One of the most common questions that I get asked is whether it is worthwhile to travel to Phuket in what is known as the “Low Season” or the “Monsoon Season.” I really think that Thailand is doing itself a disservice by calling the seasons “High” and “Low” or “Dry” and “Monsoon” as this gives an immediate preference to the months of December through March, making the other months seem unattractive. In reality, Phuket, has pretty nice weather throughout the entire year. If you were considering traveling to Phuket during the “Low Season” I think it is a great idea. Not only will you experience cheaper rates, the island will be less crowded and the weather really isn’t that much worse than the “High Season.”
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IN PHUKET
Phuket is located south of the Tropic of Cancer and north of the Equator in what is known as the Tropics. Due to it’s location, Phuket experiences exceptionally good weather throughout the year. Unlike other areas of the world that experience distinct seasons of warm and cold, the temperature in Phuket remains relatively warm during the entire year.
Based on the data in this chart, you can see that the average temperature throughout the year ranges from about 27 degrees Celsius to about 30 degrees Celsius or 81 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Basically, the temperature is fairly constant throughout the year. This is of course just an average based on the median temperature in a day averaged with all the other days in a month. A given day can be either warmer or colder than what is shown, but on the average, it will be around the temperature listed in the graph.
AVERAGE PHUKET RAINFALL
Now that you know that the average temperature in Phuket is warm and nice, the deciding factor should be the amount of rainfall. Nothing can ruin a beach holiday faster than a huge amount of rain that just won’t quit.
By looking at the data, it becomes pretty obvious as to why December through March is considered the “Dry Season.” If you are looking the highest possibility that your Phuket holiday will be rain free, then traveling here between December and March is likely your best option. However, despite what the graph shows you, the other months really aren’t that terrible.
WHY THE “LOW SEASON” ISN’T THAT BAD
I have no hard data to back up my claim, only my years of experience living in Phuket. During the “Low Season” months, a given month will typically have about 15 days of rain. That may seem like a lot, but that also means that it has about 15 days of no rain at all. Also, the days that it does rain may only be an hour or so of rain before the clouds blow away and it is sunny again.
One of the most common types of rain in Phuket is what I call the “hit and quit” rain. With dark clouds in the sky, it will begin with a strong wind, followed by a few drops of rain. Once this occurs, you have about two to five minutes to seek cover before the rain starts to pour down. During this rain, a huge volume of water will fall from the sky. But just as quickly and unexpected that it started, it will stop. The clouds will blow away, the sun will come out, and the remainder of the day will be nice.
Phuket is not all sunshine, as some days are cloudy and wet the entire day. This happens mostly during the “Low Season” due to the increased amount of rain, but you run the risk of encountering these days even during the “High Season.” If you encounter one of these days, it won’t be a complete waste, as there are lots of rainy day activities available on Phuket. Then there are the rainy days that will fall somewhere in between these two extremes.
SHOULD YOU TRAVEL TO PHUKET DURING THE “LOW SEASON?”
Ultimately, the decision remains with you whether you would like to travel to Thailand during the “Low Season.” Now that you know that the weather isn’t as terrible as most people believe it to be, here are some other reasons to give it consideration.
- During the “Low Season” you will get better rates on Hotels and Resorts, as much as 50% off the “High Season” prices.
- Since most people think the “Low Season” has terrible weather, there will be much less people around, giving the island a better feel.
- If it does happen to rain, you will have an excuse to experience some of Phuket’s rainy day activities.