The Best Time to Visit Angkor Wat

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The temple complex at Angkor Wat is the most popular tourist destination in Cambodia. It is located in the city of Siem Reap, which is about a one-hour plane ride from the capital of Phnom Penh. Angkor Wat is the most famous temple in this area; however there are dozens of other temples to see in the immediate area.

Seasons

Avoid coming to Angkor Wat between May and October. This is the rainy season in Cambodia. About 75 percent of the annual rainfall in Cambodia occurs during this time. Because Cambodian streets do not have much of an irrigation system, even half an hour of heavy rain could mean flooding in the streets.

Visit Angkor Wat between November and March. This is the dry season in the country. Although there may be some rain, there will not be nearly as much as there is in the rainy season.

If it can be avoided, do not plan your trip to Angkor Wat in April. This is by far the hottest month of the year in Cambodia. Temperatures are regularly above 95 degrees during this month. Because there is a lot of walking involved when going from one temple to the next, it can be uncomfortable to walk in the heat of Angkor Wat at this time.

Time of Day

There are certain times in the day when it is better to visit Angkor Wat because grounds are more sparse and because pictures come out better. If visiting the temples around Angkor Wat early in the morning, go to the Angkor Wat Temple first and take photos there from across the moat. Doing this will allow you to capture a photo as the sun rises behind Angkor Wat. The light will reflect off of the moat around the temple in the picture.

To get more interesting photos inside of the Angkor Wat temple, come later in the day around dusk. There are often religious meetings held in the temple at this time. It is acceptable to watch the people at the temple pray and worship. You also may take pictures. These worship sessions include praying to Buddha and playing music.

Spend some time around the temple during sunset. Just as the sunlight is prone to make pictures turn out better in the morning, the same is true in the evening as the sun is going down. The crowds at Angkor Wat are also more sparse in the evening, which makes it easier to see what you want to see.

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