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Best time to visit Phuket

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Kinari, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Kinari

    Kinari New Member

    Within the coming one year, my family and I will be planning our first trip abroad to Phuket in Thailand. We have given it a year so that we can find out when the best time to visit Phuket is.
    Just like any other place, there is a time to visit, and we want to make sure we go to Phuket at the right of the year.

    We want to know when the time of year when the weather is pleasant and also the most popular tourist time of year.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Kinari. Welcome to the forum!

    Generally, Phuket, like the rest of Thailand, experiences a tropical climate all-year round. There are some variations in the temperature but it's not that extreme. While we can divide the seasons into three (winter, summer and monsoon), it's more appropriate to term them loosely into cool season, hot season and rainy season. This way, you'd understand how the climate in Phuket differs from other countries. But yes, in reality, Pattaya is visited all-year round as it has something to offer for any type of traveller per season.

    Summary of Seasons in Phuket

    Season (Worldwide)Season (Phuket)MonthsBest ForWhat to Expect
    WinterCoolNovember to JanuarySightseeingPleasant weather + high hotel prices
    SummerHotFebruary to MayCultural immersionHot weather + low hotel prices
    MonsoonRainyJune to OctoberNight lifeModerate to heavy rainfalls + low hotel prices

    1. Cool Season (Winter) - November to January

    The winter season in Phuket begins during November and lasts until January. It is relatively the coolest season in the region and also the driest, hence the designation as the Cool Season. During the earlier weeks of November, rainfall might still be a little heavy. But by the end of November, winter sets in and temperatures range between 25°C to 30°C. Tourist peak season starts to set in as well but it isn't as crowded yet as compared to the other months in winter. The Loy Krathong Festival also happens in November and could be a wonderful experience especially for children as hundreds of floating lanterns are released into the sky.

    Loy Krathong Festival in Phuket (Image Courtesy of Thailand Holiday)

    December is the coldest month with temperatures ranging between 23°C to 30°C. This is also one of the peak tourist months so expect rates for hotels and even flights to be higher. The good feature of this month though is that almost all establishments like hotels and bars are open. Beaches are also calmer during this time, perfect for swimming or enjoying water sports. Make sure that you book a hotel in advance though as they're very likely to be fully booked by the middle of December.

    January can be considered as the driest month in Phuket. Temperatures remain roughly the same like the two previous months. You can also enjoy the beaches during this month but be prepared for the crowds especially around the popular beaches. Festivities occur especially during the New Year's Eve which can be fun too, with the fireworks bursting everywhere. Again, hotel rates are higher during this month and can also be fully booked due to an influx of tourists.

    2. Hot Season (Summer) - February to May

    February can still be pretty busy in Phuket, especially with the Chinese New Year approaching. Hotel rates are negligible, some offer discounts, while others remain fully booked. There are not as many crowds unlike the previous months but you can still expect some throngs of tourists around the popular beaches and attractions. The seas remain relatively calm while the temperatures shot a bit higher at about 24°C to 32°C. You can also enjoy the night life around Phuket as many bars and clubs remain open during this month.

    March is the start of the truly hot season in Phuket. Temperatures range between 25°C to 35°C during this month. However, tourists start to return to their home countries and as such, the rush isn't as bad. You can still enjoy a myriad of activities like water sports and even diving trips. During night time, expect the night life to be more peaceful but still active. This is also the start of the discounts amidst hotels and air lines to lure tourists to go to the city.

    The month of April is considered as the hottest month in Phuket. Temperatures can reach the 38°C mark and higher. Also, be prepared to be soaked in water during this time, not because of the rain but because of the Songkran Festival. This the Thai New Year's Festival and it is celebrated by pouring water to anyone and everyone. The pouring of the water signifies the cleansing of the sins of the person. However, this can be a hassle though if you would like to do some sightseeing and someone pours water over you.

    Songkran Festival in Phuket

    The last month for this season is May, which is also the transitional period for the rainy season. Temperatures remain the same but by the end of May, it can be coupled with rainfalls. Hotel rates are definitely lower for this month though so it's very suitable for budget travellers. Most establishments though, especially for water sports and diving start to close by end of May, at the onset of the rainy season.

    3. Rainy Season (Monsoon) - June to October

    The rainy season begins in June, with short bursts of rain, usually during the afternoon or night time. Hence, you can still indulge in sightseeing trips around the city but make sure to pack an umbrella with you. The rains are unpredictable in Phuket and even if it seems sunny during the morning, rain can occur by the end of the day. Temperatures are slightly lower at 26°C to 32°C. The seas become rough though during this time and the shores become washed with dirt. But on the other hand, hotels have cheaper rates and there are not too many tourists flocking to the region.

    During the month of July, temperatures remain the same but this month has higher rainfalls than during June. Again, the seas can be rough and not suitable for any swimming or water sports. You can still enjoy the nightlife around Phuket or maybe indulge in some cultural shows. But other than that, there's not much you can do during this time. Hotels have cheaper rates too so you can avail of discounted room rates during this time.

    August is relatively the same as July, with short bursts of rain along with interludes of sunny days. If you don't like the crowds nor the exuberant prices of hotels, this is a great time to visit Phuket. You can visit indoor attractions like museums and shopping malls though to avoid the humidity and the rain. You can also enjoy spa treatments like massages at very affordable rates around Phuket.

    The next month, September, is the wettest month in Phuket. Temperatures are slightly lower, not exceeding 29°C. However, sightseeing around the region might prove to be challenging especially with the onset of heavy rains. Your best sightseeing options during this time would be theme parks or show theatres like Phuket Fantasea or even the Simon Niramit Theatre. Beaches are not suitable for swimming nor water sports during this time. But you can still stroll alongside the shores of the popular beaches in Phuket and relish in the serenity. Still, hotel rates remain cheaper during this time, if not the cheapest.

    Phuket Fantasea (Image Courtesy of Phuket Thailand Trip)

    The last month, October, still receives moderate to heavy rainfall. This is the best month for surfing though, as the waves are high enough for enjoying the water sport. By the end of October, the weather improves and the rainfall lessens. You can still get good hotel deals during this month so it's ideal for budget travellers.

    I hope this helps you!:)