6 Things To Do in Phuket When it Rains!
Let’s face it, when it rains it pours. But luckily for you, regardless of the time of year you are in Phuket, it usually only comes in short bursts. Sure there are a few days strung together here and there of overall gloom and doom, but most days during the rainy season still have at least some sun. That being said, if you have saved your pennies up for that once in a lifetime trip to Thailand for years and find yourself here during the rainy season, you are going to want some fun alternatives to beach activities if you get a couple rainy days during your visit. Well you’re in luck – here is our list of 6 things to do in Phuket when it rains.
Of all the foreign cuisines out there, few evoke the excited response as much as Thai food does. Ever wanted to know how to make that coconut soup you always order, or what the secret ingredient is in red curry or pad see ew? (Hint, its always fish sauce). There is no better time or place to take a Thai cooking class than in Thailand, especially when it rains. Most Thai cooking schools will offer an afternoon class, usually 4-6 hours long which will allow you to learn various famous Thai dishes and sometimes classes are taken to the local market and taught about all the herbs, spices and vegetables they will be cooking with. Thailand has a wide variety of native ingredients you can only really get in SE Asia, but you will also learn how to substitute them with ingredients you can find at home in your local super market. You will of course also be able to eat all the delicious food you make when you are done, and trust us, you will leave there totally stuffed! Many school will give you a Thai cook book to take home with you so you can try your hand at Pad Thai at home.
We recommend Phuket Thai Cookery, who offer a full day class, trip to the market, 7 course menu, certificate and transportation to and from your hotel for 2,900B (about $95US)
2 – See a Movie
Sounds pretty typical for a rainy day right? Wrong. In Thailand they have taken the movie going experience to a whole new level. Sure you can still go see a movie in a typical western style theater, crammed in tiny seats more uncomfortable than a Southwest flight, or you could live in the lap of luxury in the First Class theater. Usually about $20 per person, the First Class movie experience is not to be missed. Once you have purchased your First Class ticket, you are granted access to the First Lounge up to an hour before showtime, which is a luxury hotel lobby style room with a full bar, red carpet and complimentary drinks and appetizers. Once you have gorged yourself on delicious Asian finger food, you are ushered to your seats – full Lazy Boy style recliners, complete with blankets and a table in the middle topped with an over flowing bowl of popcorn and two huge soft drinks. Waiters politely remove your shoes, unfold your blankets and make sure your popcorn and soda is always full during the entire movie. As long as you don’t fall asleep from total and utter relaxation, this is one hell of a good way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Both major shopping malls in Phuket, Jungcylon in Paton Beach and Central Festival, close to Phuket Town offer the First Class movie experience. In our opinion, Central Festival does it a bit better, but either way it is quite enjoyable. Check out the Phuket Gazette website for movie times before you go as each mall only has one First Class theater so you are stuck with whatever they are showing that day. They rotate movies each Thursday.
3 – Get a Massage
Thailand is famous for many things, and the Thai massage is one of the best of them! Usually for between 200-300baht (about $6) you can get an hour long Thai massage. If you are in Phuket there are two things guarantee – One, you are within spitting distance of a 7-11, and second, you are never far from a Thai massage parlor. Some shy away from them assuming there might be some implied sexual meaning behind a Thai massage outside of a high end resort, and while anything is possible in Thailand, that is not usually the case. In any touristy location around Phuket, you will find endless places to get a message. Don’t want to put yourself through torture for 60 minutes and have plans of walking upright the rest of your holiday? Why don’t you give a fish massage a try instead. Only 100baht for 15-20 minutes, you can sit with your feet in a large glass fish tank and cringe while hundreds of tiny fish eat all the dead skin off your feet. Yes, it is exactly as funny feeling as you would imagine. I have gotten a few fish massages and cannot make it through without laughing hysterically. I will say they do a great job of cleaning your feet, but beyond that it is a fun and unique way to spend 20 minutes if it is raining and you don’t have a beach you’ve got to be at.
4 – Visit the Aquarium
The Phuket Aquarium is a nice little aquarium with a surprising amount of interesting fish and marine wildlife. Stuck out on beautiful Cape Panwa, the aquarium can take some time to get to but it is worth a trip, especially if you have small children. For 100baht each, you are given access to the fairly small maze of different fish tanks and exhibits. There is a very cool tunnel you can walk through totally surrounded by glass so you can watch a large variety of sea life swim around you. When you are done, make sure to follow the path for the Marine Life Rehabilitation Center, which is about a 3 minute walk down a wooded path. Here, you can see many giant sea turtles that have been rescued after being seriously injured in boating related accidents. Some with large gashes in their shells, others missing fins, they are all nursed back to health as best they can be and given a great life if unable to be released back into the wild.
Make sure to get to the aquarium early as they close at 4:30 most afternoons.
5 – Play with Tigers
You’re in Thailand so why not jump in a cage with some tigers? Tiger Kingdom recently opened up a Phuket location and offers you the chance to get into the cage with tigers of all shapes and sizes. Claiming to be a tiger sanctuary, which they did start as, Tiger Kingdom gives tigers who are unable to live in the wild a clean and healthy environment to live in. For a price, you can play with the tinniest of baby tigers or roll around with with largest full grown tigers they have. Quite an experience, its not for everyone, but worth a visit if it is something you are interested in.
If interested, read our complete review and video Playing with Tigers in Thailand.
6 – Wait 10 Minutes
Ahh yes, the best thing to do in Phuket when it is raining – just wait 10 minutes. Most days during the rainy season will surprise you with sudden and surprisingly heavy downpours which can often feel like the end of the world is right around the corner, only to let up minutes later and give way to a beautiful sunny afternoon. The sand might be a little wet and the clouds still hanging low but its a small price to pay during a trip to Thailand, and those clouds can make way for some absolutely stunning sunsets. The rain also cools everything down quite a bit and adds a nice breeze which is never a bad thing. Just make sure to cover up with bug spray in the late afternoon and evenings, no one wants to get Dengue fever and end up in the ER like I did on my birthday this year!
Well there you have it! 6 things to do in Phuket when it rains. Hopefully this list provides a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy if it happens to rain while you are visiting Phuket, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed you get sunny days and beautiful nights during your holidays. Cheers!
For more Thailand travel ideas, also check out Travelogx.com/thailand
Jeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to forget them all.
A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh.
Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at email@example.com and they’ll respond super fast!