Indonesia is the foremost surfing destination in Asia with the mega left-hander of G-Land being the top spot, followed by the holiday destination of Bali. Thailand also has good intermediate surfing in Phuket as well as a great nightlife.
Although there are thousands upon thousands of kilometers of coast unexplored by surfing types in Asia, notably Russia and China, the low temperatures here and the hassle of travel make surfing a pain. The general expense with trying to surf in Japan plus the mediocre swells rule this country out and the same goes for South Korea, with the exception of Jungmun beach.
G-Land - Java, Indonesia G-Land (Grajagan) at Plengkung Bay easily has the main surf action in Asia with the longest and fastest left-hand reef-break in the world. Situated on the southeastern tip of the island of Java (west of Bali), G-Land is best surfed in July and August and you must obtain a permit to surf as it lies within a national park.
Kuta Beach - Bali, Indonesia Kuta beach is right up there with Asia’s best surfing owing to the hype. It is Indonesia’s most famous beach with a bustling nightlife and although it gets busy and is relatively expensive, the seasonal surf is really good.
Nias - Sumatra, Indonesia For those into right-handers and barrels, Nias on the island of Sumatra is a must. The western end of Lagundri Bay is the main port of call for the famed right-handers and is best surfed between June and October. In addition one can also find a pretty decent left reef break here.
Lombok Island, Indonesia The top wave on Indonesia’s Lombok Island is Desert Point break on the south-western tip of the island. This huge left-hander is almost as intoxicating as G-Land’s and is also easier to access which makes it all the more popular. Rides are generally long in season and the tubing over shallow coral reef is good.
India Resting against the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal have thousands of kilometers of coastline and much of it has been unexplored by the surfing fraternity. The southern tip of India often sees the biggest swells as does the northwest of the country although low tides and early starts are a must for full wave enjoyment. The main surf spots to look out for are: Kanyakumari, Pondicherry, Vishkapatam, Kovalum and Alibag.
Phuket, Thailand Best for those also looking for some hectic nightlife, Phuket has some pretty good beginner to intermediate surf between April and October, although don’t come here expecting spectacular tubes and barrels. The beaches of Patong, Karon, Kata Yai, and Nai Harn have the best surf and facilities.
Maldives With its numerous atolls and reefs and very clear water the Maldives boast some excellent surfing with a good variety of reef breaks. All levels are catered for in the Maldives; Jailbreaks, Honky’s and Sultans are the most famous. March to October sees the best surf although prices and crowding in the prime months of July and August put a lot of people off.
Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka Arugam Bay, or A-Bay, is one for the experienced surfer in Sri Lanka with good surf quality between April and October and easy access. The good thing about surfing here is the cheapness of it all although Sri Lanka is still going through civil unrest.
Roti - Timor, Indonesia Roti Island is another of Indonesia’s fine surf destinations located in West Timor’s Roti Island. The best surfing in Timor is the left-hander known as T-Land and it never gets as crowded as Bali’s busy beaches. The main problems are the inaccessibility and the smaller swell window.
Hong Kong Hong Kong territory encompasses over 200 islands and the swell here can be pretty good with a few spots having Bali-type barrels and empty waves. Although you will need a wetsuit while surfing in the winter, the northeast monsoon tends to bring in the best swells, while the summer typhoon season between June and August is also worthy. The best known wave in Hong Kong is Big Wave Bay on the main Hong Kong Island and is best done at low-tide sunrises and sunsets.