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Pailin is a small municipality in the West of Cambodia very closed to the border of Thailand. The provincial capital is called Pailin City and is known to much of the world as being the area where many of the Khmer Rouge leaders came from and retreated after their fall. Until the year of 2001 Pailin was part of the Battambang Province, but was then elevated to city status and thus became a province and autonomous zone of its own.

Best time to visit

The country has a tropical climate - warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travellers need not to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.

Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However, those plans to travel extensively by road should be avoided the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is April.

General information about the provincial climate:

- Cool season: November- March (22-28c)

- Hot season: March- May (27c -34c)

- Rainy season: May - October (24-32c, with humidity up to 90%.)

Check the below table for the general idea of Pailin weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 30.6 26.6 20.8
Feb 32.5 28.5 23.1
Mar 34.2 30.3 25.1
Apr 35.2 31.1 26.1
May 34.5 30.4 26.5
Jun 33.4 29.6 25.8
Jul 32.5 29.1 25.5
Aug 31.9 28.8 25.5
Sep 31.2 28.5 25.5
Oct 31 28.2 25.2
Nov 31.1 27.9 24.1
Dec 30.4 26.8 21.8

Pailin’s current weather and 7-day forecast


Not all that much, particularly if you are looking for things related to the Khmer Rouge rule in the area. There’s certainly not enough for a standalone visit. That being said, if you are looking to escape the city and enjoy a bit of the countryside, Pailin is very relaxed.

Wat Phnom Yat 

A famous stupa built by Shan Burmese immigrants in 1922. At the top of a 500-meter hill, which can be driven, or walked up. Free entry, but if you want to get fully involved, go with a Khmer friend pay the donations and get prayed for. It is a very big complex, with a huge statue of Buddha being a highlight. You can easily spend a few hours strolling around here. At the bottom, there are a few coffee shops, as well as people selling Durian.

Durian Farm

Carry on from the bottom of the Wat Phnom Yat and head up towards the mountains. They farm Durian amongst other friends, which is interesting enough, but it is the gem handling operation here that is most fascinating. Alas, they will not sell you gems.

Gem shopping 

The Khmer Rouge mined the hell out of Pailin, so there are very little in local gems left, but that does not get the local entrepreneurs down. Gem salesmen will probably find you, and you will be invited to see the gem polishing process. Of course, in the end, you will also be given the opportunity to buy something.

Towards the Thai Border

Around 16km up the road from Pailin town is the Thai border. There are casinos lying idle as well as many still being built, all waiting for the influx that will come with open borders. Worth a visit if not just to look, Keep in mind Khmer nationals are not allowed in the casinos.

Memoria Palace and Resort 

Located a few KM up the road. A nice, if not slightly overpriced place at almost $50 a room. Breakfast quite average, and the pool looked more like a pond. Good dinner menu and nice service though.

Pailin City Hotel 

Great original name and looked like another homage to communist times. Very simple with rooms being from $20 a night.

Gem-Stone Guesthouse 

One of the biggest buildings in the city, and also bright green. Rooms from $25 a night, but again nothing to write home about.

A classic rural Cambodian town with lots of outdoor eateries serving Khmer Street Food. Overall, Pailin street food was satisfactory enough, with the broth-based noodles going down particularly well.

The Durians here are well thought of, as Durians go. Memorial Hotel it’s probably the closest you will get to fine dining, and they welcome non-guests to the restaurant. It does appear to close rather early, though.

Like everything in Cambodia, there are locals buses that will take you here, but the best value, particularly if you are in a group, is to rent a vehicle. Siem Reap to Pailin is about a 4-hour drive, Battambang under 2 and Along Veng around 2, or so. Keep in mind that the state of the roads can change everything in Cambodia.

We recommend you check the latest bus schedule and price via

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