The Weather in Battambang
Battambang’s annual average temperature is a comfortable 29 degrees Celsius (80 F), so generally the only thing you need to watch out for are the afternoon rainstorms. April is usually the hottest month, averaging 31 C (88 F). January is considered the coldest, but the average monthly temperature is still 26 C (70 F).
Annual rainfall totals at around 1509 mm of precipitation. In September, the wettest month, it rains an average of 269 mm. In the driest month, January, precipitation is only around 1mm for the whole month. The earliest sunrise is 5:36 AM on June 1, and the latest sunrise is 6:31 AM on January 23. The earliest sunset is 5:34 PM on November 20, and the latest sunset 6:35 PM on July 9.
In short, November through February is the high season for travel in terms of weather. The weather during this period is the most pleasing combination of warm, dry, and sunny. The rest of the year is still very travelable, as temperatures are never in the extreme.
This article should help you get an idea of what the weather is typically like in Battambang so that you can decide when the best time for your adventure is. Additionally, each season has a few recommendations about festivals and holidays that occur during that time of year.
- April is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 31 C (88 F)
- January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 26 C (70 F)
- September is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 269 mm
- July is the windiest month
- Annual rainfall is around 1509 mm
- December through April is generally considered dry season
- May through November is considered rainy season
- Most rainfall occurs in September and October
The peak season
Peak season for travel in Cambodia is between November and January, when the country is both dry and relatively cool and comfortable. Locals will travel domestically, and international tourism to the country increases greatly, as compared to the rainy season.
It is undeniable that the weather during these months is something special. Blue skies, dry but fresh air, warm but not hot… it is the makings of a dream vacation. Many of Cambodia’s most famous attractions require time spent outdoors, so this has been another reason most choose to travel during this period.
Today, Battambang draws many tourists coming to look at the colonial architecture and other indoor activities, which have drawn tourists to travel during the “off-season” as well.
Rainy season is from May through October but most precipitation occurs in September and October. These two months account for three-quarters of the country’s annual rainfall.
Rainy season is aptly named but has perhaps given this time of year an unfair reputation. In fact, any local in Battambang will tell you that the rainy season is actually when the countryside looks the most beautiful. After a long dry season, the rains bring color and life back to the area in full force.
If you travel during this season you can also expect considerably fewer crowds. You might find some deals on major airlines or large hotel chains, but local prices remain fairly consistent season to season. Many make the mistake of assuming that off season means huge discounts. While you may find some lower prices, the main reason to travel during this season would be to have every destination almost to yourself.
The major downside is obviously the rain. Battambang is modernizing quickly and more and more of its roads are paved, meaning travel is improving even during rainy season. This said, pack your rain coat and hire a private car to avoid getting wet.
What to do
- Visit the Battambang Circus
- Appreciate art at the Human Gallery or RomChek Art Studio
- Ride on the Nory Bamboo Train
Do not let the rain in rainy season stop you from enjoying yourself. Not only is everything mentioned under dry season below also open during this time of year, there are plenty of indoor activities as well.
The Battambang Circus is one of the oldest in the country (and region) and its shows feature traditional circus acts mixed with historic performances in traditional Khmer style. Most performances feature traditional music and costumes.
The Nory Bamboo Train is covered to keep you out of the rain and is a particular favorite of children. The train takes you through the surrounding countryside and into a nearby village that is home to an old brick factory. A great way to get out of the city.
There are numerous art and photography galleries in the city. One of the most popular being the Human Gallery. The Gallery features portraits of disadvantaged Cambodian children. The artist is often on site to talk about his work, and it is an excellent place to dry off and grab a cup of coffee.
From October through April, hot winds from the northeast blow across Battambang and all of Cambodia. November to January are cool AND dry but by March the country can get quite warm and dusty.
Dry does not always correspond with hot, as you can see in the graph below. Part of the reason dry season includes peak season is because November and January are pretty ideal.
What to do
- Take a walking tour or bike tour
- Visit one of the famous temples or Wats
- Explore the colonial architecture
- Visit the famous Battambang Bat Caves
If you are visiting Battambang during the dry season you will likely want to take advantage of its outdoor activities.
Taking a walking tour or bike tour can be a fun way to learn a lot about the area. Knowledgeable guides will take you on pre-designed tours, made to cram as much adventure and education in as possible. You can sign up for these tours at any local tour agency or better yet, travel with Asia Highlights and let our program leaders do the work for you.
There are many ancient and exquisite temple systems surrounding Battambang. Most require being outside for at least a portion of the time. The two most famous are the Wat Banan Temple and the Wat Ek Phnom. Both are located close to the city and can be most easily accessed by private car.
Battambang has held on to its history as part of the French colonial system through the local architecture. The sleepy town is full of intriguing buildings and brilliant examples of juxtaposition of eastern and western architecture. If you are a fan of the out of place, book a walking tour that focuses on the local architecture.
The Battambang Bat Caves are an ecological and historic attraction. The caves are topped with a modern temple system to explore, but the highlight of this stop is watching the exodus of bats from the cave. Apart from this spectacular sight, the cave was the location of the deaths of over 10,000 Cambodians during the Khmer Rouge, and it is preserved as a historic landmark for this reason.
What to pack
- Flip flops or sandals - Cambodia is prone to flooding and your shoes will probably get wet
- A big cheap rain poncho to keep everything dry
- A good waterproof purse, bag, or tote to protect your belongings
- Baby or talcum powder can quickly dry damp areas and prevent rubbing if you are walking or biking
- Do not forget your sense of adventure!
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