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Best Time to Visit Phuket

If you're thinking about a trip to Phuket then you're probably wondering when the best time to visit the island is. It all comes down to what you're after. Depending on when you choose to visit Phuket, you could end up battling it out with the locals in a water fight, sitting alone on a secluded beach or caught in the middle of the yearly torture fest.

The best time to visit Phuket from November through March when it isn't so humid, and the cool breezes keep things comfortable. The average temperature is around 75F to 89F (24C to 32C).

Hottest Time in Phuket


The hottest time is from April through May (see photo galleries: April in Phuket) , with temperatures ranging from 80F to 95F (27C to 36C). There are frequent short heavy thundery showers, offering welcome relief from the temperature and humidity. The Thai New Year occurs (Songkran Festival) on April 13th and everyone sprinkles (or throws) cool water on each other. No wonder!

Locals enjoy June, July and August (see photo galleries: June and August in Phuket) since the weather is usually fine and our favourite haunts remain uncrowded. The usual pattern is brief but heavy showers, with plenty of sunshine between downpours. Everything is a little less expensive at this time of year, as well. Temperatures range between 70F and 90F (20C to 33C).

Low Season

During September and early October we locals start to remember our umbrellas. This makes an ideal time to visit abroad. One consolation for those who remain is that the beaches, outdoor restaurants and streets are relatively uncluttered by visitors. And even at this time, we still get long intervals of sunshine between the heavy showers.

If you don't like getting wet, don't even bother going outside. Songkran takes place April 13 to 15, with April 15 being the big day for the water fight. It's crazy. People line the streets all round the island, armed with water guns, buckets and hose pipes. Some people ride around in the backs of pickup trucks usually with a barrel or two full of water. Patong is where the action is wildest and the madness goes on well into the night. Everyone plays: locals, foreigners, men, women, young, old. It has to be seen to be believed.

For something totally out there, you have to check out the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. It's like nothing else you will ever experience. Entranced men and women (maa song) are said to feel no pain as they walk around the streets with their cheeks pierced with needles, knives, spears and all kinds of interesting objects. If you're squeamish, give this one a miss. The festival happens every year in October.

The festival is also a great time to go veggie and you'll find that most of the local restaurants strike meat from the menu. Get yourself a map and travel to the Chinese temples to see ceremonies and other curiosities. On the last day, head to Saphan Hin, where the festival climaxes with people lining the streets and throwing firecrackers into the road as the maa song walk the final procession through Phuket Town.

Chinese New Year is also a fun time to visit Phuket, especially if you're a fan of Chinese food. The festival isn't quite as bright and glitzy as in Bangkok, but it's still worth seeing if you happen to be in the area. It takes place in February.

New Year's Eve in Phuket is best enjoyed in Patong. Everyone heads down to the beach before midnight to watch the magnificent fireworks display. Street sellers always have a variety of fireworks on offer, although due to most people being drunk, these often end up shooting into crowds of bemused onlookers, so watch out.

Of course, if you just want a quiet holiday, the best time to visit Phuket is from May to October during low season when visitor numbers are way down but the island is still just as beautiful.

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