It would seem the third season is always the most magical…
When planning a trip to Southeast Asia many people look to the seasons before deciding on the best time to visit. Cambodia has two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. November and December are the coolest and driest months of the year and by January the temperature begins to rise and will continue to rise steadily for months. Then a whiff of change in the air – the wind stirs and something interesting happens…Mango Rains thumping down on tin roofs combined with frequent rain and wind storms.
Mangoes begin falling from the trees and onto the tin roofs with a resounding thud at all hours. Most people say Cambodia only has two seasons, but in March – April they welcome the Mango Rains. No planning around this season and no guarantee of its arrival at all, but if you’re lucky enough to find the perfect Cambodian getaway during the Spring months, you may experience the sporadic afternoon downpours … “Mango Rains“: Cambodia’s Third Season signaling the start of the monsoon season across Southeast Asia. Sometimes just a light sprinkle turns in a flash into a 3-hour downpour. Whatever the ferocity and duration of the storm everyone is delighted for the rain.
Mangos Gallore at Navutu Dreams Resort!
The fresh air offers a brief respite from the heat, and without the rain, the mangoes won’t thrive. The Mango Rains coincide with the mango harvest and these pre-monsoon rains are crucial for an abundant mango crop.
The Mango Rains are a joyous time in Cambodia, with time split between harvesting mangoes, resting in the hottest hours of the day, and what to do with all these mangoes. It is a whimsical time where neighbors work together to clear trees that straddle fences, pooling resources to make mango fruit leather and even clearing roads in the morning to make them passable for motorbikes as their family members head off to work.
Surplus of Mangos
During the Mango Rains there are many shops in Siem Reap with a tray of mangoes out front, even those selling wicker furniture or cell phones. Everyone is practically swimming in mangoes, and it is almost impossible to sell this surplus. These trays exist as a kind of free table giveaway to potential customers.
You may notice some of the mangoes are green and under ripe while others are soft and bright yellow. Cambodians will only take the green ones. Most Cambodians won’t even eat a mango once it’s ripe. People who grew up around Khmer culture usually prefer to eat mango while it is still sour, then is can be sliced and dipped in a delicious mixture of sugar, salt, and chili. Fruit shakes are made from chunks of mango blended with ice and sometimes milk and sugar. Fruit leather is made by pureeing mango pulp and then pouring it onto plates lined with waxed paper to dry in the sun for a few days. Most Cambodian’s aren’t interested in these sweet treats, but that just means all the more for you.