Is it worth diving in Phuket in the low season?
Can we dive in Phuket during the low season/wet season/rainy season/green season/summer season/off season? That’s a question we are often asked, and the short answer is yes.
Of course if possible we recommend coming in the high season (November to April) and diving by liveaboard to the Similan and Surin Islands national marine parks. But if you are visiting Phuket from mid May to mid October then your only option is local day trip diving from Chalong pier. And that is still excellent diving, subject to the weather playing along.
What will the weather be like in (insert the date of your visit here)?
We get asked this question every day and our stock answer is that typical low season weather means sunny days interrupted by occasional tropical downpours. But I’m afraid our crystal ball isn’t always accurate at forecasting the weather and it is possible to have a week of non stop rain. Statistically September and October are the wettest months. June, July and August often have very nice weather.
What is it like to dive in Thailand during the low season?
Advantages of low season diving
- Fewer divers on the boats and fewer boats at the dive sites
- More shark and other marine life sightings
- Cheaper flights and hotels
- Fewer tourists, quieter beaches
Disadvantages of diving in the low season
- More chance of rain and waves
- The Similan and Surin Islands are closed
What happens if it’s raining on the day I’ve booked to go diving?
Diving is an all weather activity and boats still runs if it is raining in the morning. A trip will be cancelled if the forecast is for rough sea unsafe for small boats. The decision to cancel is usually made on the morning of the tour by the boat captain and the harbour master, not the passengers. If a trip is cancelled because of bad weather you can reschedule to the next available day or have a full refund.
What else is there to do in Phuket if I can’t dive because of bad weather?
The good thing about visiting Phuket in low season (apart from the cheap prices) is that if you are unlucky and it rains all the time there are at least some other places to visit. Cinemas, bowling alleys and shopping malls all do good business on rainy days. Phuket also has some small museums.
Where should I stay in Phuket in low season?
If you want to go diving you should stay in Patong, Kata, Karon or Chalong beaches. Naiharn and Rawai are also not too far from Chalong pier where the boats depart from.
We do not recommend staying in Naiyang or Maikhao beach during low season. The money you save on a cheap resort will be eaten by the taxi fares you have to pay to get anywhere.
We also don’t recommend Khao Lak in the low season. There are no diving options from Khao Lak between mid May and mid October, unless you get a two hour each way transfer to Phuket.
Some other questions about the Phuket low season and diving
Q. Does Phuket close down in low season
A. No, Phuket is a year round destination, it just gets less busy.
Q. Is the water colder in the low season?
A. No it’s the same. A 3mm shorty wetsuit is fine for most divers.
Q. Should I bring a rain coat in low season?
A. Rain showers are normally short and sharp then clear up so most people just duck for cover for 10 minutes then carry on as below. Plastic rain ponchos can be bought in 7Eleven for 30 baht.