Phuket in December: Weather, Events and Fun Things to Do

by Mama Loves Phuket

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 look closer 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.

Jump back to the best of Phuket in November | Jump forward to see Phuket in January

Weather 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 December sea temperature in Phuket is also pleasant for swimming, averaging around 28°C (we’ve noticed, though, that pools that are not climate-controlled are still a bit chilly in December – you may want to factor this in, especially with small tots and those sensitive to the cold).

The rainfall significantly decreases in December, with an average of 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:

  • Father’s Day (Kings Day): 5 December marks the day that the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born. It is a national day of celebration of father figures and forefathers. Many will wear yellow on this day as a sign of respect and gratitude.
  • 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)
  • Phuket Carnival at Patong: This annual festival is 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. In 2023, the event will run from Friday, 8 December to Sunday, 10 December.
  • Thailand Constitution Day: Held annually on 10 December (though the Public Holiday may be observed differently – 2023 will be marked on Monday 11 December), marks the anniversary of the adoption of a constitutional monarchy in 1932.
  • 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.

If you’ve forgotten any of your packing essentials, rest assured there are plenty of places you can go shopping in Phuket to pick up supplies.

Things to do in Phuket in December

Along with the near-perfect December weather in Phuket, you’ll find a great number of outdoor activities available; as it’s peak tourism season, we wouldn’t leave booking anything too last minute to avoid disappointment.

Here are a few great activities we’d recommend for families in December:

  • Take an island hopping day trip cruise. There’s a load to choose from, so it really comes down to how long an itinerary you want and your budget. Most will pick you up from your accommodation and take you to the port, with meals included, so expect a full day out for the price you pay.

FAQs About Visiting Phuket in December

Is December a good time to visit Phuket?

December is a great time to visit Phuket, with mild temperatures and lower-than-average humidity, making it comfortable to explore outdoors.

Will it rain in Phuket in December?

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.

Do they celebrate Christmas in Phuket?

Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, so Christmas is not a public holiday in Phuket. However, you will find Christmas is widely observed in the hospitality industry. You will no doubt find plenty of Christmas trees and decorations, along with Christmas-themed foodie treats can be found in supermarkets. Large hotels and many club and restaurants will have Christmas-themed dining specials available.

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© Mama Loves Phuket 2024

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