Best Time To Visit Phuket
Choosing the best time to visit Phuket depends on personal preferences and budget. Phuket is an all year round holiday destination with a tropical climate, the weather in Phuket broadly varies between warm, cool and rainy but it never really gets too cold.
The high tourist season is from November to February when it’s cool and dry, after which it remains quite hot until May. Monsoon season begins mid-May and goes on till October.
However, good weather is possible at any time of year and Phuket during the less busy months can still provide a wonderful tropical vacation but for a lot less money than going in the high season.
Air fares are much lower and, with "discount-wars" occurring among the Phuket resorts, its possible to get even luxury accommodation at less than half the high season price when you travel to Phuket between May till October.
Phuket has a tropical monsoonal climate, but it is hottest from April to May and from September to October.
The September-October period is also the wettest, thanks to the southwest monsoon. April and May are the hottest months with temperatures ranging from 27°C to 36°C (80°F to 95°F). Humidity is high, at this time, which can make the days feel even hotter. Occasional short, thundery showers bring a little relief from the heat, The sky is usually blue, and the sea is very calm.
Temperature can reach 40˙C, and everyone in Thailand is celebrating the end of the warm season by throwing water at each other. That’s the famous Songkran Festival, and it can last three days or more, depending on which part of Thailand you are. Remember to protect your skin and not to spend too much time directly in the sun on the first day, a classic beginner’s mistake.
What is Songkran?
Songkran is Thailand’s most famous festival. An important event on the Buddhist calendar, this water festival marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year.
The name Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘passing’ or ‘approaching’. Songkran Festival takes place in April every year, from the 13th to the 15th. Water is an important element of Songkran, especially in more recent times when the throwing of water has become a huge part of the annual celebrations.
If you’re visiting Thailand during this period, prepare to get splashed! Crowds of people roam around throwing buckets of water, using water pistols and just generally soaking anyone in the vicinity. Appreciation of family is another important aspect of the festival, with many Thai people making their way to their hometowns to spend time with older relatives. Buddhists also visit temples throughout Songkran where water is poured on Buddha images and on the hands of Buddhist monks as a mark of respect.
December to March
December to March are the coolest months to come to Phuket. Weather is usually perfect with clear blue skies, calm seas, and a pleasant breeze keeps the temperature just right. This period is when you should come if you care about blue sky, suntan and plan to spend a lot of time on the beach or taking those Instagram selfies that will grow your fanbase.
However, December and January are also the peak months of the high season, so expect to pay more for your hotel and Tour Packages. Expect the south of the island to be very busy, so if you worry about the crowds, you should consider staying in the northern part of the island. If crowds are an issue when planning a vacation, avoid these months. But realize that these months are the most crowded because the weather is the nicest.
Low Season in Phuket
The weather in Phuket is at its worst in September and early-October. These months see the heaviest rainfall and the roughest seas. This makes it the best time for surfers to visit. You'll find the beaches, attractions, restaurants and roads relatively quiet. Even at this time, there are usually long sunny spells between the showers.
June to August is a mix of rain and sun, usually delightful. Some months are considered wetter than others: September, October, and November are the months with most rainfalls, but some years, it can drag to December. No one can tell.
The rainy season is a tricky subject. It’s supposed to occur roughly at the same time each year but has become seriously unpredictable. Despite some unlucky series of stormy days, there is still plenty of sun with occasional showers.
On the bright side, everything is much cheaper! However, keep in mind that even if the sky is blue, the sea is frequently rough, so it is recommended to book a hotel with a nice swimming pool, and you’ll have a great holiday.
Respect the warning flags on the beach! Swim only when the flags are not red, but you can swim between the yellow and red flags. Please take this very seriously and never over-estimate your swimming abilities: Riptide will always be stronger than you think you are.
If you are booking for island hopping tour packages during low season, make sure that you will be fully refunded in case you have to cancel your program due to the bad weather or just choose one of the many Thai cultural shows as they will be held indoor.
Select a hotel on one of the 5 main beaches
Patong, Karon, Kata, Kamala and Bangtao are known to super busy in high season, but a lot more quiet in the rainy season and you won’t feel too isolated. Other lesser known beaches will most likely feel very lonely during low season. Also, small beaches often appear neglected during these months, and you might be surprised how much trash is brought in by the ocean.
Hotel prices are much lower and you will get a lot more attention from the staff since they are more relaxed. Take advantage of it, get yourself a 5-star resort with a massive pool and a great spa, because that is where you will go as soon as it starts raining. Bargaining is a lot easier as shops and markets find it harder to get customers.
Now that you read all the stuff above, you know that rainy season is not that bad and you’ll have plenty of beautiful days. The island is more peaceful; the vegetation is greener; the traffic on the roads is a lot smoother and less congested. Overall, people are less stressed and smile more, and everything is cheaper too! So many reasons to give it a try!