear skies enhance the travel experience with better road conditions and pleasant beach days.

As January is Cambodia's high season, prices are usually higher, especially in popular destinations. Nevertheless, Cambodia remains an affordable option, offering excellent value for money across a range of accommodation and dining options. However, it is wise to plan your trip in advance to get the best deals and accommodation. 

Outdoor enthusiasts will find January the perfect time to visit the coast and islands such as Sihanoukville, Kep, and more unspoiled areas such as Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri. Weather conditions are favorable for beach vacations, biking in the countryside, especially in areas like Siem Reap, and nature hikes. The cool, dry weather in Cambodia in January creates comfortable conditions for exploring the country's rural and coastal landscapes.

Overall, January is a great time to visit Cambodia due to favorable weather conditions, cultural activities and numerous outdoor activities. The cool and dry climate is conducive to exploring and enjoying the country's rich heritage, scenic landscapes and vibrant culture, making it a worthy destination during this period.

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.

An aerial view of M'Pay bay village on Rong Samloem island (Koh Rong), Cambodia © Shutterstock

An aerial view of M'Pay Bay Village on Rong Samloem island (Koh Rong), Cambodia © Shutterstock

Temperatures in Cambodia in January

In Cambodia in January, temperatures typically range between 31°C (88°F), with minimum temperatures around 22°C (72°F). These fluctuations ensure a generally warm climate throughout the country, although it is more comfortable compared to the hotter months.

Temperatures vary from region to region: coastal areas and plains tend to be warmer, while mountainous areas have cooler temperatures. So while it can be warm during the day, especially in the lowlands and coastal areas, the evenings can be pleasantly cool, especially in the highlands.

With these temperatures, the weather in Cambodia in January is considered warm, but it is considerably more comfortable than the hottest months. The warmth is usually pleasant rather than oppressive, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the country's various landscapes and historical sites.

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

Is January a good time to visit Cambodia?

January is considered a great time to visit Cambodia due to the cool dry season, offering optimal weather conditions for traveling and sightseeing. At this time, the country's humidity levels decrease and the skies are clear, making outdoor activities and temple visits very enjoyable.

The weather in Cambodia in January has a positive impact on travel, providing dry roads and easy access to both urban and rural areas, including remote archaeological sites and nature reserves.

This time of year is ideal for visiting the famous Angkor Wat temple complex, relaxing on beaches or exploring the countryside on foot or by bicycle without the inconvenience of muddy trails and flooded roads during the rainy season.

However, during the peak tourist season due to favorable weather, expect large crowds and higher prices compared to the low season. Planning and booking well in advance can help mitigate these problems. Despite these factors, pleasant weather conditions make January one of the best times to explore Cambodia's cultural and natural beauty.

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.


Tonle Sap floating village, Cambodia @ Shutterstock

What about crowds and costs?

Cambodia sees a significant increase in tourist traffic in January due to the optimal weather conditions of the cool, dry season, making it one of the busiest months to travel around the country. Due to the influx of tourists, prices for accommodation, tours, and entertainment usually increase, reflecting the high demand.

However, despite the higher cost compared to the low season, visiting Cambodia in January has distinct advantages such as pleasant weather, minimal rainfall, and the opportunity to comfortably explore outdoor attractions and cultural sites.

The contrast is noticeable when compared to other months: for example, in the wet season from May to October, there are fewer tourists and lower prices, but there are also challenges such as heavy rains and limited access to some areas.

On the other hand, the months leading up to and following January, such as December and February, also offer favorable travel conditions, but with slightly different weather conditions and number of tourists. Despite being crowded and expensive, January remains the most popular time to visit Cambodia due to the overall travel experience.

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


Wat Ek Phnom Temple, Battambang, Cambodia @Shutterstock

Festivals and events in Cambodia in January

January in Cambodia has two significant events that define the cultural landscape of the month. The first being New Years Day. This day, which marks the onset of the Gregorian New Year (different from the Cambodian New Year which is typically celebrated in April), has recently become popular throughout Cambodia and is characterized by colorful fireworks displays, especially along the riverbank, that attract both locals and visitors from abroad.

The second event, Genocide Victory Day, falls on January 7. It commemorates the end of Pol Pot's tragic regime in 1979 and serves as a national day of remembrance and reflection. The day holds great significance for the Cambodian people, symbolizing the country's emergence from a dark period and honoring those who suffered or lost their lives.

Due to the large influx of tourists and the special nature of the celebrations at this time, it is advisable to plan your trip in advance. Attending or observing these events can provide an in-depth insight into Cambodia's history and cultural sustainability.

Ready for your dream trip to Cambodia in January?

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

  • A Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos Adventure (15 days): Make the most of your time in Southeast Asia and discover not one, but three exciting countries. From Vietnam to Cambodia to Laos, you'll meet the locals, visit ancient temples, relax on a cruise, learn about Buddhism, and more. This itinerary will show you the wonders of Asia.
  • Unseen Cambodia (7 days): Discover Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh with its colonial architecture, museums, and palaces, visit the magnificent Angkor, and then head further afield to explore the country's lesser-known sights with guided tours along winding trails.
  • Cambodia Cultural Discovery (8 days): Prepare to be enchanted by Cambodia's unspoiled charm and cultural treasures. Visit the capital Phnom Penh with its romantic cafes and haute cuisine, discover ancient, awe-inspiring temples, and stunning countryside, and explore one of the world's greatest wonders.
  • Discover more of our Cambodia itineraries.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia @ Shutterstock

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:

  • 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.
  • December: With cool temperatures and low humidity, December is one of the best times to visit, perfect for holiday celebrations and year-end travels.
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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