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Phuket turns green

June 10, 2010

As May turns to June, people in Europe, North America and more northerly parts of Asia are thinking of the summer, with sunny skies, warm balmy days and BBQ’s in the garden. It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy… Here in Phuket, the weather doesn’t have the same 4 seasons as “back home”. We don’t get cold weather, I have no use for warm clothes save for the occasional early morning ride on the bike, you can wear polo shirts and shorts every day. We don’t have a spring with the bluebells flowering in the woods, we don’t have an autumn with golden leaves. But – we do have weather!

Now, there are many reasons why people choose to take a vacation in Thailand. Could be for scuba diving, could be for the culture, could be for the great food, for the nightlife, for the beaches, for the chance to sample Asia in small easy to manage pieces or because it’s cheap… but the weather is also an important factor.

High season is when (on average) you get the best weather – meaning more sun and less rain. This is approximately November to April. It can rain anytime, but the prevailing winds at this time are from the North East, bringing little in the way of storms and rain. Also it means that the west facing beaches in Phuket are sheltered and calm. So, this is when most of the tourists come.

Low season is what we are in now. From May to October we enter the South West monsoon season, meaning prevailing winds are from the South West, coming across the Indian Ocean bringing (on average) more rain than the high season. The winds also mean that the beaches are sometimes too rough for swimming. Many guidebooks and travel agents will tell you the weather is always bad at this time of year and many people believe it. Of course, thats nonsense.


Low season rocks. Low season is a great time to visit Phuket and the rest of Thailand. That is, so long as you don’t mind occasional rain and don’t want to sit on a beach for 2 weeks. You’ll get sun most of the time, most days are hot and you start to wish it WOULD rain just to cool things off! The rain that does fall mostly comes right at the start and end of the season. For example we had a wet start to May this year, but most of the rest of the month was great weather.

Another plus – the colour Green – many locals call this time of year the Green season, as the rain that does fall is lapped up by the tropical plants that cover Phuket. Another plus – less crowds. Yep, this is not package tourist season, so you have more space to move, more room on the beach, less crowds at the main sights, less divers in the water, more breathing space in the restaurants.

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