December is one of the best months to visit Phuket, Thailand’s largest island. As the weather becomes cooler and drier, visitors can enjoy plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures throughout the month, making it the perfect time to escape the winter blues.
December also marks the start of the high season in Phuket, meaning visitors can expect a bustling atmosphere and plenty of activities and events to enjoy.
Whether you’re looking to explore the island’s stunning beaches, indulge in the local cuisine and culture, or try your hand at some water sports, there’s something for everyone in Phuket in December.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at why December is a great time to visit Phuket and highlight some of the top activities and attractions to check out while you’re there.
Average Climate in Phuket in December
December marks the start of the dry season in Phuket, making it an ideal month for travellers who want to enjoy sunny weather and clear skies. The average temperature in Phuket in December ranges from 23°C to 31°C, with humidity levels around 70%.
The sea temperature is also pleasant for swimming, averaging around 28°C. The rainfall significantly decreases in December, with an average 94 mm of rainfall throughout the month. However, there may still be occasional rain showers or thunderstorms, so it is important to bring appropriate clothing and gear.
December is a peak tourist season in Phuket, particularly the later part of the month, due to the pleasant weather and festive atmosphere, making it an ideal time for those who want to experience the island’s vibrant nightlife, outdoor activities, and cultural events.
Phuket Festivals and Events in December
Here are some interesting festivals and events that happen in Phuket in December:
- Phuket King’s Cup Regatta: The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is a major international sailing event held annually in December in Phuket. It attracts sailors worldwide who compete in various races, including dinghy and keelboat races. (This year’s event is scheduled from 2-9 December 2023)
- Patong Carnival: This is a week-long festival held to mark the return of the dry season, which includes street parades, beauty contests, and cultural performances. It culminates in a grand finale party on Patong Beach, featuring live music, fireworks, and other festivities. (2022 events was December 16th; 2023 TBC)
- Christmas and New Year Celebrations: Despite being a Buddhist country, Phuket is known for its lively Christmas and New Year celebrations. Many restaurants and hotels offer special holiday menus and entertainment, and there are often fireworks displays on the beach. You can see our full guide to Christmas in Phuket here.
What to Wear in Phuket in December
Travelling to Phuket during the dry season, here are some good things to wear visiting Phuket in December when the chances of rain are low, and the UV Index is high (but not extreme):
- Lightweight and breathable clothing: Choose clothing made from lightweight and breathable fabrics, such as cotton or linen. Loose-fitting tops and bottoms can help you stay cool and comfortable in the heat.
- Sun-protective clothing: Consider wearing clothing that offers UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Look for clothing that covers your arms and legs, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Swimwear: Pack plenty of swimwear, including swimsuits, rash guards, and board shorts. This will allow you to take advantage of Phuket’s beautiful beaches and warm waters.
- Hat and sunglasses: Protect your face and eyes from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Sandals or flip-flops: Choose comfortable and breathable footwear, such as sandals or flip-flops, that can be easily slipped on and off.
- Lightweight rain jacket: Although the chances of rain have diminished by December, you may want a rain jacket or poncho as a precautionary measure for unexpected rain or storms.
Remember to dress appropriately when visiting temples or other religious sites in Phuket. It’s essential to dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees in these places – we talk more about dress code here.
FAQs About Visiting Phuket in December
December is a great time to visit Phuket, with mild temperatures and lower-than-average humidity, making it comfortable to explore outdoors.
Whilst there’s no guarantee of non-stop sunshine, December is one of the lower rainfall months for this tropical island; on average, there’s only 94mm of rain in December in Phuket.
© Mama Loves Phuket 2023