Rainy Season In Phuket – What To Expect Visiting Southern Thailand During Wet Season

by Mama Loves Phuket

Is it still possible to have an enjoyable holiday in Phuket if it’s “off-season”? Here, I’ll share with you the weather facts and things you need to know about a trip to Phuket, Thailand, during the tropical rainy season that falls from May to October each year.

Can You Still Visit Phuket During Wet Season?

This depends on your reason for wishing to visit Phuket and Thailand. If your sole purpose is lying on the beach and taking dreamy photos of idyllic beaches with blue skies, you may be a little disappointed visiting Phuket in the wet season.

I want to assure you, though, that it DOES NOT rain all day, every day (unless you are exceptionally unlucky!)

Rain in Phuket tends to come in bursts, and whilst it’s not ideal tanning weather, there’s still so much you can experience and enjoy in Phuket during the wet season. I recommend you come prepared with a “Plan B” and an open mind, as you may need to make last-minute changes to your itinerary.

So let’s get a few facts straight about exactly what the rainy season is like in Phuket:

Average Rainfall During Wet Season

The following information shows the average monthly rainfall in Phuket, Thailand, by month, based on data from the Thai Meteorological Department:

  • January: 36 mm
  • February: 38 mm
  • March: 78 mm
  • April: 168 mm
  • May: 316 mm
  • June: 238 mm
  • July: 260 mm
  • August: 292 mm
  • September: 332 mm
  • October: 369 mm
  • November: 241 mm
  • December: 94 mm

As you can see, rain is possible in Phuket year-round, though the vast majority falls during the “wet season” from May to October. The latter months receive heavier rainfall than the ‘peak summer months’ June to August.

rain falling from a roof in phuket thailand during the wet season

Humidity in Phuket

It’s important to consider humidity in Phuket alongside rainfall. Humidity measures how much moisture or water vapour is in the air. It tells us how “sticky” or “damp” the air feels. When humidity is high, the air contains a lot of water vapour, and it can feel muggy and uncomfortable.

Here’s how Phuket’s humidity varies throughout the year:

  • January: 73%
  • February: 70%
  • March: 70%
  • April: 75%
  • May: 81%
  • June: 85%
  • July: 85%
  • August: 85%
  • September: 85%
  • October: 85%
  • November: 83%
  • December: 80%

People often avoid visiting during the wet season because of the humidity rather than the fact that it rains a lot.

What is Closed in Phuket in Wet Season?

Some, but not all, boat services to the more remote islands may be reduced or stopped during the wet season. This is partially due to safety and a lack of tourist numbers but also because the Thai authorities close many of the most beautiful and remote southern Thai Islands for several months of the year to allow for rehabilitation.

Many street food vendors also close up shops during the low tourist season, but the main markets remain open – they are very adept at quickly throwing up plastic hoardings when the rain hits!

We would strongly caution against swimming in the Andaman Sea during Wet Season. Tempting as it is, and you’ll still see dozens of tourists out there, the waves can suddenly and fatally change. The red flags are up for a reason.

What to Do in Phuket When it Rains

Although long sunny days at the beach may not be possible throughout your rainy season visit to Phuket, you can still slot plenty of activities into your itinerary. Why not try

  • An elephant sanctuary visit. Yup, even in the rain, this can still be enjoyable, as the elephants love getting muddy! In fact, it may be preferable to visit on a hot sunny day.
  • Take a cooking class! The perfect indoor activity is to try your hand at making your own local cuisine. Many hotels offer this ‘in-house’ so you don’t have to travel anywhere to gain some great new skills in the kitchen and get a meal out of it, too!
  • Indulge in a spa day. Get beyond the beach massages and splash out a little more for a wonderfully airconditioned and luxurious treat indoors.
  • If the rain doesn’t seem to give up and you need to spend a full day indoors, head to Central. A shopping mall, yes, but it is packed with multiple indoor attractions beyond just shopping, such as cinemas, Tribhum mystical theme park, the floating food market and Aquaria aquarium. If you are staying in Patong, Junceylon is another good indoor spot away from the rain.

A word of caution though, when the weather is truly terrible, its best to stay put until storms pass. You don’t want to risk hazardous driving mid-storm, as unfortunately, traffic accidents happen far too often in treaturous conditions.

What About Wet Season Accommodation?

Most resorts and hotels on Phuket’s mainland remain open throughout the year, though some may use this opportunity with fewer customers to renovate and close certain sections of the resort.

  • Look for a family resort that has extra attractions like pool slides and an indoor playground or kids’ club.
  • Resort prices are undoubtedly lower in Phuket off-season, so take advantage of this by shopping around for good deals, including free nights or ‘kids’ stay free’ offers.

More FAQs on Wet Season in Phuket

What is the wettest month in Phuket?

Generally, September and October are the wettest months, recording on average 332mm and 369mm of rainfall, respectively.

Are there weeks we should avoid visiting Phuket?

Honestly, the weather is so variable over the wet season, you cannot predict with accuracy which weeks will be better or worse. Our experience tells us that July and August are better than the start and end of the rainy season when it comes to downpours and grey skies.

What is the Green Season in Thailand?

A clever marketing ploy by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to make the “low season” or “wet season” sound less ominous and more inviting! But it’s true, Thailand is much “greener” when it rains a lot; you can catch spectacular waterfalls in full flow and appreciate the rainforests even more, albeit rather squelchy underfoot.

Does it rain all the time in Phuket’s rainy season?

Not at all. Whilst a completely dry day from May to early November is rare, it would certainly be rotten luck if you experienced rain all day, every day. You can still experience patches of blue sky too, though the most common mood is grey skies.

Can you still swim at the beach during rainy season?

Depends on the beach in question, but for the most part, you’ll find all the best beaches that face west to the Andaman Sea can be a little too rough for kids swimming in the wet season. The flags are almost always red at the lifeguard stations, though you’ll still see plenty of hardy souls taking a dip. Should and can are two different things…

Our recommendation to families visiting in the wet season, choose somewhere with a great pool and indoor covered entertainment, such as a kids club or indoor play spaces to sit out the rain showers.

If you are attempting to swim at the beach during the wet season, look out for dangerous rips as well as poisonous Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish, which can be spotted in the waters.

Do island tours still run in Phuket during the low season?

Absolutely. Unless you hit a really rough patch with the weather (still possible…), most tours still run even during the wet season, particularly to neighbouring Phi Phi and trips to Phang Nga. They may reduce in number and frequency, and be prepared, as the journey may be a little rougher.

You will find that more remote spots like the Similan Islands will close completely for 5 months as the waters are too rough and visibility is reduced (expect annual closure dates 15 May to 15 October). This seasonal closure also allows the islands to recuperate from some of the negative consequences of tourism.

What can you do in Phuket when it rains?

If it looks like the rain is set in for the day and you’re seeking an indoor activity with the family, one of the first choices is to head to Central Phuket. This is the largest shopping mall on the island and has everything from a cinema to a huge aquarium, Aquaria Phuket.

You can find our complete rainy-day guide to Phuket here.

The beautiful Similan islands on a clear winter day
The beautiful Similan Islands will close in the wet season but most other island tours will continue to run

So, Should You Visit Phuket during the Rainy Season?

This is a personal decision and what you want to get from your trip to Phuket. Yes, you will likely get rained out of plans on a few occasions if you visit Phuket in the wet season, but on the contrary, it does not rain all the time, crowds are fewer, roads are less congested, and prices are cheaper; we’d say give it a try, but we’re completely biased!

Let us know in the comments below if you have any other specific questions about Phuket’s rainy season.

Climate and Visiting the Islands and Areas around Phuket

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