Is it still possible to have an enjoyable holiday in Phuket if it’s “off season”? Here, we’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.
We 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. We just 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 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, there’s the possibility of rain in Phuket year-round, though the vast majority falls during the “wet season” from May to October.
Humidity in Phuket
It’s important to look at humidity in Phuket alongside rainfall. Humidity is a measure of how much moisture or water vapour is in the air. It tells us how “sticky” or “damp” the air feels. When the 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%
What is Closed in Phuket in Wet Season?
Some, but not all, boat services to the more remote islands may be reduced or stopped over the wet season.
Many street food vendors close up shop over the tourist low season
More FAQs on Phuket’s Rainy Season
Generally, September and October are the wettest months, recording on average 332mm and 369mm of rainfall, respectively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the journey may be a little rougher.
What you will find is more remote spots like the Similan Islands will close completely for 5 months as the waters are too rough and visibility reduced (expect annual closure dates 15 May to 15 October). This seasonal closure also gives the islands an opportunity to recuperate from some of the negative consequences of tourism.
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 cinema to ten-pin bowling and even a huge aquarium, Aquaria Phuket.
You can find our complete rainy-day guide to Phuket here.
So Should You Visit Phuket in 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 had any other specific questions about Phukt’s rainy season.
Climate and Visiting the islands and areas around Phuket
You may also want to read our guides to:
- The best time to visit the Phi Phi islands
- Koh Samui Vs Phuket – why you may prefer Koh Samui in the traditional northern hemisphere summer
- Where are the best places to go island hopping around Phuket?
© Mama Loves Phuket