It’s never winter in Phuket. Or it is, but you might not notice it unless you’re looking at a calendar.
If you’re coming from a cold US state or from Europe, you might find Phuket’s winter rather balmy, as the temperatures average 75F to 89F from December to early March. However, spend more than a few days here and your body will start to acclimatize. Soon, 75F will start to feel cool, especially after a swim or if dining outdoors.
So what exactly do you pack for a Phuket winter?
For the day, pack anything you would for summer: T-shirts, shorts, sunscreen. Go for natural fiber such as cotton as they’re cooler than synthetic materials.
Winter nights in Phuket are breezy. If you’re heading towards the ocean once the sun is down, you might feel “chilly” (Phuket-chilly, but chilly nonetheless). Bring a light cotton cardigan or a shawl you can wrap around your shoulders. The shawl will also be useful when you’re touring wats (temples) during the day, as women are supposed to have their shoulders covered to enter.
December to March is monsoon season in Phuket. This means sudden (but usually short) rains during the day. If you’re going to be out walking all day, either bring a plastic poncho or a change of clothes in case you get soaked.