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Phuket – When To Go
- Best Time for Good Weather: December to March
- Best Time for Diving: November to April
- Best Time for Surfing: April to November
- Best Time for Sightseeing: December to March
- Best Time for Honeymoon: December to April
- Best Time for Nightlife: December and January
- Best Time for Saving Money: September and October
When is the best time of year to visit Phuket?
- Best Time for Sun and Beach: The best months for beach weather on Phuket are from December to March. This is when you’ll get the least amount of rain and the most sun. The month of November, which falls just after the rainy season and before peak season is a good time to enjoy good weather with smaller crowds. April and May have similar conditions: good weather and fewer visitors. If you don’t mind the crowds, December and January bring the very best weather of all, with calm seas, bright blue skies, sunshine, and little rainfall. For great deals on hotels and flights visit in June, July, August, and early September.
- Best Time to Visit Phang Nga Bay: The “cool” season, which is at its peak in December and January, is the best time of year to visit Phang Nga. This is when the seas are generally calm, there is very little rainfall and lots of blue sky as well as lower humidity, while temperatures are comfortably hot. Of course this is also the peak time of year for tourists, but by choosing an outfitter with a flexible schedule and a good knowledge of the area that can take you there on a day trip, they can make an effort to avoid the thickest crowds for a more enjoyable experience.
- Best Time for Diving: November through April are the best months for diving in Phuket, with November and December considered the best of all. These months typically yield the very best visibility. As the season progresses, the sea becomes warmer, and with that suspended particles increase, therefore decreasing visibility. During the low season, from May through October, there are still some areas to dive, with the sites on the eastern coasts of Racha Yai and Racha Noi protected and often flat. The seas can be choppy, however, and the boat ride from Phuket to the dive sites can be bumpy, but it’s usually not a problem for more experienced divers.
- Best Time to Experience Bangla Road: Bangla Road is one of Phuket’s top attractions. During the day, it looks like any other road, but after dark, it slowly transforms into the infamous party hub of neon lights, loud music, cheap beer and sexy Thai girls that put the island on the map. After sunset, the road is closed to traffic and the action begins, with a number of side roads that serve as entertainment complexes rather than actual roads. No matter what time of year, this area is hopping, though it may arguably be at its peak in the high season, when the number of tourists increases and the weather is at its best. In the afternoon, walk down Bangla Road, enjoy a drink and watch people pass by. It begins to get busy around 6pm, and then really picks up from 9pm onwards.
- Best Time for Shopping: Shopping is one of Thailand’s top attractions, and Phuket has a wide range of shopping outlets and an incredible variety of goods for sale. The very best shopping no matter what time of year, can be found away from the tourist resorts, where there are typically much better deals. Phuket Town and the surrounding area have the greatest range of shops with high-quality goods for sale at bargain prices, and if you shop from mid-June through mid-August, you can enjoy even greater discounts during the country’s “Amazing Grand Sale.” This is when some 15,000 participating merchants and service providers in Thailand in major destinations like Phuket offer discounts that range from 10 to 80 percent.
- High Season (December through March): November kicks off the main tourist season in Phuket but it large number of tourists don’t arrive until December. This is the driest, sunniest time of the year. You can expect to find calmer seas and blue skies along with more crowded beaches and higher prices. By mid-December, nightlife is in full swing, and visitors can enjoy a party atmosphere. January is the peak of high season, with the highest prices for accommodation, airfare and shopping, along with some of the most ideal weather.
- Shoulder Season (April through May, August, November): Shoulder season unofficially begins after Songkran (Thai New Year). The crowds begin to thin, and the rainfall increases, noticeably by the time May comes around, though there are often good periods of sunshine that occurs in between the typically short showers. The first half of May, on average, enjoys better weather and is considered by many an ideal time to be in Phuket. Early November brings the end of the rainy season, yet falls just before the peak season, with flights and accommodation still at their lowest rates, making it another good time for a beach holiday.
- Low Season (June, July, September, October): Low season is the rainy season, a time when the lower number of tourists typically result in not only the lowest prices of the year on hotels and airfare, but often friendlier service. You’ll likely have to trade that advantage for beaches that may not be swimmable, and some intense rainfall, but many feel that it’s well worth it, particularly if you don’t plan on diving. Even when it rains, it’s still warm and sunny days are still possible, plus you’ll save money just about everywhere you go. The weather is similar in August but there is a bump in European tourists.
- Phuket Weather in January: As Phuket is located close to the equator, there is little variation in temperature throughout the year, though there is a significant difference in the amount of rainfall each month. January is one of the most pleasant times of the year to be in Phuket, as it falls during the dry season and there is just 35mm of precipitation that falls over five days of rain on average. Most days bring bright blue skies and relatively low humidity, while the sea is warm and calm, ideal for swimming and diving. Bring beachwear and casual clothing for both day and evening, such as flowing short-sleeved tops and dresses, shorts and loose, lightweight pants. With the intense sunshine, a wide-brimmed hat is important for protection, as is plenty of sunscreen. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 35mm.)
- Phuket Weather in February: There isn’t much difference between January and February. You’re like to experience sunshine on most days with relatively low humidity. The average high temperature creeps up a degree to 33°C, and there is slightly less rainfall with an average of 30mm coming down over four days this month. February is the driest month of the year, and the last month of the dry season with rainfall gradually increasing. Expect to find calm seas, blue skies, and more crowded beaches. Pack as you would for January, planning for hot, dry, sunny weather. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 30mm.)
- Phuket Weather in March: March marks the very end of the dry season and the start of the hot season, when average temperatures begin to creep up slightly to a high of 34°C and sunny days are still the norm. It can become uncomfortably hot, especially during the second half of the month, making an air-conditioned room highly recommended. Rainfall is still low, with an average of 40mm over eight days in March, and when rain does arrive it’s generally in short bursts. (Average Max Temperature: 34°C. Average Precipitation: 40mm.)
- Phuket Weather in April: The rain and the heat have arrived, with April one of Phuket’s hottest months and the days can get rather uncomfortable and sticky. Rainfall increases significantly, to 160mm over 11 days, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Bring a lightweight, portable umbrella or buy one at any one of the markets around town when you arrive. Rain showers come and go and generally don’t hang around for too long, so the moisture isn’t likely to get in the way of your plans. (Average Max Temperature: 34°C. Average Precipitation: 160mm.)
- Phuket Weather in May: May is similar to April, but rainfall increases to 350mm over 18 days, so if you plan to be here this month, expect some rain. The high nighttime temperatures (25°C to 29°C) and high average humidity of 85% can make the nights rather uncomfortable, but all of the major resorts have air-conditioning, and others have fans to help keep things cooler. As May comes to a close, the humidity rises to 90%, and it’s now the height of the monsoon season. As before, pack lightweight clothing, natural fabrics like cotton or items made of dry-wicking material. Long, lightweight pants and long-sleeved shirts can help the keep the mosquitos from feasting on you. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 350mm.)
- Phuket Weather in June: While high temperatures remain the same at an average of 32°C, rain increases even more, though it’s still not at its peak, which comes in early autumn. This month, 210mm falls on average over 18 days, but the rain typically comes in intense, short bursts, often in thunderstorms, so you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of sunshine in between. There is some relief from the heat with the southwest monsoon winds, bringing slightly cooler rains. Plan for sizzling heat and humidity as you would normally would for Phuket any time of the year, bringing plenty of loose, lightweight and protective clothing, along with a portable umbrella in case you get caught a sudden storm. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 210 mm.)
- Phuket Weather in July: July is similar to June, but with monsoon season well underway, rainfall amounts rise to an average of 260mm that comes down over 19 days. While you’ll need a bit of luck when it comes to the weather, sunny days are still common, and a cooling breeze makes being outside often rather pleasant. Plus, this is the time of year to find the best deals on accommodation along with cheaper flights. If you plan on scuba diving, you may want to plan your travels for another time as the sea is often rough this month. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 260mm.)
- Phuket Weather in August: This month marks the time just before the official rainy season arrives, with the rain coming in short intense bursts punctuated with periods of sunshine. Between the low season rates, smaller numbers of tourists and fair chance to enjoy sunshine between showers, this can actually be a great time to be in Phuket. Visitors who don’t mind taking their chances with the weather can sometimes save 50% or even more on their trip. There is an average of 260mm falling on 10 days in August, which comes among sunny days with a cooling breeze where the constant warm temperatures make it pleasant to be indoors or out. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 260mm.)
- Phuket Weather in September: September brings the wettest month and the highest humidity, making it an uncomfortable time to be in Phuket, though it’s also the best time to avoid crowded beaches as there are typically few other tourists about. There is a whopping 410mm of rain that falls on average over 19 days this month, generally through heavy downpours that lead to sunny and humid days. The average humidity in September is 85 to 90%, up from the lows of 75% that you’ll find in the dry season. The greater winds mean that the beaches are sometimes too rough for swimming, in fact, the rainy season brings large waves and dangerous undercurrents, with some people drowning every year. If you go to Phuket in September, pack lightweight clothing as usual (quick drying items are best), and you can buy a pair of cheap flip flops that can get wet and a rain poncho while you’re here. You may also want to pack a few books, a Kindle or iPad and plan for a few days inside or on a covered patio. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 410mm.)
- Phuket Weather in October: October is generally wet but by the end of the month the rain is beginning to retreat. There will still be some heavy downpours with the average rainfall of 310mm that falls over 23 days. In between the rain, you’ll experience sunny, humid days that are ideal for fishing, with the rain bringing the fish out of hiding. The monsoon still influences beach conditions this month and some will be closed due to the dangerous swimming and surfing conditions. Prices and tourist numbers remain quite low, which along with improving weather as the rainy season approaches its end make this a good month to think about visiting. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 310mm.)
- Phuket Weather in November: Rainfall is still common as the high season arrives and the rainy season tails off, though the rain continues to lessen as November progresses, with an average of 190mm falling over 16 days. The rain ends each day, giving rise to sunny conditions that are just right for lounging on the sand or fishing from the beaches, or in the ocean. The monsoon winds shift and begin to flow in from the northeast this month, bringing relatively cooler temperatures that continue through February, though it will still feel hot with the average high temperature at 31°C. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 190mm.)
- Phuket Weather in December: The rainy season is generally over by December, and when rain does fall it’s typically short and comes through relatively light showers. As Phuket heads into its driest, coolest month of January, the average temperature this month is 27°C, and with the end of the monsoon, the average humidity drops from its high of 90% in October to a more comfortable 70 to 75%. Even on the wet days, the rain is generally over fairly quickly, giving way to sunshine and the opportunity to head to the beach to enjoy swimming or lazing on the sand. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
Phuket Events and Festivals
Phuket Events in January
- New Year’s Day – New Year’s Day, January 1, is a public holiday in Thailand. Residents rest, recover, and spend time with family; some offer food to monks at a temple or another site designated by government offices, or take part in a variety of other charitable activities. Government offices and many businesses, including banks, will be closed, though shopping malls, most restaurants, and tourist-oriented businesses will remain open as usual.
- National Children’s Day – This day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of January. In Phuket, a variety of children’s activities are offered throughout the city at local parks, beaches, the Phuket Aquarium, the Navy Base and many other venues.
- Phuket International Boat Show – Held annually in early January, with the next event taking place on January 5-8, 2017, the Phuket International Boat Show has been called one of the most interesting of its kind. It displays some fantastic collections, including internationally renowned yachts from prestigious shipyards around the world. In addition to showcasing watercraft, marine equipment, diving and sailing charter holidays and a wide range of nautical gadgets and water sports toys are also displayed.
- Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day – A weeklong celebration rings in the Chinese New Year in late January or February. In 2017, the Chinese New Year will be on January 28. You can expect plenty of colorful processions, noisy firecrackers and local entertainment in Phuket, along with outstanding shopping bargains. The entrances of many shops and houses are festooned with red banners and decorations to encourage luck and happiness during the coming year as well.
Phuket Events in February
- Phuket Old Town Festival – This festival takes place shortly after the Chinese New Year when Thalang Road is turned into a walking street for the weekend. There are lots of street stalls and a variety of entertainments, while some of the old houses open up to visitors. Vibrant shows include a dragon dance and traditional dances on the streets which are closed to motorized traffic during this time.
- Lantern Festival – Phuket welcomed a new festival in 2016, the Phuket Lantern Festival which will be an annual tradition, held throughout most of the month in order to welcome tourists from around the world to the island. The festival lights up the island while putting a special focus on Phuket’s culture and heritage.
- Valentine’s Day – February 14 isn’t a public holiday, but Valentine’s Day in Phuket is celebrated the same way here as it is in many other places. Lots of restaurants offer special romantic meals, some of which include six-course dinners paired with a bottle of white, red or sparkling wine. You’ll see roses everywhere, often presented to female guests who arrive for dinner at many of the luxury resorts.
- Makha Bucha Day – This public holiday and important Buddhist lunar festival is observed throughout Thailand on the full moon night of the third lunar month. While shops, markets and restaurants remain open, no alcohol is served. Government offices and some banks will be closed. Many Buddhists in Thailand will make merit and follow the five Buddhist precepts for laymen, one of which is to abstain from alcohol. There will also be candle-lit processions at temples throughout the country, including Phuket. Just head to the nearest temple to watch – some of the most popular here include Phuket Big Buddha, Wat Phra Thong, Wat Khao Rang, Wat Chalong, Wat Srisoonthorn and Wat Mai Luang Pu Supha.
Phuket Events in March
- Thao Thepkasattri-Thao Sri Suntorn Festival – Held over two weeks, usually during the first half of March, this festival is one of the most important in Phuket. It features many cultural and sports events, like bicycle racing, tug o’ war, a mini-marathon, takraw and a Buddhist ordination ceremony. Events take place at various venues in the Thalang area, which is just north of the city, including Wat Pranangsang and the Heroines’ Monument.
- National Thai Elephant Day – The elephant is one of Thailand’s most enduring symbols, and the country recognizes the significance of this beautiful creature by designating March 13 as National Thai Elephant Day. On this day, elephant parks and zoos, like the Phuket Zoo, often treat their elephants to huge banquets of fruit and sugar cane. At some places, Buddhist ceremonies are held, aiming to bring good luck to the elephant and its handler.
- St. Patrick’s Day – While there aren’t any parades to commemorate this Irish holiday, there are a number of Irish pubs that typically celebrate with live Irish music, Guinness and Irish fare, like Scruffy Murphy’s on Bangla Road and Molly Malone’s in Patong Beach.
Phuket Events in April
- Chakri Day – This holiday is an important observance for modern Thailand held on April 6, celebrating the founding of the Chakri Dynasty from which the current royal family originates. Banks, schools and government offices are closed, but most other businesses remain open. Traditional ceremonies are held around statues of all past Chakri kings.
- Songkran – The Thai New Year celebration is a three-day holiday that takes place over April 13-16 in 2016, but the festivities often last all week long. During Songkran, most office buildings and banks, and many family-run shops and eateries shut down completely, though the big shopping malls usually remain open. You’ll see young people roaming the streets with high-pressure water pistols or standing at the side of the road with buckets and hoses, ready to drench any passersby – tourists are frequent targets. If you venture out during this period, be prepared by protecting things like phones and wallets, and expect to get soaked. Water guns are for sale everywhere and tourists (of all ages) are encouraged to participate.
- Phuket Bike Week – Every year in mid-April, from April 8-16 in 2016, the biggest motorcycle event in Asia takes place. Activities throughout the six days typically include a big bike exhibition, “Ride for Peace” bike parade, custom bike and tattoo contests, live music and entertainment and Miss Phuket Bike Week pageant, along with booths selling motorbike accessories and apparel from local and international vendors.
- Phuket Gay Pride & Festival 2016 – Gay Pride Week, held from April 24 – May 1 in 2016, features seven days of festivities, including a beach party, pool parties, sports events, a gala dinner and a parade, held in Patong that’s a riot of well-toned bodies on floats. It attracts revelers from around the world who often arrive in over-the-top costumes.
Phuket Events in May
- National Labour Day – Also known as May Day, May 1 is an annual public holiday taken by private companies and banks, though usually not by government officials who instead observe mid-May’s Royal Ploughing Ceremony. There generally aren’t any special events planned for the day in Phuket, with locals who have the day off using it as a day of rest.
- Coronation Day – May 5 is Coronation Day, or Wan Chatr Mongkol, a public holiday that marks the anniversary of the coronation of the country’s current King Rama IX. Government offices are closed, but most shops and restaurants remain open. Many citizens in Phuket will show their respect by visiting statues of The King with garlands.
- Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day – This highly ceremonial event is held at the Sanam Luang ceremonial site in Bangkok each year, marking a promising start to the new planting season. Presided over by a member of the Royal Family, the televised ceremony follows a strict agenda in which court ceremonial gown-dressed Brahmins lead two sacred oxen in a ploughing ritual around the Royal Field while sowing rice seeds into the ground. The public holiday takes place during the sixth Thai lunar month, but the exact date isn’t fixed, rather it’s announced by the astrologers a the Bureau of the Royal Household. While the ritual is performed in the capital city, celebrations take place across the country – watch for processions and other special events for the day in Phuket.
- Visakha Bucha – The holiest of all Buddhist holidays is commemorated on the full-moon day of the sixth lunar month which normally falls in May. It celebrates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing. In 2016, it will be celebrated on May 20. During this public holiday, Thai Buddhists visit the temple to make merit in addition to making an extra effort to uphold the Five Precepts of Buddhist teachings which include abstinence from alcohol. Around every temple and monastery throughout Thailand, and in Phuket, you’ll find worshippers forming candle-lit processions at dusk. Visitors are more than welcome to participate. Some bars and clubs close for the day, and those that do remain open may keep the music at lower levels and only serve them in a very discreet manner, such as pouring beer into tea cups.
Phuket Events in June
- Laguna Phuket International Marathon – More than 5,000 runners from around the world gather for full and half-marathons, as well as a 5k community walk and a 2k kids’ run in this exciting event.
- Amazing Thailand Grand Sale – This event takes place across the country starting in mid-June, and is an ideal time for shoppers to take advantage of amazing deals on a variety of goods and services. You’ll find discounts from 10 to 80 percent at department stores, markets, spas, hotels, entertainment centers and more.
- Baba (Peranakan) Wedding Festival – This wedding ceremony in the “Baba Peranakan” tradition is held in Phuket City every year as a celebration of Peranakan culture, intended to promote the island as a wedding and honeymoon destination. Couples dress in the style and manner of 19th-century Chinese traders and well-to-do local Thai maidens.
Phuket Events in July
- Kathu Cultural Street Festival – This festival held throughout the month of July brings performances and activities that highlight the cultural heritage of one of the oldest and most vibrant communities of Phuket. It includes a light and sound show, shop booths and exhibitions, handicrafts and local food.
- Arsarnha Bucha Day – This full-moon day during the eighth lunar month, July 19 in 2016, commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon to his first five disciples after attaining Enlightenment over 2,500 years ago. Evening candlelit processions are staged in all of the Phuket Thai Buddhist temples. In recent years, places of entertainment have been known to close for the holiday and there have been restrictions upon the sale of alcoholic drinks in hotels and restaurants.
- Phuket Race Week – Over four days in mid-July (July 20-24 in 2016), this international-standard yacht race is held on the east coast of Phuket. It includes a variety of activities and four regatta parties that are held in and around the Cape Panwa Hotel.
- The King’s Birthday – This annual week-long celebration celebrates the birthday of the King of Thailand on July 28 with festivities taking place throughout the week
Phuket Events in August
- Queen’s Birthday – August 12 marks the birthday of Queen Cirkit who was born in 1932.The day is also celebrated as Mother’s Day. As the Queen was born on a Friday, and light blue is a color associated with the day, people often dress in light blue to show their respect. Events culminate in a beautiful candle-lighting ceremony followed by fireworks. In Phuket, you’ll find gatherings at places like the Queen Sirikit Park, where hundreds attend to receive blessings from the head monk.
- Hungry Ghost Festival – This festival takes place on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month in the Chinese calendar, usually in August. In 2016, it will be celebrated on August 17. Observed by Taoists, Buddhists, and Chinese folk religion believers, the festival is believed to be the time when the gates of hell open so that spirits can roam the earth in search of food and entertainment. Food offering ceremonies are organized at home to make merit, as well as to distribute food and other necessities to those in need. You can experience the event for yourself in Phuket by visiting any of the Chinese Shrines. You’ll find the biggest celebrations held at the Seng Tek Bel Shrine on Phuket Road and the fresh market on Ranong Road.
Phuket Events in September
- Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival – The Moon Festival is held throughout Thailand, falling on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. In 2016, it will be held from September 15-17. In Phuket it takes place in the old part of Phuket Town. Gifts are exchanged, particularly fruit and the famous mooncakes, which are sweet, round cakes filled with ground lotus seeds, sesame seeds and egg. A variety of activities are hosted; most years you’ll find multiple food booths and a stage for entertainment like Thai dance set up in Phuket’s Queen Sirikit Park on Thalang Road.
- Phuket Vegetarian Festival – This festival takes place at the beginning of the ninth Chinese lunar month which falls in late September or early October. In 2016, it will begin on September 30. Phuket’s most famous and most spectacular festival, it runs for nine days, with rituals performed to purify the body and the mind. During this time, participants go on a strict vegan diet, and no animal products are allowed to be consumed. Processions take place throughout the streets, while tests of devotion include supplicants performing acts of self-mortification like piercing of the cheeks and tongues with knives and other objects. Highlights include ascetic devotees walking on burning coals and climbing ladders with knife-edged rungs.
Phuket Events in October
- Awk Phansa – This day (October 16 in 2016) marks the end of the three-month period of Buddhist Lent. Monks are allowed to leave the temples, and people gather to bring them food and robe offerings in a ceremony known as Thot Kathin, which lasts for one month. Throughout Thailand, various events and festivities are arranged. Boats traditionally made of banana wood or bamboo are decorated with flowers and lamps and filled with offerings like sticky rice sweets wrapped in banana leaves. Alcohol is typically banned nationwide.
- Chulalongkorn Day – Every year on October 23, Thai people celebrate the life and reign of King Chulalongkorn on the anniversary of his death in 2010. On this public holiday, government offices are closed, though most restaurants, stores and other businesses will remain open. Throughout Thailand many Thais show their respect for the great monarch by placing wreaths and flowers at the Equestrian Statue in their hometown. In Phuket, local authorities often celebrate the day in front of Provincial Hall with an orchestra playing the Thai national anthem, and wreaths are placed at the King Chulalongkorn monument.
- Halloween – Halloween is generally not celebrated by Thai people and is mostly ignored outside of large tourist destinations; however, in places like Phuket where there are lots of foreign visitors and expats, there are plenty of parties and events to take part in on October 31. Many resorts and nightclubs host costume contests, live music and dancing.
Phuket Events in November
- Thalang Walking Street – The start of the high season is celebrated in Phuket Town over the first weekend of November by transforming Thalang Road into a walking street. You can stroll the street viewing the character of the old Singo-Portuguese architectural-style buildings and enjoy a wide variety of food and entertainment at the many stalls.
- Laguna Phuket Triathlon – Southeast Asia’s premier multisport event, this nearly two decades old triathlon includes a 1.8k swim, 55k cycle and 12k run. It attracts elite athletes from around the world.
- Loy Krathong Festival – Phuket is one of the best places to be for Loy Krathong, held yearly on the evening of the twelfth lunar month (November 14 for 2016). In the evening, Thai people buy or make a krathong, which is like a small boat made of banana tree and banana leaves, with flowers and a candle in the middle. They then gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing their beautiful rafts in order to wash away sins. The waters around the country become alive with candlelight, appearing like massive fairy ballrooms. When staying in coastal areas, you can see them extend for miles out to sea. Visitors can also partake in the festivities by purchasing, or making their own flower covered mini-floats, complete with candles and incense sticks. After the sun sets below the horizon and the full moon begins to appear in the night sky, you’ll take your krathong to the nearest beach and release it with the current or outgoing tide – if it floats away, the coming year is said to bring one good fortune, but if it returns to shore, luck may not go your way.
Phuket Events in December
- Phuket King’s Cup RegattaThis annual event coincides with the late King Bhumibol’s birtyday on December 5. The regatta lasts about a week and its event attracts some of the world’s best yachtsmen and yachtswomen, and their extraordinary and expensive boats. Local and visiting sailors vie for a coveted trophy, and there are lots of parties held throughout the week.
- Sand Sculpting Festival – This festival that’s fun for all ages takes place on Karon Beach and typically features some extremely impressive sand sculptures.
- Patong Carnival and Seafood Festival – This annual week-long festival in December (specific dates for 2016 have not been announced) is one of the most celebrated in Phuket. Locals and tourists are entertained by light shows, elaborate parades, traditional Thai dance performances, live contemporary music and much more. Vendor booths are set up selling handmade crafts and there are practically an endless number of food stalls along the waterfront in Patong Beach.
- Christmas Day – Christmas Day is a Christian tradition, not celebrated in Thai culture, but with so many foreign visitors, you’ll find a wide range of festivities in Phuket to celebrate the holiday. Many hotels and resorts offer special buffet meals and events for Christmas.
- New Year’s Eve – On December 31, all of Phuket, particularly its magnificent white beaches, are turned into a massive party zone with beach barbeques, live entertainment, gala dinners, and fireworks display. The largest free celebration takes place on Patong Beach, and there is a colorful countdown to the New Year at Sanam Chai across from Phuket City Hall.
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