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Best Time to Visit Cambodia and Myanmar

For anyone planning a combined trip to Cambodia and Myanmar, you will be amazed at the possibilities that these two Southeast Asian nations hold for the intrepid traveler. Over the last 20 years, Cambodia has blossomed into a very impressive travel destination in Indochina. Capturing everything that is inherently Khmer in origin, Cambodia is not a place where you can travel with a “tick list”, rather you go where your feeling takes you.

Cambodia weather
Cambodia weather

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is not the type of destination for people that want cocktails by the pool and sumptuous massage. Filled with awe-inspiring scenery, as well as ancient culture and traditions, this is one nation in Asia where you can get a truly authentic travel experience. The trick to combining these two spectacular destinations in one tour is to know when it is best to visit.

Myanmar weather
Myanmar weather

Climate features in Cambodia and Myanmar

Cambodia is renowned for having one of the simplest climates in the world. While this is definitely a two-season monsoon country, the seasons are pretty straightforward and set across the entire nation. A mostly level landscape is offset with a range of low mountains backing the southwestern coast of Cambodia, giving the coastal region a little difference in climate.

Generally, the climate in Cambodia is relatively consistent. The dry season runs from October to April, while the wet season runs from May to September. The heaviest rainfall normally falls in the months of August and September, when you can see almost 75% of the country’s annual rainfall in just two short months. In between dry and wet seasons, the temperatures get a little hotter, reaching as high as 35 degrees between March and June. However, as the monsoon season really sets in, the temperatures drop to a balmy 25-27 degrees throughout most of the rainy period.

Cambodia dry season
Cambodia dry season

The dry season is also not as cold as some countries in Indochina. With the exception of the last two months, which are much hotter, most of the dry season sees temperatures averaging around 26-28 degrees in the daytime, with only small drops at night. The dry season period from November to February is the peak season for tourism in Cambodia, thanks to the warmer climate and decent dry weather.

Myanmar is a country that is fringed with mountains, with its long center being lower in altitude and generally flatter. This makes for a somewhat variable climate, with the central region getting a lighter monsoon than the fringing hills and mountains.

Generally, the climate follows the standard wet and dry seasonal shift of most Asian sub-tropical countries. The dry season runs from October to May, with the rainy monsoon season coming from June to September. However, each season has its variations, including the commonly-seen “hot” season from March to June. At this time, temperatures can reach as high as 40 degrees in certain areas. The majority of the rainfall occurs from August to September, though the central region of the country, around the plains of Bagan and Mandalay, remain relatively dry throughout the early part of the wet season, aside from the occasional heavy downpour.

Myanmar dry season
Myanmar dry season

The dry season period from November to February is the cooler time of year in Myanmar, and temperatures around the country depend heavily on the altitude. The central area of the country, on the flat plains, is the driest area of Myanmar in the dry season, with very little humidity. However, the foothills, hill stations, and lower Himalayas are much cooler than the lowland and coastal regions, where temperatures can drop to around 18-22 degrees in the cooler months.

Best time to visit Cambodia and Myanmar

For Cambodia, the best time to visit is from November to February, when the weather is dry and cooler, albeit not much cooler. The coolest months, for those that want cooler weather, is generally from October to December, when the temperatures drop to around 24-26 degrees. The dry season is the peak season for tourism in Cambodia, and the period from November to February is the busiest time of the year.

The dry season is also the best time for trekking around the popular hiking trails, such as the Cardomom Mountains, the famous Ream National Park, the remote eastern province of Mondulkiri, Kulen and Kep Mountains, or the awesome Kalai Jungle Hike. The optimum times for hiking in these outstanding areas is normally from October to January, and it is always recommended to hike with a guide.

Treking Cambodia of best time
Treking Cambodia of best time

If you are traveling on a budget, then it is important to avoid the peak season in Cambodia. While the rainy season is not very good for tourism in Cambodia, if you avoid the wettest months of the year, it is possible to enjoy the lush green scenery of the countryside. Travel to more remote areas, such as Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri, is almost impossible due to floods and washed-out roads, but the major cities and even Angkor are open for tourists throughout the year. And hitting the shoulder months, in October and March/April, is also possible for less rain and drier weather.

Myanmar has a better option for year-round travel, with the lower rainfall in the central plains in the wet season. Ideally, the best time of year would be from November to February, when the weather is a little cooler in the central plains and much cooler in the hills and mountains. This is the peak season in Myanmar for tourism, and sees a high volume of tourists, so you should be prepared for crowds at the major attractions. The dry season is also the time for hitting the beaches, such as Ngapali, while the weather is warm enough to get a good tan but cool enough not to burn.

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While Myanmar is not really famed for its trekking, there are a lot of stunning hiking trails across the country. There are also some great mountain areas in which to trek at slightly higher altitudes with stunning scenery and landscapes. The ideal time for trekking is from November to March, during the cooler period of the dry season.

Treking Myanmar of best time
Treking Myanmar of best time

Budget travel in Myanmar is more possible in the wet season than in Cambodia. Myanmar’s rainy season can be heavy in the latter months of August and September, but if you head for the plains around Bagan and Mandalay in the early months, from June to July, you will find only occasional showers and downpours on odd days. The rest of the time is relatively dry. The mountains are wetter in the summer monsoon season, so it is not a good idea to head out that far. The colder months following the rains, from October to early November, are often cheaper for tourists as well, and can be a good time to budget your travel. And if you do not mind the heat, April to May can be good for exploring the higher mountain areas.

Overall, the best time to head for both countries together would be from November to February, when both countries see the main part of the dry season, rain is almost non-existent, and the temperatures are not too hot.

Highlights during Cambodia and Myanmar tour

Cambodia is an Empire of Temples, and there is no doubt that Angkor Wat and the Angkor Temple Complex are places that you must visit while in Cambodia. Built in the time of the mighty Khmer Empire, which covered Laos, Cambodia, and parts of Thailand and Vietnam, the temples are awesome relics of a long-lost ancient civilization. Check for more about

Phnom Penh is also a must-see destination in Cambodia. Once named as the Pearl of Asia, this amazing city has undergone drastic changes since the wars, and has grown to resemble more of its historic reputation. And the city has a lot to offer, aside from the many “genocide”-related attractions.

Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh

Myanmar has many places that you should visit while you are there, not least of which is the Bagan Plain, with its thousands of ancient temples. A competitor to Angkor in Cambodia, if you love the ancient civilizations, this is the ideal combined tour for you.

Visit Angkor Wat
Visit Angkor Wat

Aside from the temples, you should try to visit as many of the major cities as possible, including Yangon, the former capital; Mandalay, the legendary city of Kipling’s many literary works; and get down as far as the beaches around Myeik on the Malay Peninsula. Take the Yangon Circular Train on a sightseeing tour, or cruise down the Irrawaddy River looking for the rare and famous Irrawaddy Dolphins.


Cambodia and Myanmar are alike in a few ways, despite their many and varied differences. Both have ancient relics of their former civilizations, with huge temple complexes that can take several days to explore. And both have long and varied histories that encompass several millennia. However, that is where the similarities end, and these amazing destinations in Southeast Asia are otherwise as alike as chalk and cheese. And there is no better combined tour in Southeast Asia than taking in the stunning countries of Cambodia and Myanmar. And if you want the best of both worlds in this area of Asia, then take your trip in the dry season, from November to February, for the best weather, climate, and experience possible.

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