Phuket’s most southern surf spot will make any goofy footer rejoice and give thanks to Mother Nature when conditions are ideal here. The preferable SW ground swell (though somewhat rare) can produce a left-handed aquamarine colored wall at the southern end of the small and uncrowded picturesque bay.
The left hander develops from a series of factors that is characteristic of Phuket’s southwest monsoon. The wave can get pretty fast and even offer you a chance to sit in the green room when it’s pumping. As significant rainfall occurs, water level rises in nearby Nai Harn Lake, located just east of the beach. It creates a stream that empties out into the sea creating a left hand sandbar that is perfectly set up for incoming southwest swells. These waves bounce off the southern headland offering a clean lined up face to race down. The main factor will be the wind conditions. Onshore winds are enough create poor and unsurfable conditions for surfing Nai Harn beach.
Nai Harn also has something for regular footers who prefer to shred frontside. An A-frame peak in the middle of the beach will show when long period southwest ground swells and offshore winds are prevalent.
Beware of a big rock, which is semi-hidden in the southern section of the beach.
Nai Harn ranks #1 for the Top 10 Beaches in Thailand on TripAdvisor’s 2017 Traveler’s Choice awards and is one of Phuket’s top attraction.
Samnak Song Nai Harn Buddhist Monastery, or “Samnak Song” for short, occupies most of the land along this southern tip of Phuket. It’s the reason why the beachside surroundings are relatively undeveloped with only two hotels along the beach. One is perched up along the northern headland of the bay, and the other is tucked back into the lush green hills that wrap around the beach. Less hotels = less people in this area making it a good choice for some peaceful tranquility.
Typical Thai food stalls, cafes, and ready and willing Thai masseuses line a sea view street that’s heavily shaded. Everything you need is here without the crowds. With the ex-pat friendly low key town of Rawai close by, you don’t need to go very far to experience the magnificence of Thai culture.
Nai Harn lake, which historically was once a tin mine, is now a great place for local fitness enthusiasts to jog, walk, or leisurely stroll around. Adjacent to the lake is a newly built (and freeee!) outdoor fitness gym that contributes to this pro-active, healthy community. Why not burn off some calories after a night of devouring delicious Thai food and downing ice cold Leo beers?!
Wake up bright and early to witness and appreciate the Buddhist philosophy as you observe local villagers and monks practice their daily rituals and beliefs at Samnak Song, located right in front of the lake and behind Nai Harn Beach. Remember to dress appropriately and be mindful of their cultural beliefs.
Medium to high
Best Swell Direction:
Intermediate to advanced
May to October
Park in dirt lots in front of the beach
Paddle Out Power:
5/10 (1=easy peasy; 10=feels like paddling on a treadmill)
(1=clean; 10=dingleberries in the lineup)
Strong rip currents; three semi-hidden rocks on south side; occasional floating logs; local dogs marking their territory on stuff you leave on the beach