Phuket in December: weather and travel tips

written by Olga Sitnitsa

updated 5.12.2023

Wondering about the weather in Phuket in December? Read on for a run-down of everything you need to know. Here we cover everything from average air and sea temperatures, to what to expect in terms of costs and crowds, and what to wear.

Is December a good time to visit Phuket?

Yes, December is considered a great time to visit Phuket, and Thailand in general. The weather is cool and dry, making it an ideal month for travellers. Daytime temperatures are pleasant and the sea is usually calm, making it ideal for beach holidays and water sports. 

December is also considered the start of Phuket's high tourist season, so you can expect lively nightlife and numerous events, while the festive atmosphere during Christmas and New Year also adds to the island's appeal during this month.

Thinking of visiting Phuket? Talk to our local Thailand travel experts and save yourself the hassle of planning.

Elephants in a thai vineyard ©  thanet koedsap th/Shutterstock

Elephat in Thailand Vineyard @ Shutterstock

Air & sea temperatures in Phuket in December

December temperatures in Phuket are pleasant, making it an attractive destination for travellers looking for winter sun.

Average day temperatures typically range from 24°C (75°F) in the mornings to around 32°C (90°F) during the day. This is a comfortable and warm climate, ideal for enjoying outdoor activities and Thailand beaches.

The sea temperatures in Phuket in December are also very pleasant, averaging around 29°C to 30°C (84 - 86°F). These are ideal conditions for swimming, snorkelling and other water activities.

Set on taking a trip to Thailand? Browse our inspirational Thailand itineraries to start planning your perfect holiday.

Wat Doi Thep Nimit Monastery on the top of Patong hill in Phuket, Thailand © Shutterstock

Wat Doi Thep Nimit Monastery on the top of Patong Hill in Phuket, Thailand © Shutterstock

Average rainfall in December

December marks the beginning of the dry season in Phuket. While rain is still possible, it decreases significantly.

On average, the island receives around 75-100 mm (3-4 inches) of rainfall this month. This makes December a great time to visit Phuket for outdoor activities, beach time and exploring without fear of heavy showers. 

However, you should be aware of the tropical climate that prevails here, and bear in mind that brief and infrequent rains are still possible.

For more details on the weather in Thailand around the year, read up on when to go to Thailand.

What about the crowd & cost?

December is one of the peak tourist months in Phuket. During this time, the island sees a large influx of tourists, especially during the Christmas and New Year period. As such, you can expect large crowds on popular tourist routes, beaches and in the city centre.

Logically, due to the increased demand, prices for accommodation and some activities in December can be higher than in the low season, so it is advisable to book accommodation and activities well in advance to get the best options and save on costs.

Set on taking a winter break? For further inspo, discover more of the best places to visit in December.

Yao Noi, Phuket © Shutterstock

Yao Noi, Phuket © Shutterstock

Unforgettable, fully customisable Phuket itineraries

Our tailor-made trip service allows you to fully enjoy the journey without the planning or hassle. All of our Thailand itineraries are created by local Thailand travel experts and can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

  • Thailand's Islands and Highlands (12 days): Compare the bustling and lively Bangkok with the magnificent hills and lush hinterland of mountainous Chiang Mai, then head south for beach bliss and unexpected cultural delights in hedonistic Phuket.
  • Best of Thailand with Phuket (10 days): Discover Thailand's vibrant capital Bangkok before heading north to Chiang Mai, where you can experience authentic family life and see elephants up close. Finish your trip with a beach holiday on the beautiful island of Phuket.
  • Southern Thailand Explored (5 days): Discover the best of Southern Thailand: immerse yourself in the serenity of a forest temple, experience the luxury of a summer palace worthy of a king, marvel at seemingly impossible limestone formations and walk barefoot on the purest white sand beaches.

Or discover more of our Thailand itineraries.

Phuket big Buddha is the one of landmarks on Phuket island Thailand © Shutterstock

Phuket big Buddha is the one of landmarks on Phuket island Thailand © Shutterstock

Tips for travelling to Phuket in December

As you prepare for your December trip to Phuket, bear in mind a few important Thailand travel tips to make the most of your adventure.

What to wear in Phuket in December

Phuket has warm and pleasant weather in December, so light, breathable clothing is ideal for this time of year. For beach holidays, bring summer clothes such as shorts, dresses, t-shirts and swimming costumes.

Although the evenings are warm, it wouldn't hurt to take a light jacket or long-sleeved shirt for the cooler nights. Among other things, if you plan to visit temples, take care to wear modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

Plan ahead and book your accommodations in advance

Booking accommodation well in advance is a smart strategy when travelling to Phuket in December.

This popular destination experiences an influx of tourists during the holiday season, and if you wait until the last minute, the availability of accommodation can be limited.

Respect the environment

Of course, it is essential to follow environmental regulations in Phuket. Throw rubbish in designated containers, do not litter and support eco-friendly tour operators.

When snorkelling and diving, treat marine life and coral reefs with care, do not touch or damage them. By being environmentally friendly, you will help preserve Phuket's natural beauty for future generations.

Old Phuket Town in Thailand © Shutterstock

Old Phuket Town in Thailand © Shutterstock

What to do in Phuket in December

While going on a trip, one must consider the weather in Phuket in December and the nuances of this month. To not miss any highlights, also read our list of the best things to do in Thailand at any time of year.

Get in the festive mood

The festive season in Phuket is celebrated with enthusiasm. Resorts and beach venues host colourful Christmas and New Year celebrations, complete with spectacular fireworks displays, themed dinners and entertainment shows.

Soak up the festive atmosphere, watch the sky light up and savour delicious food as you welcome the New Year on this tropical island.

Pay an honourable visit to Big Buddha

The famous Big Buddha is a must-see attraction in Phuket, especially in December when it is illuminated in the evening. 

Admire this massive 45m tall statue and take in the breathtaking panoramic view of the island from the hilltop. The serene atmosphere and warm evening glow make this place simply magical, perfect for quiet contemplation and creating memorable photos.

Enjoy a beach holiday

During your December visit to Phuket, explore the diverse coastal beauty with a trip to the beaches.

From the lively nightlife of Patong to the serene tranquillity of Kata and Karon, each beach offers a different experience. Here you can sunbathe, swim, enjoy water sports or simply stroll along the sandy shores.

Go on an adventure tour

Take advantage of the pleasant weather in Phuket in December by embarking on exciting adventure tours. Zipline through dense forests, go quad biking through rugged terrain and take a thrilling jungle trek.

Planning your December trip to Phuket

For more inspiration, read our Guide to Thailand's beaches and islands and start planning your trip with The Rough Guide to Thailand

Daunted by the prospect of planning? No problem! Browse our customisable Thailand itineraries, and talk to our local Thailand travel experts

Olga Sitnitsa

written by Olga Sitnitsa

updated 5.12.2023

Online editor at Rough Guides, specialising in travel content. Passionate about creating compelling stories and inspiring others to explore the world.

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