Nai Yang gets its fair share of split peaks alongside the stretch of its delicate, white sand beach. It requires a good amount of energy coming up from the southwest. Because of it’s location at the upper northwest region of Phuket, it tends to receive more of the southwest energy that bypasses the tip of North Sumatra.
Wind direction is critical due to Nai Yang’s exposure and sensitivity to winds. An easterly wind is required for clean, high quality, surfable conditions.
A ten minute walk up the beach towards the airport and past a small river mouth is where you’ll also find a coral reef break in the distance, located almost 200 meters (656 feet) offshore. Yeah, it’s a good 10-15 minutes to paddle out.
The reef break is positioned within the area of Sirinat National Park, very close to Phuket International Airport. Nai Yang Reef is also known as “Airport Reef” due to its close proximity to the airport…that makes sense, right? The reef break offers several different take off spots depending on the swell and wind directions. It’s one of the only spots on the island that can receive groundswells throughout the entire year. When most of the southern beaches are flat, check Nai Yang for a chance of finding waves.
Nai Yang is a favorite spot for locals and it’s super chill. A dirt road leads you to the beach where you can park your car within a visible range from where you’d like to set up your beach towel. There is plenty of shade here thanks to the various species of tall trees lining the coast.
In the northern section of this stretched out coast is Sirinat National Park, a marine park known for its preserved white sand beaches. This area of the beach is as tranquil as it gets and is a cherished site for locals to enjoy having peaceful family picnics. Four different beaches conjoin to make up the 13 km long coastline that’s also lined with various types of tree species.
Tourists are asked to pay a small admission fee to enter the park.
Beach tent camping is permitted and bungalows may also be rented within the park. Bathrooms and shower facilities are available too. BBQs and beachside bonfires are permitted making this a must do activity for adventurists. Stop by the Visitor’s Center in the park to make arrangements or reserve ahead by visiting the National Park of Thailand Online Reservation website here.
If you’re just visiting for the day and don’t mind taking a pleasurable walk up along one of the most beautiful settings on the island, you can park your vehicle outside the park along the open beachside parking area (please watch out for the local dogs who like to dig out a comfortable area in the dirt and lie down in an attempt to cool themselves off).
Unless you’re staying in the northern region of Phuket, Nai Yang can be a bit of a trek. But you’ll find plenty of restaurants, beach massage services, and everything else you need…minus the crowds, which makes it a terrific spot for an adventurous day trip. Phuket International Airport (HKT) is a about a 5 minute drive north from here. In fact, as you sit in the lineup, you’ll have a mesmerizing view of massive airliners descending onto the 3,000 meter long strip of asphalt as it barely clears the sands and sea of Hat Mai Khao beach, Phuket’s longest beach.
Medium to high
Best Swell Direction:
SW, W, NW
Nai Yang: sandy beach
Nai Yang Reef: coral reef/rock
Intermediate to advanced
May to October; can get waves all year round
Nai Yang: Park along the dirt road in front of the beach
Nai Yang Reef: Park inside Sirinat National Park (small entrance fee); or park outside of the park south of the entrance and walk north to the break
Paddle Out Power:
Nai Yang Beach: 1/10
Nai Yang Reef: 8/10 (1=easy peasy; 10=feels like paddling on a treadmill)
(1=clean; 10=dingleberries in the lineup)
Nai Yang Reef: shallow coral/reef rock bottom; long paddle out (about 15-20 minutes)