May might surprise you as a great month to visit Phuket, Thailand’s largest island in the Andaman Sea. With the hot season in full swing, visitors can expect a reasonable amount of sunshine, warm monthly temperatures, and rain.
While the island may be quieter than the peak tourist season, May can be a fantastic time to experience Phuket’s natural beauty, with lush green landscapes and crystal-clear waters making for an idyllic tropical setting.
From exploring the stunning beaches and marine life to indulging in the local cuisine and culture, there’s plenty to keep you busy on your visit to Phuket in May.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at why May 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 May
May is the start of the rainy season in Phuket, with high humidity and scattered showers throughout the month. The average temperature in May is around 29°C (84°F), with daytime highs reaching up to 33°C (91°F) and overnight lows dropping to 25°C (77°F).
The sea temperature in Phuket in May remains warm, averaging 30°C (86°F).
Rainfall increases significantly in May, with an average of 316 mm throughout the month. However, the rain is often in short bursts and does not typically last all day.
It is important to note that May falls within the low season for tourism in Phuket, so visitors can expect fewer crowds and lower prices on accommodations and activities.
Phuket Festivals and Events in May
Here are some interesting festivals and events that happen in Phuket in May:
- Royal Ploughing Ceremony: Held on the first day of the planting season (usually in early May), this ancient Brahman ritual is believed to predict the year’s harvest. Government officials attend the ceremony and includes the symbolic plowing of a field by a pair of sacred oxen. (2023 this will occur 17 May)
- Visakha Bucha Day: Another important Buddhist holiday, Visakha Bucha Day falls on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month (usually in May or June). It commemorates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death and is marked with temple visits, candlelit processions, and other religious activities. (2023 this will fall in early June)
What To Wear In Phuket In May
Being prepared for the likelihood of frequent rain showers and occasional thunderstorms, you will want to think about adding these items to your packing list for May travel to Phuket:
- Waterproof footwear: Choose waterproof shoes that can handle wet and slippery surfaces. Flip-flops and sandals can be slippery and uncomfortable during heavy rain.
- Light layers: Wear light layers that can be easily removed or added depending on the weather. Consider packing a lightweight rain jacket or poncho to keep you dry during unexpected downpours.
- Quick-drying clothing: Choose clothing made from quick-drying fabrics, such as polyester or nylon. This will allow you to stay comfortable even if you get caught in the rain.
- Mosquito-repellent clothing: During the rainy season, mosquito activity is higher, and it’s important to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Consider wearing clothing treated with mosquito repellent, such as permethrin, or spray mosquito repellent on your clothing and skin.
- Umbrella: Carry a compact and lightweight umbrella with you at all times to protect yourself from the rain.
- Waterproof bag: Use a waterproof bag or backpack to protect your belongings from the rain.
Remember that the humidity level can be high during the rainy season, and temperatures can still be warm. Choose lightweight, breathable clothing that keeps you cool and comfortable in the heat and humidity.
We still wouldn’t scrimp on packing your beach vacation essentials, including sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and sun-protective swimwear. Although it’s the rainy season, the UV index is still extreme in May, meaning not only are your chances of getting wet high in May, but so are your chances of getting sunburnt.
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.
© Mama Loves Phuket 2023