Cambodia has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years.
Although it has many characteristics of a typical Asian country, this exotic country also hides many specifics that will leave adventurers, nature lovers, and lovers of archeology and Eastern philosophy and culture breathless.
If you’re preparing to travel to Cambodia, especially if you’re traveling to this exciting destination for the first time, here are some tips to help you stay comfortable, safe, and healthy on your trip, as well as show respect for local customs and culture.
Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate, with average temperatures hovering around 30°C (86°F) for most of the year.
The annual average temperature at night is 24°C (75°F). This applies to most of the country, except mountainous regions with slightly lower temperatures.
According to the weather, the year in Cambodia can be divided into a rainy season that lasts from May to October and a dry season from November to April.
However, whatever time of year you visit Cambodia, you’ll need light clothing made from natural materials, such as cotton, linen, or silk.
Choose summer clothes, but also pieces of light clothing with long sleeves and long legs. This will help you protect yourself from the sun and insects.
You will also be properly dressed for visiting religious temples, and holy places since entering such areas in Cambodia with exposed shoulders, knees, or cleavage is not acceptable.
The biggest attraction in Cambodia is Angkor, the largest temple complex in the world. This archaeological site is protected by UNESCO and contains more than a thousand religious buildings, including the Angkor Wat temple.
What to Pack for Cambodia?
You go to Cambodia for adventure and a valuable life experience, so follow the rule: less is more.
Refrain from burdening your luggage with excess clothing.
Don’t worry about running into a situation where you don’t have anything to wear.
Even if it turns out that you need a piece of clothing more, there are many laundry services in Cambodia, are they are cheap, and you can buy everything you need very cheaply in the local markets.
What to Wear in Cambodia?
As for the wardrobe, it is enough to bring a few pieces of necessary and adequate clothing, something you will feel comfortable with.
There is no strict dress code in Cambodia.
However, although the influence of Western culture in Cambodia has been powerful in recent years, local customs still dictate a modest and decent wardrobe.
Also, remember that you are visiting an impoverished country and that more than 95% of the population is Buddhist.
Therefore, avoid provocative clothing, mini-skirts, short shorts, or clothing with religious texts or illustrations, especially when visiting religious facilities.
Dressing Tips for Women
Although the heat may make you think of tank tops and shorts first, there are better choices than that.
Not only will you need to cover up when entering holy places, but this choice of clothing will not provide you with the best protection from the sun.
Instead, opting for thin, airy T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, maxi skirts, or wide pants is best. Loose clothing that does not stick to the body will best protect you from the heat. Remember to choose clothes made of natural materials. Avoid synthetics and other artificial materials.
When visiting holy sites or attending religious ceremonies, you need to cover your arms and legs, so a loose and light headscarf or scarf can be very useful if you wear something short-sleeved.
Remember to pack a waterproof jacket, too, especially if you’re traveling to Cambodia during the rainy season.
A jacket will also come in handy during the dry season, as local buses and restaurants are usually very air-conditioned.
In the evening and at night, temperatures are several degrees lower than during the day, so you will need slightly warmer clothes for evening walks.
Dressing Tips for Men
Men feel best in loose and thin cotton or linen clothing in tropical monsoon climates.
Although the locals in Cambodia, especially in the bigger cities, are used to tourists and the western style of dress, if you choose shorts, choose the ones that fall below the knee.
As well as for women, the rule for men is that they should cover their arms and legs when visiting Buddhist temples, so loose and thin clothes with long sleeves are recommended.
A thin jacket will be helpful in the evening and at night, when it gets a bit cold, and in air-conditioned rooms.
Be practical and choose a jacket with many pockets where you can store small things like money, documents, or sunglasses.
Footwear for visiting Cambodia
Comfortable sandals are the best choice for relaxed days during the dry season in Cambodia. Your feet won’t sweat in them, and you won’t be too warm.
In addition to sandals, you will also need comfortable shoes or boots for long walks and tours. Be sure to choose something water-resistant, especially if you plan to visit during the rainy season.
For both men and women, the golden rule is that the shoes you wear on the trip must be trampled first! You don’t want blisters and sores on your feet to get in the way.
The people of Cambodia see the feet as a dirty part of the body, which is why it is customary to take off your shoes before entering any holy place.
If you need to sit barefoot, placing both feet on the floor or under you is safest. In Cambodia, turning the soles of your feet towards someone is considered an insult, so be aware of this.
What else to pack for Cambodia?
For the sunny weather in Cambodia to be a source of enjoyment and not stress and discomfort, equip yourself adequately.
Good sunglasses and a good sun hat will be your main fashion accessories on this trip.
For the best protection of the head from the sun, both women and men can choose a hat with a wide brim in light tones.
Also, you will need sunscreen with a high protection factor.
Remember your bathing suit. Cambodia has beautiful sandy beaches that you should take advantage of if you happen to be nearby.
If you’re traveling to Cambodia during the rainy season, and even if you’re traveling during the dry season, an umbrella is a must-have accessory. Choose a small, foldable model that only takes up a little space in your backpack.
Along with the umbrella, a raincoat and a waterproof backpack rain cover will come in handy. Being dry will mean little if everything in your backpack gets wet.
You probably know that there is a risk of contracting malaria in Cambodia. Although there are generally no mosquitoes in the most prominent tourist destinations, it is advisable to bring mosquito repellent and wear long sleeves as protection.
If you forget to pack mosquito repellent, don’t worry, you can buy it in Cambodia.
Experiences of tourists say that the means bought there are even more effective than those sold in the West.
Toiletries are also at the top of the travel essentials list. Remember to bring dry hand sanitizer, as non-local tourists may be extra sensitive to bacteria and viruses in Cambodia.
It’s a good idea to bring a first aid kit, and experienced travelers always have a small sewing kit.
It would be best if you always had a water bottle to stay hydrated. A water bottle with a filter is an excellent idea, as tap water in Cambodia is unsafe to drink. Additional tip: don’t even brush your teeth with tap water, and remember to insist that the waiter bring you drinks without ice cubes if they are from unfiltered water!
Pack a travel adapter for power outlets and a voltage converter to avoid unpleasant surprises the first time you want to charge a mobile phone or another device.
If you are not used to packing, consider getting packing cubes. They will help you organize your luggage much better and save a lot of space in your suitcase.
What not to bring to Cambodia?
Don’t waste space in your suitcase on inappropriate clothes and shoes, such as a wardrobe made of artificial materials or uncomfortable shoes whose sole purpose is to make you look beautiful.
You won’t need jeans because it’s too hot for denim in Cambodia.
Don’t carry large and thick towels. They will take up a lot of space in your luggage, and in the humid air of Cambodia, you won’t be able to dry them. Bring a microfiber towel instead. They are thin, take up very little space, and dry very quickly.
Leave valuables, jewelry, and unnecessary equipment at home. Not only will these things take up excessive space in your suitcase, but you will also have to be on the lookout for theft constantly.
For many women, makeup is part of their daily routine, but you won’t need it in Cambodia. In the weather there, makeup is just a burden.
Refrain from burdening your luggage with a pile of heavy books too.
Cambodia is a fascinating country where during the day, you will undoubtedly have the opportunity to experience and see enough exciting things that you won’t need a book to fall asleep at night.
However, if you’re such a bookworm that you can’t imagine a day without reading, consider audiobook or e-book options instead.
What to Wear in Cambodia in January?
January is a popular month to travel to Cambodia among tourists. This time of year belongs to the dry season in Cambodia, when temperatures are slightly lower than the annual average.
The average temperature in January is 26°C (79°F), and if you visit Cambodia at this time, chances are you will have no rain.
You can also count on crowds at the most prominent tourist attractions and slightly higher-than-average prices in January.
Clothing made of natural materials with short and long sleeves will be the best choice for this time of year. Pack a thin jacket or cotton sweatshirt because it can get chilly.
This time of year is the perfect time to take a leisurely tour of major tourist attractions like Buddhist temple complexes, so keep that in mind when choosing your footwear. Comfortable walking shoes are the best choice.
What to Wear in Cambodia in February?
During February, the weather in Cambodia is still dry and cold for Cambodian conditions.
However, temperatures are slightly higher than in January, with an average of 27°C (81°F). In Cambodia, rains are not frequent in February; if there are, they are mostly short showers.
Due to the nice weather, February is a popular month among tourists traveling to Cambodia, so book your accommodation in time.
Crowds can also be more extensive than usual due to Cambodians of Chinese or Vietnamese descent celebrating the Lunar New Year in January or February.
Both women and men traveling to Cambodia during February should wear comfortable and light clothing made of cotton, linen, or silk.
You can be comfortable and wear short sleeves during walks, but remember to cover your shoulders and knees when going to temples and other holy places. Comfortable sandals or walking shoes are the right choices for this time of year.
What to Wear in Cambodia in March?
If you enjoy slightly warmer weather, March could be the right time to travel to Cambodia.
You will experience pleasant climate with an average temperature of 29°C (84°F). Although the rainy season has not yet started, the chances of showers are higher than during the previous months.
Bring summer clothes, but remember something with long sleeves for visiting Buddhist temples.
Bring two pairs of comfortable shoes, one open sandal, and one waterproof shoe. Remember to pack an umbrella and a thin raincoat.
What to Wear in Cambodia in April?
April is the last month of the dry season in Cambodia when the rains become more frequent and the air humidity rises.
As a result, the weather is getting warmer, with an average temperature of 31°C (88°F).
April can be an excellent time to travel to Cambodia, as the number of tourists is not as high as at the beginning of the year.
However, if you don’t like heat, choose higher, mountainous regions of Cambodia or ensure you enjoy the beautiful beaches in the southwest of the country.
Mid-April is the Khmer New Year, which is celebrated for several days, so keep in mind that many restaurants and attractions will be closed during these days.
Bring light clothing. It is essential that your wardrobe is wide, airy, and made of natural materials that you will not sweat. Don’t forget sunglasses and a hat.
What to Wear in Cambodia in May?
May is the beginning of the rainy season in Cambodia, but the rains are still less abundant and robust than in the following months.
Interestingly, the average May temperature in Cambodia is slightly lower than in April at 30°C (86°F). Therefore, to avoid the peak heat, plan your tours of the attractions early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen are the main accessories you will need this month. Be sure to pack an umbrella and a raincoat along with them. Choose light, loose clothing with short sleeves.
However, remember that you should not enter holy places with a bare stomach, arms, and legs, so bring a thin wardrobe covering these body parts.
During these visits, women can always choose to cover themselves with a long and wide scarf.
Sandals or flip-flops are a good choice to keep your feet comfortable but bring rain boots, too.
What to Wear in Cambodia in June?
The good news is that there won’t be crowds in Cambodia during June.
The rainy season is in full swing, and the average temperature is 29°C (84°F). Heavy rains usually fall in the afternoon, so plan your time and clothing accordingly.
Women can wear long, loose skirts or dresses, and men can choose linen trousers. Be prepared for rain.
It is best always to have a thin raincoat and a waterproof backpack rain cover with your umbrella to keep your things inside dry. Footwear should also be water resistant.
What to Wear in Cambodia in July?
In July in Cambodia, you can expect rain every day, while the average temperature is 28°C (82°F). Due to the high air humidity, it will seem even hotter.
Nature in Cambodia is in full bloom during July, so the scenery is stunning.
July can be a challenging time of year when it comes to dressing. You have to prepare for a lot of rain, but at the same time, you need clothes that won’t make you too warm. Bring an umbrella and a thin waterproof jacket.
Keep your clothes light and breathable with quick-drying materials in case you get wet.
What to Wear in Cambodia in August?
The average temperature in August in Cambodia is 29°C (84°F), and it rains every day. This has its good side because there are not many tourists, and the offer of fresh food is excellent.
As for traveling in July, prepare a wardrobe that will not sweat a lot and protect you from the heat and rain. Comfortable boots or waterproof shoes are the right choices for this time of year.
What to Wear in Cambodia in September?
September is one of the wettest months of the year in Cambodia. Expect rain every day and temperatures around 28°C (82°F).
This is the time of year when getting around some parts of Cambodia can be difficult due to mud and flooding, so it’s best to stick to the major tourist centers.
Prepare a wardrobe for the rain, but something that won’t make you too warm. Wide models with long sleeves are the right choice.
To keep your feet dry, bring good and comfortable waterproof boots.
What to Wear in Cambodia in October?
October is the wettest month in Cambodia. At this time of the year, Cambodia is not as hot as in the previous months, but it is still warm.
The average temperature is 27°C (81°F).
Your biggest concern when dressing in October will be protection from the rain, so don’t go anywhere without an umbrella and a raincoat.
Long sleeves and natural materials like cotton and linen will protect you from the heat caused by high humidity.
Good boots are a must in Cambodia in October. Choose some with a non-slip sole, as there will be a lot of mud everywhere.
What to Wear in Cambodia in November?
November is the first month of the dry season in Cambodia. It does not mean that you cannot expect rain in Cambodia during November, but in any case, it is much less than during the previous months.
Average temperatures are a pleasant 27°C (81°F).
During daily walks and tours, you will feel most comfortable in a short-sleeved T-shirt or a thin shirt and trousers.
However, in the morning and evening, you will need slightly warmer clothes, so a light jacket or sweatshirt is a good choice.
What to Wear in Cambodia in December?
December is a great month to travel to Cambodia. Since Cambodia is a tropical country, it is always warm, but during December, it is not hot, but temperatures are pleasant at around 26°C (79°F).
In addition, there is not much rain during this period, which gives you the freedom to choose your clothes more relaxed.
Thin sweatshirts, shirts, pants, or long skirts are the right choice for December weather. A short-term shower can still surprise you, so always have an umbrella or raincoat.
December is a great time to explore Angkor Wat and other attractions, so bring comfortable shoes to walk in for a long time.
A few additional tips
If you have the opportunity to attend a formal ceremony in Cambodia, make sure you follow the dress code for the occasion.
Dress semi-formally. A dress or skirt and blouse is a good choice for women, while trousers and a shirt are recommended for men.
The official currency in Cambodia is the riel, but you can pay in US dollars almost everywhere. Credit cards are accepted in many places, but be careful, as credit card fraud is common.
The head is a symbol of respect in Cambodia. Never touch anyone on the head, not even children, as this is considered an insult here.
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