Surfing in Thailand: A Nomad’s Guide
Thailand, often overlooked as a surfing destination in favor of places like Bali or the Philippines, actually offers some unique surfing experiences. While it may not boast world-class waves, it provides beginner-friendly waves, easy-going beach breaks, and uncrowded surfing spots that can make your Thai adventure memorable.
Surfing in Thailand:
Contrary to popular belief, there is surfing in Thailand. While it may not be world-class, it offers beginner-friendly waves and less crowded spots. The best surfing locations are along the Andaman side on the southwesterly coast. There’s also some surf in the Gulf of Thailand, but the waves are generally smaller and less consistent.
Best Surfing Spots:
- Phuket: Known as the main hub of surfing in Thailand, Phuket offers a reliable wave season, numerous beaches, and a thriving community. Popular spots include Kata Beach, Kata Noi, Bang Tao Beach, Pansea Beach, Surin, Patong, and Nai Harn.
- Khao Lak: Located 60 km north of Phuket, Khao Lak offers a mix of reef, point, and beach breaks. Popular beaches include Na Nan, Thai Muang, Nang Thong, Bang Niang, and Long Beach.
- Koh Lanta: Klong Dao Beach is the primary surfing spot in Koh Lanta, offering waves suitable for beginners.
- Koh Phayam: Located off the coast of Ranong, Koh Phayam offers waves during the early ‘winter’ months. Ao Yai is the main surfing spot.
- Koh Kradan: Known for having some of the biggest waves in Thailand, Koh Kradan is suitable for experienced surfers.
- Hua Hin: A good destination during the winter months, Hua Hin offers waves at Khao Takiab Beach.
- Rayong: Growing in popularity, Rayong offers beginner-friendly waves at Mae Ram Phueng Beach.
- Chanthaburi: Located close to Bangkok, Chanthaburi offers waves at beaches like Kung Wiman and Chao Lao.
- Koh Phangan: Offers waves at spots like Ban Tai, Chaloklum, and Haad Rin during December and February.
- Koh Samui: Chaweng beach is the primary surfing spot in Koh Samui, offering waves suitable for beginners and intermediates.
The primary surfing season in Thailand is during the southwest monsoon, which runs from April to October. However, some areas, especially those facing the Gulf of Thailand, have a different season influenced by the northeast winter monsoon.