Phuket in January: weather and travel tips

written by Olga Sitnitsa

updated 5.12.2023

Wondering about the weather in Phuket in January? 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 January a good time to visit Phuket?

Yes, January is usually a favourable time to visit Phuket, and Thailand in general. The weather is pleasant, with moderate temperatures and low humidity, and you can enjoy sunny days.

Beginning of the year is an ideal time to explore the beautiful Thailand beaches and enjoy water activities that Phuket has to offer. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, Phuket's picture-perfect blend of sandy shores, swaying palm trees, and breathtaking coastal views will delight you.

However, keep in mind that January falls during the high tourist season. In this month, popular destinations may be more crowded and accommodation prices may be higher, especially during the New Year celebrations.

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

Canoeing at Khao Sok National Park in Surattani © Shutterstock

Khao Sok National Park, Thailand @ Shutterstock

Air & sea temperatures in Phuket in January

The weather in Phuket in January is balmy with temperatures averaging between 23°C and 31°C (73°F - 88°F). The sea temperature usually stays between 28°C and 30°C (82°F - 86°F), making it ideal for swimming and water activities. 

Phuket has some of the most beautiful Thailand beaches, allowing you to escape the low winter temperatures experienced in many other parts of the world. Here you have the opportunities of enjoying island hopping, beach strolls and many water sports during winter.

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

Yao Noi, Phuket © Shutterstock

Yao Noi, Phuket © Shutterstock

Average rainfall in January

January falls during the dry season in Phuket, characterised by minimal rainfall. On average, there is a low amount of rainfall in this month, which contributes to the overall pleasant weather. 

Overall you can expect sunny and dry weather in Phuket in January, making this month a great time to be active, relax on the beaches and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the island without significant interruptions due to rain.

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

What about the crowd & cost?

January in Phuket tends to be popular with tourists looking for a break from the cold climate in other countries. The weather in Phuket in January is favourable and contributes to the influx of tourists in the region. Consequently, you can expect a relatively large number of tourists at this time, resulting in a busier atmosphere.

In terms of cost, it is natural that an increase in tourist arrivals increases demand and leads to higher prices for accommodation, tours and other services. However, compared to the peak holiday season around Christmas and New Year, prices can be slightly more reasonable. To get better prices, it is recommended to book accommodation and excursions in advance.

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

Banyan Tree Veya Phuket © Amy Hopkins

Banyan Tree Veya Phuket © Amy Hopkins

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 itineraries are created by local Thailand travel experts and can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

  • Best of Thailand with Phuket (10 days): Discover Thailand's vibrant capital Bangkok before heading north to Chiang Mai, Thailand's cultural centre. Finish your trip with a beach holiday on the beautiful island of Phuket.
  • Thailand's Islands and Highlands (12 days): Compare bustling and lively Bangkok to the magnificent hills and lush hinterland of mountainous Chiang Mai, then head south to beach bliss and unexpected cultural delights in hedonistic Phuket.
  • Thailand Discovery (12 days): A great way to discover Thailand, take in the Central Plain and Bangkok, the north with Chiang Mai and the south at the lively resort of Phuket.

Or discover more of our Thailand itineraries.

Farmers farming on rice terraces in Thailand © thirawatana phaisalratana/Shutterstock

Worker on a rice terraces in thailand @ Shutterstock

Tips for travelling to Phuket in January

As you prepare for your January 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 January

For a trip to Phuket in January, choose lightweight and breathable clothing to stay comfortable in the hot weather. Bring shorts, t-shirts, sundresses and swimming costumes for beach holidays, and comfortable sandals or walking shoes for comfortable exploration of the island. 

Although the weather is usually dry, also bring a light mackintosh or poncho just in case. Consider the activities and events you plan to participate in when selecting your wardrobe and you'll be able to fully enjoy the weather in Phuket in January.

Sun protection is a must

When travelling to Phuket in January, take care of effective sun protection. The tropical sun can be very intense, so bring essentials such as high-SPF sunscreen, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. These items will help you protect yourself from the sun's rays, prevent burns and make your holiday more enjoyable.

Respect the local culture

Be aware of local customs, especially when visiting temples. Dress modestly, remove your shoes before entering sacred sites and maintain respectful behaviour. Understanding and respecting Thailand's cultural traditions will enhance your travelling experience and promote positive interactions with locals.

Old Phuket Town in Thailand © Shutterstock

Take advantage of the pleasant weather in Puhuket in January to explore Old Town © Shutterstock

What to do in Phuket in January

While going on a trip, one must consider the weather in Phuket in January 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.

Enjoy the New Year celebrations

Patong Beach is filled with a joyous atmosphere during New Year's Eve celebrations. See dazzling fireworks lighting up the night sky, creating an impressive and unforgettable welcome to the start of a new year in Phuket.

Take a trip to Coral Island

Dive into the crystal clear waters of Coral Island and embark on an exciting snorkelling adventure. Explore the vibrant marine life below the surface, encountering colourful coral reefs and a variety of exotic marine life. Experience the beauty of the underwater world and make your visit to Phuket in January an unforgettable and adventurous experience.

Gaze at the sunset at Karon Viewpoint

Head to Karon Viewpoint for a breathtaking sunset over the Andaman Sea. Enjoy panoramic views of the coastline and nearby islands, creating a picturesque moment to remember.

Attend Phuket FantaSea Show

Experience the magic of the Phuket FantaSea Show, a cultural extravaganza of colourful performances, illusions and traditional Thai arts. Enjoy colourful entertainment to make your evening in Phuket an extravaganza.

Street food on stall, Phuket

Street food on stall in Phuket, Thailand @ Shutterstock

Planning your January trip to Phuket

For more inspiration, read about 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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