Best time to visit Phuket
Put simply…. now! With the covid restrictions finally loosened, there has never been a better time to cure the frustration of 2 years in the absence of travel opportunities.
With that said, deciding on the best time to visit Phuket is a vital component of your travel plans.
While travellers flock to Phuket all year round, there are to noticeable seasons that provide a vastly different experience. These two seasons are detailed as follows:
The ‘High Season’
The High Season is also commonly referred to as the ‘Dry’ season. In the high season the weather is spectacular and as a result you are bound to find a large number of tourists taking advantage of the fantastic conditions. This season generally lasts from early November all the way through to May.
The Low Season starts towards the end of May and lasts right through to October. It is characterised by tropical conditions and is the period of the year where the majority of rain tumbles down upon the region. The Low Season coincides with the Monsoon season and the two names are commonly interchanged to describe this period of the year.
Best Months to Visit Phuket
To help make the decision on the best time to visit Phuket, we’ll give an overview on each month while pointing out a few pros and cons to do with each monthly period.
By far the most popular month of the year for Tourists (with the Southern Hemisphere summer school holidays are major reason behind this). There is very little rainfall and most days deliver brilliant blue skies and low humidity. Boat tours are extremely popular during January though they can get quite crowded, especially to famous Phang Nga Bays. This uncomfortable and crowded experience can be greatly avoided though by traveling via a Simba Sea Trips boat on the Phang Nga Bay tour and getting a much more intimate experience.
* Approximately 9 hours of sunshine per day and little in the way of rain
* Nightlife areas are buzzing with activity
* Incredibly busy with both car and foot traffic in most regions
* High cost for both travel and accommodation
The weather remains fantastic in February with very little rainfall and glorious sunny days.
* The Chinese New Year festivities normally start in early February which are well worth seeing
*Greater number of travel discounts and hotel deals during February as opposed to January
* Traffic congestion remains high
*A lack of planning means that you may run into trouble with accommodation bookings as the best places are often snapped up quickly
The temperature starts to rise even higher in March, with plenty of glorious sunshine to bathe in. The crowds start to reduce slightly making it one of the best times of the year to visit Phuket
*Plenty of sunshine and low monthly rainfall makes it a great time visit
*Seawater remains warm while conditions are ideal for swimming and snorkeling
*Traffic in the towns remains quite congested
*Despite crowd reductions compared to February, their are still considerable numbers of tourists
The official end to the high season, April is considered the hottest time of the year. April is the month which hosts the Songkran Water Festival, which is a huge Thai event that attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the region. Therefore, those looking for a calm and relaxing holiday might want to consider another month of the year. However, those looking for a fun, once in a lifetime experience may consider April the best time to visit Phuket and it’s the ideal time to join Simba Sea Trips for a Phi Phi Island tour in particular!
*Not including the Water Festival period, hotel prices are drastically lower than in the first 3 months of the year
*The final month for a while with ultra-stable sea conditions. Also the chance of a lot of sunshine and limited rainy days
*Humidity is very high during April and the temperature reaches its highest making it very taxing
*Traffic during Songkran is incredibly perilous – take extra care when traveling on the roads.
Thanks to a much lower amount of international arrivals at Phuket airport during May, this can officially be described as the start of the low season. This also means that discount offers are available from most hotels in the region. A low season doesn’t spell the end to the good weather however with plenty of sunshine, although it can often be interrupted by intermittent showers.
*Cheaper accommodation costs throughout the region
*Nightlife is still prominent despite lower numbers of patrons within most bars
*Rougher sea conditions particularly towards the end of the month
*Wetter conditions and high levels of humidity might be uncomfortable for some
In the month of June, there is much more rain but plenty of sunny days thrown in between. Due to the lower frequency of rain compared to the months ahead, many choose June as the most affordable, yet still enjoyable, time to visit. It is considered the start of the moonson season.
*Cheaper hotel options but also cheaper flights as well
*With lower crowds in the region, areas like Patong are much less uncomfortable to experience
*You’ll need to pack an umbrella because it is far more likely to rain at least at some stage during the day
*Sea conditions can make scuba diving or launch trips much more perilous
July is very comparable to the June period in terms of weather although there is more average rain falling during this period. Although it is still a period that provides sunny breaks and the opportunity to bathe in the glow of sunshine
*Much like June there are plenty of options for cheap accommodation and flights
*The beaches are far less crowded during this period compared to the previous months
*Expect to see rain fairly frequently
*Sea Conditions are rougher making it less than ideal for water activities
August is much more likely to feature fewer days without rain than June and July. Although there are reasonable periods of sunshine that break up these rainy periods.
*Hotel and flight prices start reaching their lowest levels
*The nightlife in Phuket still features many places open but are far less crowded and the staff are far more attentive
*Quite an increase in rain frequency and periods
*Daily Average Sunshine is limited to approximately 6 hours
For those considering September as the best time to visit phuket, they might want to rethink the idea. This is the wettest month of the year and most tourists try to avoid the region during this period.
* The cheapest time to visit to take advantage of low accommodation and flight prices.
*Most bars are keen to lure in customers due to the low season and offer drink specials and a high level of friendly customer service in order to achieve this
*Hot, humid and the wettest weather conditions for the year
*Underwater activities are not advised due to the high frequency of tropical rainstorms
The rain continues into October but with far less frequency than in September. Those considering braving Phuket in October should aim to visit towards the end of the month where the rain is easing off and the sun is starting to shine far more often.
*Hotels and flights during this time in phuket remain relatively cheap.
*Sunny days are much more frequent towards the end of the month.
*Humidity is at its highest level during this period.
*Sea conditions are still far from ideal for scuba diving and other underwater activities in Phuket at this time.
During the November time period, tourists start to return to the region in healthy numbers. Despite this, the level of rainfall remains high and those looking for the best time to visit phuket during November should consider the latter period of the month.
*Despite an increase in tourist numbers, the towns remain largely uncrowded.
* Loy Krathong festival usually occurs in November and is well worth witnessing as the vibe is truly incredible
* Higher prices for accommodation and travel within this time period
*Those expecting significant sunshine in this period will need to be aware that there is still quite a lot of rain.
When December rolls in there is likely to be a significant reduction in rainfall and therefore a sizeable increase in tourism, especially with New Year approaching and the Christmas holidays in full effect. With that, naturally exploring the islands and their glorious beaches can be a lot less enjoyable for most tourists looking to soak in the surrounds yet enjoy their time. This is when a private boat tour on a Simba Sea Trip charter can be deeply satisfying.
*Nightlife is hitting its peak with an ultra fun party atmosphere
*Weather is superb with minimal rain and plenty of sunny days
*Flights and Hotels are far more expensive than they have been in the months previous
*Towns are getting increasingly busy and patong road is definitely much harder to navigate during this time
Visiting Phuket during the high season
Visiting Phuket during the November – April might seem like a no-brainer and there are many of reasons why people believe this to be the best time to visit phuket but there are also a few things to watch out for when visiting during this period.
- The best weather with long days of sunshine
- little in the way of rain days
- Calm sea conditions making it ideal for water activities
- Comfortable temperatures
- Enjoyable festivals taking place throughout this period
- This period of the year is the most expensive for accommodation and flights
- It is also considerably the most busy time of year and you will be fighting for space in the main tourist districts
- It can be quite humid and variable weather wise towards the end of the high season
Visiting Phuket during the low season
Visiting Phuket during the low season means you’ll have to battle with far less in the way of other tourists. There is a reason for this however as the weather is far from ideal during this May – October period. Nonetheless, there are some advantages when traveling during this period and lets be honest there are always some wet weather adventures to be had when the rain is tumbling down!
- The freedom to move around easier due to lower traffic numbers and less crowds
- The likelihood of cheaper accommodation potential as well as cheaper flights
- High level of humidity and a lot more rain than in the high season
- As a result of poor weather conditions, sea activities are much more treacherous and much less enjoyable
The best Phuket Festival Events
When people are considering the best time to visit phuket, often the decision is based around ensuring that one of the world-renowned festivals is taking place. So which are the top festivals that will provide an experience to remember?
When: April 13th to 15th
What: The Songkran Festival is a nationwide celebration of the Thai New Year. It is a memorable event that is highlighted by the water-splashing that occurs between friends, relatives and tourists alike. It is considered the ultiimate cultural event to experience the fun and revel in the joy that the Thai people are displaying during this celebratory time. While the Festival officially occurs between the 13th and 15th of April, the locals celebrate long after this and you can expect to see organized Songkran Festival celebrations occurring for up to two weeks following the start of the Festival.
LOY KRATHONG FESTTIVAL
When: 11th November 2019
What: Considered to be the most vibrant and colourful festival of the year, the Loy Krathong festival is a sight to behold. The festival involves the release of bowl shaped Krathongs into local waterways around the Phuket region. These Krathongs are usually incased with three incense sticks, a candle and some coins making this a memorable sight to witness.
PHUKET VEGETARIAN FESTIVAL
When: 28th September to 7th October
What: Coinciding with the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival attracts large number of visitors while it is running. The event is a religious extravaganza of rituals some that can be tough on the stomach. Some of the rituals include fire-walking, and body impaling which can be tough to behold so do be warned. But this is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
A Memorable Experience
While there are obviously preferable times to travel to any region, the immense beauty and glorious people in Phuket are no doubt going to afford you the trip of a lifetime, no matter the time of year that you visit. There is definitely an adventure awaiting you and we wish you well in your trip of a lifetime to our favourite place on Earth!