What’s the weather like in Phuket?
The high season is all but over on the west coast of Thailand. Khao Lak is getting sleepy and while Phuket and Phi Phi are more year round destinations there are far fewer people around.
The weather is still fine at the moment. It’s hotter than hot all day, at midday you can’t stand on the sand, in the evenings it’s pretty sticky. All the island’s water supplies are drying up so the sooner we get some rain the better. The wind is beginning to change, at the moment it’s varying, some days blowing from the east but sometimes from the west. The sea is still flat as the photos below show. Soon we will have some swell out at sea but that’s ok, the speedboats can ride over a little swell, it’s not bumpy like the chop we get at the start of the season.
The Similan and Surin Islands national parks will close on May 15th. Some boats have already finished operations because they rely on the package tourist market which has already dropped off. A few boats are still running if they have enough numbers and will continue to do so until the 15th if the weather is ok.
There are some real bargains to be had for accommodation at the moment. You can find high end resorts at ridiculously cheap rates, especially in Khao Lak (just be aware that there is nothing much to do except stay in the resort).
At this time of year the question that we are asked several times per day is “what will the weather be like on (insert the date of your holiday here)?”
Of course we cannot predict the weather. Typical low season weather is sunny days with the occasional tropical downpour, usually in the evening. That said it is possible to get a week of non stop rain.
So the next question is what to do if it’s raining. In Phuket there are lots of things to keep you busy. Look out for a blog post on that shortly.
Another frequently asked question is what happens if the weather is bad on the day of my tour? Good question. If you do book a trip that is cancelled because of bad weather you will be refunded in full. The decision to go out or not is usually made at the last minute on the morning of the trip. It is the decision of the boat captain and the harbour master, not the passengers, as to whether to cancel a trip. Please note that tours still run if it is raining in the morning. Boat trips are cancelled if the forecast is for rough sea unsafe for small boats.
I’ve highlighted a couple of sentences in bold above and they are worth repeating. If you book a tour please don’t call us every day to check on the current state of the weather, you’ll just have to wait and see like the rest of us. And if it rains on your day trip please don’t whine about it. Snorkeling is still fun in rain, the fish are still there. You knew it was low season when you booked.
A note about online weather forecasts. In the low season they normally show a rain cloud over Phuket. It’s a bit misleading because although there are showers most days, the sun is out the majority of the time.
These photos are of Patong beach yesterday afternoon. You can see that the sea is still flat and there aren’t too many people about. It’s a nice time to be here:
And these next photos are at Sapan Hin, taken yesterday morning. Sapan Hin is on the east side of Phuket Town. Phuket Town is becoming a really nice place to stay. Once just the municipal centre of Phuket it now has lots of trendy bars and cafes, it’s getting gentrified. There is no beach but you can head out to Sapan Hin, grab some street food, sit in the shade of the casurina trees and enjoy the breeze off the water. The area comes alive in the evening when families come out to eat and play. There is often a public event on, yesterday was a food festival, today 23 April is Phuket criterium cycling race, it starts at 3 pm.