Phuket weather: When is the best time to go?

Phuket weather: When is the best time to go?

If you’re travelling to Phuket it’s good to know what you’re in for, weather-wise, before you pack your bags and make your plans. But one thing’s certain: you’ll be comfiest in beachwear and flip-flops no matter what time of year you arrive. Rain or shine, Phuket is hot!

More on Phuket

Though temperatures vary little from month to month, there are three distinct seasons within the tropical monsoon climate of Phuket: dry, hot and rainy.

Sunny and safe to swim: Nai Thon beach in December.

Sunny skies, footprints in the sand. Nai Thon beach in December.

In November, the monsoon winds shift and begin to flow in from the northeast, bringing cooler (though far from cool) temperatures that continue through February. It’s also the driest, sunniest time of year and Phuket’s peak season for visitors. Expect to find calmer seas, blue skies, and more crowded beaches during these months. Accommodation prices will also be at their peak, especially from mid-December to mid-January.

Swimming's a go, but you'll have some company! Surin beach in high season.

Swimming’s a go, but you’ll have some company! Surin beach in high season.

March, April and May are Phuket’s hottest months and the days can get uncomfortably hot and sticky. Coinciding with the Thai school holidays, this is when many locals get out of town or flock to the shopping centres to escape the blazing weather. If visiting Phuket during these months, it’s well worth shelling out more for an air-conditioned hotel room or a resort with a pool. Rain showers come and go and generally don’t hang around for too long.

From June through August, relief from the heat comes with the southwest monsoon winds, which bring more cooling rains. The rainfall during these months usually comes in short bursts, so there are still plenty of sunny days to enjoy.

With fewer people around and sometimes significant discounts on offer at many Phuket hotels and guesthouses, July and August can be great months to visit, especially for those on a budget. Photographers love to be here during these months, too, since the island is greener and fresher, the light more varied and interesting, and the skies livelier – Phang Nga Bay looks especially misty and mystical then.

Wet but warm. A child plays on the beach between rain showers on Ko Siray.

Wet but warm. A child plays on the beach between rain showers on Ko Siray.

For September and October, be sure to bring your umbrella since these are Phuket’s wettest months. It really buckets down at times, sometimes turning roads into rivers. Getting around can get damp and dicey, especially by motorbike. If you’re visiting Phuket during these months, bring some books or a well-apped iPad and plan for some days inside.

If you find yourself in Phuket during a spell of heavy rain, it might be a good time to take that Thai cooking course, visit indoor sights like the Phuket Aquarium or book a massage session. If travelling with children, try seeking out a resort with a kids’ club to keep the wee ones busy if it’s too stormy for the beach. Or if you’re keen to avoid rain at all costs, you might want to check out the weather in Samui and the Gulf Coast islands before booking your flight to Thailand, where the dry and wet seasons fall on different months.

In the past, many Phuket hotels, restaurants and shops shuttered their doors during the rainy months, but this is no longer the case: Phuket has emerged as a year-round destination. That said, it’s certainly not safe to swim year-round. Through the so-called green season, strong waves and hidden riptides can quickly turn a day at the beach into tragedy.

Storm clouds bring rain and some vivid colours to the scene.

Stormy but still scenic, Ko Siray.

At the larger west-coast beaches, you’ll likely see red flags pitched in the sand on some days. For those unaware of this beach safety warning, the red flags mean ‘No Swimming!’ Even in deceptively calm seas, dangerous undertow may be lurking beneath the surface. Be sure to heed the warnings.

September and October is Phuket’s surfing season, as these are the best months to catch some waves, especially at Kata and Kata Noi beaches.

Phuket weather in brief

Temperatures: Daily averages fall within the 25-30 degree Celsius range all year with humidity levels at 80 or higher for most of the year. Average high temperatures range from 30-31C in September through December, peaking at 33-34C in March-April. Average lows are in the mid-20s throughout the year.

Rainfall: The driest months are January through March, with 30-40 millimetres of rain on average. The months of May through October have average rainfall of 200mm, peaking in September at 400mm.

Reviewed by

Lana Willocks is a freelance writer from Canada based in Phuket. Her love affair with Thailand began on a university exchange programme in Bangkok, then she returned to Phuket on the auspicious date of 9-9-1999 and never left.

Further reading

General ideas

Health & safety

Visas & immigration

Weather & climate

62 other destinations in Southern Thailand

Learn more about Ko Pha Ngan
Ko Pha Ngan

More to it than Full Moon Parties

Learn more about Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park

Wise old wilderness

Learn more about Ko Chang Noi
Ko Chang Noi

The other Ko Chang

Learn more about Ko Yao Noi
Ko Yao Noi

Leave the crowds behind

Learn more about Ko Yao Yai
Ko Yao Yai

A bay all to yourself.

Learn more about Ko Lao Liang
Ko Lao Liang

Let’s keep this one a secret

Learn more about Ko Jum
Ko Jum

Ready to relax?

Learn more about Ko Surin
Ko Surin

Breathtaking above and below the water

Learn more about Ko Ra
Ko Ra

Unspoilt island wilderness

Learn more about Ko Phra Thong
Ko Phra Thong

Golden Buddha island

Learn more about Natai

Fancy pants beach time

Learn more about Ko Rawi
Ko Rawi

Pristine beaches and jungle

Learn more about Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

Land of 300 peaks

Learn more about Ko Bulon Lae
Ko Bulon Lae

The tranquility runs deep

Learn more about Phetchaburi

Caves, beaches and a palace

Learn more about Ko Samui
Ko Samui

Dozens of beaches to choose from

Learn more about Ko Tao
Ko Tao

A popular spot to learn to dive

Learn more about Krabi

Lively gateway to the islands

Learn more about Railay Beach
Railay Beach

Rock climbing paradise

Learn more about Ko Phi Phi
Ko Phi Phi

Popular party island

Learn more about Ko Lanta
Ko Lanta

Where the beaches stretch for miles

Learn more about Ko Muk
Ko Muk

More to it than the Emerald Cave

Learn more about Ko Libong
Ko Libong

Great choice for the quiet life

Learn more about Songkhla

Relax by the sea

Learn more about Ko Phayam
Ko Phayam

One laid-back island

Learn more about Kaeng Krachan National Park
Kaeng Krachan National Park

Thailand‘s largest national park

Learn more about Ko Sukorn
Ko Sukorn

Settle into a slower pace

Learn more about Ko Kradan
Ko Kradan

Great beaches, pricey food

Learn more about Prachuap Khiri Khan
Prachuap Khiri Khan

Mountains to the west, ocean to the east

Learn more about Ban Krut
Ban Krut

Set your internal clock to Thai time

Learn more about Khao Lak
Khao Lak

A family favourite

Learn more about Ko Kho Khao
Ko Kho Khao

No need to leave that beach chair

Learn more about Khanom and Sichon
Khanom and Sichon

Just kick back

Learn more about Similan Islands
Similan Islands

Say hi to the sea turtles

Learn more about Takua Pa
Takua Pa

Crossroad between islands and mountains

Learn more about Ko Rok
Ko Rok

Unspoilt twin islands

Learn more about Hua Hin
Hua Hin

Mainstream tourist hotspot

Learn more about Trang

Before you hit the islands... Eat!

Learn more about Ko Lipe
Ko Lipe

Welcome to paradise

Learn more about Ko Tarutao
Ko Tarutao


Learn more about Ko Adang
Ko Adang

Ko Lipe’s wild neighbour

Learn more about Ranong

Wave to Burma

Learn more about Ko Ngai
Ko Ngai

A comfortable island getaway

Learn more about Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat

Unadulterated Southern Thailand

Learn more about Narathiwat

Muslim fishing life

Learn more about Bang Saphan Yai
Bang Saphan Yai

Low-key beach town

Learn more about Phattalung

Mountains, lakes and no tourists

Learn more about Ko Si Boya
Ko Si Boya

Take a break from it all

Learn more about Phang Nga Town
Phang Nga Town

Your base for Phang Nga Bay

Learn more about Hat Yai
Hat Yai

Largest city in Southern Thailand

Learn more about Satun

Don’t miss the local iced tea

Learn more about Cha-am

Like Hua Hin lite

Learn more about Chumphon

Gateway to Ko Tao

Learn more about Ao Nang
Ao Nang

Beach holiday hotspot

Learn more about Pattani

Once a proud kingdom

Learn more about Betong

Almost Malaysia

Learn more about Yala

A low key spot

Learn more about Surat Thani
Surat Thani

Gulf coast island gateway

Learn more about Sungai Kolok
Sungai Kolok

Gateway to Malaysia

Learn more about Khuraburi

Gateway to little-known islands

Learn more about Pakbara

Gateway to the Satun islands

Learn more about Tak Bai
Tak Bai

Historic for more than one reason