For a dose of pre-Christmas sunshine, Cambodia will not disappoint. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site, Angkor Wat, stay with a friendly community in the countryside and spend the rest of your holiday relaxing on the remote tropical island of Koh Rong Saloem. With temperatures peeking to a pleasant 26°C (compared to April’s scorching highs of 33°C) November is the perfect time to plan a Cambodia holiday.
1. Amble around Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction, and although the famous site is visited year round November falls within the shoulder season making it markedly less crowded. Aside from the occasional short, sharp shower, at this time of year the sun shines brightly and moderate temperatures make for an enjoyable amble around the ancient ruins.
2. Lakeside living on Tonle Sap
In November the water levels of the Tonle Sap lake rise so much that the direction of the flow changes. This natural phenomenon is celebrated each year by the locals during the ‘Water Festival’ which involves boat races along the river and a carnival atmosphere. Get involved with river life on a two day Tonle Sap trip, hosted by a Khmer family in their stilted house above the lake. You’ll learn about traditional Khmer cooking and try your hand at fishing in the lake at dawn.
3. Village life in Kampong Thom
Hidden away in the countryside is a peaceful village with a window into timeless Cambodia. Kampong Thom is a short drive from Siem Reap and a great place to spend a few days getting to know the local community before heading on to the city of Phnom Penh. In November the weather is bright and sunny, perfect for cycling around the countryside and helping out with daily work in the village.
4. Plenty to do in Phnom Penh
With its scent-infused markets, glittering temples and saffron robed monks, Cambodia’s capital city is a must-visit destination year round and a great base to visit the Killing Fields and Cardamom Mountains. Situated along the Mekong Delta, it’s easy to jump on a long tail boat and float your way to Siem Reap, or even cross the border to neighbouring Laos.
5. Sun, sea and sand on Koh Rong Saloem
If there’s one place that’ll cure the November blues, it’s the castaway island of Koh Rong Saloem. With no roads (or cars!) the island has a peaceful vibe, with low-key beach bungalows and just a handful of restaurants. Rent a snorkel from one of the guesthouses to explore the coral reefs along Lazy Beach and make the most of the sunshine on the white sandy shores.
If travelling in November doesn’t suit take a look at our guide to the best time to visit Cambodia. Our 2-3 day bite-sized trips are designed to easily piece together to create a personalised itinerary that follows your desired pace of travel.