Cambodia is located in the heart of South-east Asia. The country shares its borders with Thailand to the north and the west, to the north-east with Laos and to the east with Viet Nam. The south of the country has a long and beautiful coastline on the Gulf of Thailand.
Cambodia covers an area of 181,035 km2, so it is a rather small country, with all tourism destinations only a few hours drive from Phnom Penh. Water is a dominant feature of the Cambodian landscape with the mighty Mekong River dissecting the country along 486 km from north to south, and the massive Tonle Sap (Great Lake) South-east Asia’s largest freshwater lake and a rich source of fish and livelihoods, located in the middle of the country.
There are three main mountainous regions in Cambodia. The Elephant and Cardamom Mountains in the south-west, the Dangkrek Mountains along the northern border with Thailand, and the Eastern Highlands rising towards the Laotian and Vietnamese borders.
Some Cambodians joke that the country has three seasons: hot, hotter and hottest. There is some truth to this, as Cambodia does have three main seasons: the wet season which usually starts in May or June and continues until September or October; the cool season which starts in November and continues through January; and the dry hot season which starts in February and lasts until May. Even during the wet season, it rarely rains all day. Most downpours come in the afternoon and, even then, only sporadically. The rainy season in particular from June to September is indeed a good choice to visit the country, as the temples of Angkor are at their most beautiful and photogenic with full pools and moats, the vegetation in the countryside is deep green, the rice paddies are full of water and green with new rice, and river and lake levels are high, temperatures are slightly reduced, while clear blue skies appear after the rain.