A visit to Angkor Wat is the trip of a lifetime. There aren’t too many other destinations in the world that rank as highly, and for many of us, it takes considerable resources to get there.
If you’re lucky enough to be going – we suggest taking four factors into consideration as you make your plans. On our first visit, we put together three valuable lessons:
Now we have returned for our second visit, and we can see that we missed an important fourth lesson: mind the weather.
No matter when you visit Angkor Wat you cannot avoid the heat. We did remember that it was hot when we last visited in the month of December (average high is 86 F/30 C) – which happens to be their coolest month of the year. Now it is even hotter in March (average high is 93 F and the weather app every day says “feels like 103 F/40 C”. Imagine touring Angkor Wat in the blazing sun in the hottest month, April (average high is 95 F/35 C)? Our tuktuk driver told us it feels like 113 F/45 C.
The best strategy to see Angkor Wat requires adjusting your outings to the cooler mornings. Once it gets too hot, it’s time to wisely retreat. For us – to escape the oppressive heat that usually meant heading back to our air-conditioned lodging between noon and 1pm. If it fits your budget – a pool is a welcome place to spend the afternoon.
Know that working with the heat means that time each day at the Angkor Archaeological Park might be limited to the morning hours. It’s a smart traveler who understands the restrictions of touring in the high heat and humidity. Plan accordingly!