Sunday, 25 February 2018


women1Blessed with a 2,229 kilometre tropical coastline, Myanmar boasts some of the finest beaches in all of Asia. Listed here are Myanmar’s three most popular and accessible beach resorts, places where you can relax and unwind after exploring the country. All of these beaches face west, so stunning sunset views come as part of the package, and the seafood? It’s some of the best you’ll ever taste. We have also included details of Asia’s undiscovered gem – the Myeik Archipelago. Paradise does exist.

Ngapali Beach.

newngapali1Located on the Rakhaing coast, Ngapali is the most beautiful and accessible beach resort in Myanmar. Ngapali’s palm-fringed, white sand crescent beach stretches for more than three kilometres along the coast, and even during Christmas – peak season, it’s never crowded. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind.

The handful of comfortable hotels and resorts are evenly spaced along the quiet, single-lane access road, between the villages of Linthar and Jade Taw. The road is dotted with seafood restaurants that serve up the best of that day’s catch and the small nearby golf course is the only other development. A walk to one of the villages, especially the interesting fishing village of Jade Taw is a great way to build up your appetite for the evening feast that awaits you.

Most visitors just enjoy their resort, relaxing on the beach or by the pool – this is a great place to do nothing at all. There are distractions though. We really like the local, teak-built town of Thandwe – a real step back in time, surrounded by pagoda-capped hills. You can snorkel off Pearl Island and beach-comb for shells on Pirate Beach, a full day trip along the coast to the south. I must admit though, the last time we visited, we just swam, sunbathed and watched the gorgeous Bay of Bengal sunsets from under the swaying palms.

Mr Myanmar Travel offers a selection of fine hotels in Ngapali Beach ranging from beachfront three star, to luxurious five star standard. Access to Ngapali Beach is by air; flights are available from Yangon, Sittwe (for Mrauk U), Heho (for Inle Lake) and Bagan. Most visitors to Myanmar add a stay at Ngapali Beach onto the end of their tour. A recommended route to take in all ‘Big Four’ attractions would be: Yangon – Mandalay – Bagan – Inle Lake – Ngapali Beach – Yangon. The most popular resorts here do tend to fill during peak months so advance booking is recommended.

Ngwe Saung Beach.

newngweLocated six hours drive west of Yangon, Ngwe Saung (‘Silver Beach’) is a seemingly endless stretch of beautiful sand facing the Bay of Bengal. The beach does actually end, it’s nine miles long (14.5km) long but most visitors do not even try to see it all. This is a place to find your own little piece of palm-fringed paradise, sit back and watch the days drift by.

If you do decide to pull yourself away from your pool and stretch your legs, we recommend you hire a bike and set off along the tracks into the countryside. The small villages here are unused to visitors and the smiles and waves are genuine. There are other very enjoyable excursions on offer here as well. Just visible on the horizon from the beach is Bird Island, a popular destination for snorkelling and bird watching. Boats can be hired from your hotel for the journey across the clear bay waters.

It is also possible to visit a small elephant camp; elephant rides take you on half-hour rides through the forest and you can learn about the lives of the ‘Oozie’, or elephant handlers. Pathein, the capital of the Ayeyarwady Delta is an easy day trip too. This is a place to watch the comings and goings of the river ferries and cargo boats and shop for colourful and beautiful parasols – the local speciality.

... And we almost forgot the seafood. If you like seafood, you’ll love Ngwe Saung. Don’t be afraid to leave your hotel and try some of the small restaurants – some get rave reviews. And if you want your fish really fresh, why not try and catch it yourself? Boats and tackle can be hired for a fishing trip out into the Bay of Bengal; if you’re lucky enough to catch anything you can ask a local restaurant to cook it for you for a reasonable charge.

Mr Myanmar Travel can arrange your accommodation and transfers to Ngwe Saung from Yangon. Accommodation ranges from good value 3 star hotels up to beautiful deluxe properties.

Chaungtha Beach.

newchaungAlso around a six hour drive from Yangon, Chaung Tha Beach is the getaway of choice for most middle class Yangon citizens and is probably the most visited beach resort in the country. This is a beach for relaxing and socialising, picnicking and people-watching .The beach is served by a selection of mainly mid-range hotels which are strung out along the beach road. The hotels feature rooms in beach bungalows, the best of which hide amongst the palm trees facing the beach and the sea.

Reflecting its popularity with Myanmar tourists, this is the best value-for-money beach resort in the country. As usual in Myanmar, there is excellent seafood to be had at very reasonable prices and there are many attractions other than the beach to keep you occupied. Boats can be hired to take you upriver to an estuarine mangrove forest or along the coast to isolated white-sand beaches and offshore islands where you can swim and snorkel. Local fishing communities are worth visiting as is the morning market. Also, 25 miles east is the interesting delta city of Pathein – well worth a day trip.

Mr Myanmar Travel can arrange accommodation and transport to Chaungtha from Yangon.

Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago.

myeikThe Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago, in the far south of Myanmar consists of over 800 pristine, jungle-clad islands scattered across the Andaman Sea. This is an unspoilt natural wonderland with crystal –clear waters, coral gardens, deserted silver-white beaches and rich marine and wildlife. The islands are virtually uninhabited, though they are home to the Moken; known as the ‘Sea Gypsies’.

The islands and resorts across the border in Thailand see literally millions of tourists each and every year. By comparison, the entire Myeik Archipelago boasts ... One island resort! Just one. The Myeik Archipelago is what the islands of Thailand looked like before the first tourists arrived; before the development of hundreds of hotels and resorts changed the area forever. The Myanmar Andaman Resort is a small and exclusive property. You can laze away the days on the beach, or embark on your own mini-adventure. Bushwalking, bird watching, kayaking, snorkelling and diving are all possible from here. This is a true escape from the world.

In addition to beach holidays at the Myanmar Andaman Resort, Mr Myanmar Travel can also arrange diving and island-hopping adventures using live-aboard boats based in Kawthoung and Myeik. These amazing trips visit deserted islands and secret dive spots that see almost no visitors at all, including the magnificent ASEAN Heritage site of Lampi Island National Park. Please see the ‘Adventures’ section of our website for details.

The beaches and islands of the stunning Myeik Archipelago are accessible by flight from Yangon. Flights depart at least twice weekly on the following route: Yangon – Dawei – Myeik – Kawthoung. It is also possible to enter or leave Myanmar via the border town of Kawthaung to / from the Thai town of Ranong. Regular, comfortable buses connect Ranong to Bangkok and Phuket . The Myanmar Andaman Resort, the only island resort in the archipelago is accessible from Kawthoung by resort speedboat. Depending on the time of year the resort has a minimum stay of 3 or 4 nights.

Mr Myanmar Travel can arrange your flights, accommodation, transfers and border entry/departure permits for you. We need some time to arrange the border permit so please try not to make a booking involving a border crossing too close to your proposed departure date.


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