Cambodia weather in February
Similar to January, February is amongst the best months to travel in Cambodia when the weather is in good conditions throughout the entire country. Even it’s considered hot at this time of the year, temperature has not reached its peak so February is a good month to visit Cambodia if tourists want to avoid intense and unbearable heat. Continue reading our post to find out more details about Cambodia weather in February!
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Cambodia Climate in February
It’s all good news that in February, temperatures still remains relatively cool in Cambodian terms, ranging from 21°C to 32°C across the country. There are average 10 hours of sunshine per day with little chance of rain. Mango rains can make a surprise appearance at overnight time towards the end of the month. February, together with March, have the lowest humidity with an average relative humidity of 71%.
The tropical climate in Siem Reap brings highs of 33°C and 21°C is the average low temperature. Featuring hot and dry weather, Phnom Penh and Battambang are still not wilting under the mercury pushing temperatures that are a feature a few months later.
Southern coastal destinations, like Sihanouk Ville experience mild, dry and sunny weather, with temperature hovering around 20°C – 28°C.
As the hottest months of the year slowly make their way, temperature gradually rises and the days get warmer towards late February.
Suggested Places to visit in February
Dry days with very little rain and pleasant temperatures in February are the ideal time to spend your days exploring Angkor Temples in Siem Reap. These favorable weather conditions are experienced in north east regions of Cambodia, like Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri. During this month, there are fewer or no problems with the roads, which helps to shorten the journey time from Siem Reap or Phnom Penh to these remote areas. Although the weather is considered relatively perfect in February, temperatures tend to rise by the end of the month. Tourists are highly recommended to seek for the shade during lunch time and remember to apply sun cream and drink water regularly in the hottest part of the day.
If beach lovers want to bask in the warm sunshine of a tropical paradise, February is among the best time of the year to set your feet on the beaches of Sihanouk Ville and offshore isolated islands like Koh Rong, Koh Rong Sanloem. Besides unlikely chances of rain, warm and calm sea temperatures and good visibility create excellent conditions for divers who are excited to discover underwater treasures for themselves.
February Events in Cambodia
Meak Bochea Day – Monks’ Festival
Meak Bochea Day in Cambodia is an important religious festival, which coincides in the full moon in the third month of the Khmer month Magha. Therefore, the date is not fixed, it mostly falls in later February and sometimes in early March. In 2021, Meak Bochea Day will be held on 26th February. This day commemorates the last sermon of Buddha in front of 1,250 monks. During his last speech, the “heart of Buddhism” was summarized in three principles: “Stopping from all evil – Doing only what is good – Cleansing the mind”.
According to Buddhism, full moon is the perfect period for humans to repent their sins and earn merits at the same time. Hence, Meak Bochea Day is not only the remembrance of Buddha’s teachings, but also when Buddhists strive to purify their minds, seek forgiveness and merit for good deeds.
If you are in Cambodia on Meak Bochea Day, you will be impressed by the ceremonies made by monks in orange robes and nuns in white robes in temples and pagodas. There are two large processions in Siem Reap at around 3 PM: one around Angkor Wat and the other in Wat Damnak. The biggest ceremony takes place in Oudong Mountain, where houses the ancient city of the post-Angkorian period, and located about 35 km northwest of the modern capital Phnom Penh. There are hundreds of monks and government officials gather in Oudong to perform important rituals of Meak Bochea Day annually.
Lunar New Year
Actually, Lunar New Year is not the official holiday in Cambodia but still one of the most celebrated festivals throughout the year. This is one week full filled festivals with resolutions, family and friend reunions and delicious food. This festival falls between late January and mid-February on the Chinese calendar and organized by Chinese Cambodians and ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia. According to the official censuses between 2004 and 2008, Chinese consisted of 0.3% of the country’s total urban population and are concentrated mostly in Phnom Penh (about one-third of city’s population are Chinese).
Consequently, Phnom Penh is where tourists can experience many interesting traditions and solemn rituals during Lunar New Year. Just head to Wat Phnom to immerse yourself in rich culture of locals’ praying activities, generous food offerings, bird releases in search for good luck in the upcoming year.
Moreover, dragon and lion dancing performances are easy to find during this special occasion in big cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Siem Reap Giant Puppet Parade
Siem Reap Giant Puppet Parade is by far the biggest event of the year for children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It’s organized by the Giant Puppet Project – a local children’s community arts project to encourage disadvantaged children to promote their self-expression and confidence through art. One month before the official event, Khmer artists, children from local NGOs and international volunteers gather to design and build the amazing puppets from recycled materials. Main themes for giant puppets include education, culture or environmental awareness.
On the last Saturday of February each year, Siem Reap’s streets are enlightened with these magical and colorful puppets. The children join in the street parade with their creations, along with circus performers and musicians. Following them are the growing crowd of onlookers from locals as well as international tourists. This meaningful event seamlessly combines social responsible activities and educational program, which definitely creates memorable and pleasant experience for any traveler.