Are you planning a trip to Cambodia in May? Read our article for the weather in May in Cambodia, including average temperatures and rainfall, as well as travel tips on what to wear, travel costs, and best places to visit in May.
Cambodia Weather in May: Overview
- Average temperature range: 25–36°C (77–95°F)
- Average rainfall: 150 mm (6 inches)
- Average rainy days: 17
- Average sunny days: 15
May is the first month of Cambodia’s southwest monsoon. During this season, there is often moderate/high humidity and an increase in rain, with a chance of thunderstorms. Days may also vary between dry and wet/humid, hot and cool, with the coming and going of showers.
Compared to April, early May is slightly cooler and still fairly dry. However, irregular, light/moderate rains occur in the latter half of the month.
Cambodia’s Major Cities’ Weather in May
Phnom Penh and Southern Cambodia: In Phnom Penh, the average maximum temperature is around 35°C (94°F); it rarely exceeds 38°C (101°F) or falls below 31°C (88°F). The average minimum temperature is around 27°C (80°F); it rarely exceeds 28°C (83°F) or falls below 25°C (78°F). The average precipitation observed in May is 120 mm (4 in); it is expected to rain on around 13 days this month.
Battambang and Siem Reap: The average temperature in Angkor Wat and Siem Reap in May is about 32°C (89°F); the average minimum temperature is 28°C (83°F), and the average maximum temperature is 36°C (97°F). The average precipitation during May is 150 mm (6 in); it rains on 17 days on average this month.
West Coast of Cambodia and Sihanoukville: In Sihanoukville, the average maximum temperature is around 32°C (90°F); it rarely exceeds 34°C (93°F) or falls below 29°C (84°F). The average minimum temperature is around 28°C (83°F); it rarely exceeds 29°C (84°F) or falls below 26°C (79°F). The average precipitation observed in May is 210 mm (9 in); the number of rainy days typically exceeds 20.
The Best Places to Visit in Cambodia in May
May is a good month to visit Cambodia if you are interested in local festivals and culture. There are many important festivals celebrated in May in Cambodia. Here are some of the best places to visit in Cambodia in May:
Sihanoukville is a good place to visit in May as the temperature is a little lower than other cities. The water activities in Sihanoukville can make you cool in the hot season. At Sihanoukville, you can go diving to see a wide range of marine life, such as nudibranch (colorful sea slugs), triggerfish, starfish, whale sharks, eels, and stingrays. As the weather in May tends to get quite hot, you can also cool down by swimming at Sihanoukville's many beaches.
2. Tongle Sap Lake Floating Villages
May is the beginning of wet season in Cambodia. As the wet season in Cambodia begins, the country’s greenery returns to its normal, flourishing state, making it a good sight for sore eyes. This is the best time to visit Tonlé Sap Lake’s floating villages by boat, as there are fewer tourists than normal. Meandering through the flooded forests during the wet season is a great experience, especially because the lake fills up. May is the best time to visit this area.
3. Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is a great place to visit in May as it is the time to experience the traditional Royal Ploughing Ceremony. The festival is traditionally celebrated on the fourth day of the sixth lunar month of the Cambodian calendar. This religious festival marks the beginning of Cambodia’s planting season. On this day, representatives of the king cultivate a field in Phnom Penh and bring sacred cows to it. The ceremony is meant to divinely usher in the next season; what the sacred cows eat after the ceremony is of utmost importance. As the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is a good place to learn more about the history and culture of Cambodia. Read more about Phnom Penh.
4. Koh Rong
It is a good idea to get through the heat in May on some beaches in Cambodia. There are many beautiful islands in Cambodia, and Koh Rong is one of them. Take a trip to the beautiful island of Koh Rong to enjoy some beach time. Snorkeling, diving, and kayaking are the most popular water activities around Koh Rong Island. There you can see various colorful fishes, including diamond fish, sergeant fish, parrot fish, jumping fish, and more. Besides the normal water activities, zip-lining in the rope adventure park is another adventurous activity in Koh Rong. Recommended beaches in Koh Rong include Koh Toch Beach and Police Beach.
Battambang is a good place to explore in May in Cambodia. There are lots of sightseeing and cultural activities In Battambang. You can explore the peaceful countryside scenery and historical sites of Cambodia, including the French Colonial-buildings, Battambang Provincial Museum and many other well-preserved temples and pagodas. Or you can try the popular travel activity there — take the bamboo train whose carriages are made from wood and bamboo to tour Battambang. Read more about Battambang.
Crowding and Costs in May
As May is the beginning of the wet season, there are fewer visitors in Cambodia. Several 3- and 4-star hotels offer great deals during this time, because many outdoor activities are unavailable across the major tourist cities. For this reason, advance hotel and transportation bookings are unnecessary. May is a good month for traveling, particularly if you want to avoid the high season crowds or save money. Angkor Wat tends to get busier than usual during this summer month because there are several festivals in May when local people in Cambodia start their vacations.
Clothes to Wear in May
It is quite hot in May in Cambodia, so light and breathable summer clothes, such as cotton shirts, t-shirts, and skirts, are recommended. For nights, long-sleeved shirts, light pants, and a light jacket are recommended. Since Cambodia has mainly red soil, we suggest wearing shoes that are easy to walk around in and to clean, rather than high heels or shoes made from easily stained fabrics. A raincoat may also come in handy to avoid getting wet on some days.
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