Phuket is best known for its fantastic weather, perfect for soaking up the sun’s rays on beautiful beaches, swimming and snorkelling in the azure waters and admiring the sights from one of its many viewpoints.
However, if you’re visiting during the monsoon season, between the months of May and October, there might be times when you have to find something else to do. When it rains in Phuket it can really pour down, there’s no way you’re going to lie on the beach on a day like that! But don’t worry, there’s actually a lot of other interesting and fun things to do here.
The first choice for a rainy day is shopping. Phuket has great shopping venues, Central Floresta, near Phuket Town, is the largest where you can hide away from the weather all day if need be. Browse the shops for a new outfit, dine at an international restaurant, have a massage, catch a movie or get your hair styled and nails painted.
Brunch & Lunch
If it’s raining on a Sunday, then you’re in luck as Phuket has amazing brunches. You can spend a wet afternoon devouring delicious Thai, Oriental and Western fusion dishes at Oriental Spoon in the Twinpalms Phuket hotel, Surin Beach. They also have an air-conditioned wine cellar, open-plan martini bar, and serve some seriously delicious cocktails and be sure to try their cheese selection and chocolate fountain.
Shimmer Beachfront Restaurant
Saturdays have also become brunch days too, The Surin hotel holds an epic champagne laden feast once a month brunch only in the rainy season, and Shimmer Beachfront Restaurant offers a very relaxed and stylish brunch right on the seafront serving Boston lobster, crisp wine and a selection of delicious treats.
Cook like a Thai chef at the famous Blue Elephant Cooking School, you even get a certificate! Or in Patong, the Phuket Thai Cooking Academy offers a vegetarian option too. Closer to home, most hotels also offer fabulous cooking classes and you don’t have to travel anywhere to get to it. Other rewards are you get to eat what you cook.
Phuket is probably the last place you’d think of to go ice-skating, but you can do just that! Located at Boat Lagoon, ‘Ice Arena’ is an excellent place to spend a few hours of fun, the young ones will love it too. Take figure skating or hockey lessons if you’re good enough.
What better way to spend a wet afternoon than watching a movie? With 5 large screens, the cinema complex at Jung Ceylon shopping centre in Patong should have something worth watching.
The sofa seats are designed for two, so get the popcorn, cuddle up and enjoy the movie. Afterwards, head to BAKE in Central Patong for a cup of fresh coffee, sourced from the hill tribes in Northern Thailand, and a delicious cake. Don’t forget to take some chocolate truffles home with you!
A visit to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is also an attraction best seen with murky skies as the resident eles absolutely have the time of their lives bathing in the cooler water, you will be mesmerised and with wellington boots on, slushing through a little mud is fun.
Old Phuket Town
Phuket Town’s old quarter is a fascinating place to explore and the rainy season is the best time as it’s nice and cool. Put your raincoat on, take an umbrella and find out more about this tropical island by visiting its historical streets and museums, Chinese shrines and Buddhist temples.
Start at Thalang Road where the old Sino-Portuguese houses have been transformed into an interesting collection of bohemian coffee shops, ice-cream parlours, art galleries, restaurants and souvenir shops.
If it starts raining really hard, duck into family-owned ‘Kopitiam’ for some Phuket soul food or ‘Abdul’s Roti Shop’ for traditional Muslim roti. Try either the banana pancakes or do as the locals do and have roti gaeng gai, a savoury roti served with rich and spicy yellow chicken curry.
Embrace the rain! A downfall in monsoon can be a spectacular scene, and it’s warm here. Find a cosy covered waterfront restaurant and spend a few hours watching the wild sea and sky from a distance.