Although making major strides in its quest to achieve international recognition and economic stability, Phnom Penh remains a third-world city for now. When preparing to go on a Cambodian vacation to this lovely city, keep in mind that there will be plenty of inconveniences. Know what to wear in Phnom Penh by getting a good glimpse of how it is like being there.
Imagine this. You are walking along the busy Kampuchea Krom Street, all sweaty from the scorching tropical sun. Making your way to the famous Central Market, you attempt to cross the street but were too afraid because of the chaotic traffic. You decide not to cross, fearing for your life and right behind you you hear two locals talking about last night’s mugging on the exact spot where you were standing. You finally get to the overly crowded rows of shopping stalls inside Central Market. After buying a collection of cheap shirts and bootleg DVDs, you become even more sweaty and hot and you decide to go back to your hotel. You hop onto a tuk-tuk with bags of goodies, but before you can go anywhere, it began to rain. Rainy season just started and you get to your hotel drenched in not just rain but also sweat, having experienced the two odd extremes of Cambodian weather.
Because this story can happen for real, learn from it and start packing your vacation clothes wisely.
Don’t forget to pack light clothes, cotton shirts, shorts, 3/4 pants, sandals, and everything that will make you feel comfortable in a very warm Asian country. If you have not been to Asia before, it gets really hot and humid and you get sweaty all over by just sitting down.
Here are important information about weather and temperature. Phnom Penh experiences dry and rainy seasons, and temperature remains pretty much the same the entire year. Average temperature is 18° to 38° Celsius. If visiting a warm country for the first time, avoid coming in April, the hottest month. It could be as hot as 40° Celsius on some days. Rains come in June and last until October, although it could rain any day of the year. Phnom Penh gets heavy, tropical cyclones or typhoons, so it is best that you check the weather in advance to avoid the typhoons. The city is not prepared for such calamities, which is why the streets get flooded very quickly. The dry season begins in November and the driest months are January and February. The best weather is from November to February, which is the country’s equivalent of winter.
Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses and a hat. The scorching heat will force you to buy new ones if you didn’t bring your own. Even as you plan to go hiking, bring open hiking shoes. When the rains come and the streets get flooded, no kinds of shoes or sandals would work. Simply stay away from the dirty, murky and infested flood waters.
Finally, when thinking about what to wear in Phnom Penh, it is always polite to be at your best when entering a temple. Cambodia has the most amazing temples (primarily Angkor Wat), so it is impossible not to check them out. You don’t need to be in a dress or suit. Just avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts, and take off your hat as you step inside.