When booking your flight to Phnom Penh it may be more practical to plan it according to the wet and dry seasons which take place in the area. The months of May through to October are the wet season and are subject to tropical monsoons. Therefore, the best time to visit Phnom Penh is during the dry season, from November to March
Many festivals take place throughout the year and during these times price of flights to Phnom Penh tend to be higher. The Water Festival (also known as the Boat Racing Festival) is popular with both tourists and locals, who line the waterfront, eager to be part of the festival atmosphere. The popular three day event takes place in November, marking the time when the water of the Mekong River and Tonle Sap River change flow. This event also signifies the end of the monsoon season and the beginning of the fishing season. This annual festival is celebrated through racing brightly coloured long boats, fireworks and parades of decorated boats, along the river.
It should be noted that during some holidays, the city can become quite deserted. An example of this is perhaps the most important celebration in Cambodia, the Khmer New Year, which is a national holiday and lasts three days. The majority of Khmers travel to their hometown to celebrate the New Year with their family and friends, making most cities deserted and services closed, So while it may be a great time to get cheap flights, you may not get the hustle and bustle you were expecting. Instead, you could go to Wat Phnom in Phnom Penh to watch locals playing traditional games, throwing powder over one another, as well as traditional performances.
Often called the “Paris of the East”, Phnom Penh has a style that suits the capital city of Cambodia, offering a lively cultural life and historical attractions, as well as easy access to the rest of the country.
The city is full of historical sites, such as the splendid Royal Palace, which includes some beautiful traditional pagodas. And visitors can learn more about the history of the country at Cambodia’s National Museum, which has a particular focus on the “golden age” in the 12th century.
Phnom Penh is also a fine city for walking, with spacious promenades and a pleasant waterfront district that is home to some of the city’s finest bars and restaurants (as well as being the hub of Phnom Penh’s nightlife).
The country’s Olympic Stadium is another must-see, but not for the architecture alone. Instead, take in a unique experience by watching Cambodians enjoying group exercises in the cool evenings.
However, the real attractions may lie outside the city limits. Explore Cambodia’s rich natural appeal with a visit to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre where you can see tigers and elephants. Nobody who visits should miss out on the extraordinary ancient city of Anghkor Wat either, which is not far from Phnom Penh and is truly one of the wonders of the world.
There are also plenty of activities for the active traveller. Head out elephant riding, take wildlife tours, try quad-biking or kayaking – all within easy reach of the capital city.
Phnom Penh is a year-round destination which has a tropical wet and dry climate. Temperatures are hot throughout the year, usually between 22 and 35 degrees Celsius, so perfect for those looking for some sun.
Walking around the centre of Phnom Penh is an enjoyable way to get a feel for the city, but to get around the suburbs, travelling by tuk-tuk or taxi is advisable. You can rent motorbikes at a very cheap rate as well, if you are confident about dodging traffic (and don’t forget to rent a helmet as well). However, a more sedate form of local transport is the fleet of three-wheeled cycle rickshaws.
Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) is located 10 km from the city. For those getting off flights, there will be taxis gathered directly outside the arrivals terminal, and they should charge a flat rate to get you into the city. For an even cheaper ride, leave the airport and catch a tuk-tuk or one of the many motorcycles that will ferry those with less luggage into town. There is also a city bus that will take you straight to the Central Market. If you decide to hire a car during your visit, to make sure a car is available, you may want to reserve the car once you have booked your flights to Phnom Penh.