Myanmar is well-known as one of the most mysterious and undiscovered destinations all over the world. Myanmar attracts travelers by a golden land with ancient temples and unique architecture. Also, it is a great destination for those who love unspoiled silvery beaches; where the blue sea merges into an eternal embrace with blue sky and amazing sunset. Have you ever dreamed of traveling to truly pristine beaches? It is a place where beaches are covered in smooth white sand and running alongside local villages. It is a place where the sea from a distance is the color of sapphire but when you dive in its so clear of water you can see the incredible diversity of underwater creatures. In that case, Myanmar beaches are the ideal destinations for you.
With 2,000km of coastline and much of it long stretches of white sand, Myanmar offers many unspoiled and undiscovered beaches. The best time to visit Myanmar beaches is December through April with sunny days, warm temperatures (30-32 degrees Celsius) and blue sky. By spring, the water is warm. The most important thing to remember about the Myanmar beach scene is that resorts close down during the monsoon season. It is from May to October in preparation for the high winds and heavy rainfall that batter the coast annually.
Here are the top four of the best beaches in Myanmar to visit:
Ngapali beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Myanmar. Located at the Bay of Bengal, the beautiful beach stretches about 3km which processes the natural scenic beauty of the blue sea, white sand, lovely sun, and romantic coconut palms. The best and quickest way to Ngapali from Yangon is by plane. Each direct flight will take about 50 minutes, then you will need 20 minutes more to get to Ngapali beach from Thandwe airport.
Many local people say that Ngapali is named by a wayward Italian reminiscing about Naples years ago. This young Italian traveler lived for awhile along this beach. He fell in love with the sand and the sea reminding him of his home in Naples. Most probably over the years Naples and the local pronunciation of its Burmese name meaning “inveigling Fish” became known as Ngapali.
Ngapali Beach Myanmar is an ideal choice for a beach lover’s dream. In addition to swimming, walking, exploring the surrounding natural landscape, you can immerse yourself in excursions. There are many things to do in Ngapali beach such as visiting small fishing villages and local markets; exploring the countryside by car; even a boat trip to the magnificent islands of the sea if your wallet is plentiful; studying the life of local people. After sunset, the sea in front of the beach is lit by the lanterns of the fishermen’s boats.
Until now, Ngapali still continues to maintain a charming fishing-village vibe, as evidenced by the small boats heading out day and night to catch a bounty that is later served up super fresh in restaurants and hotels. Ox-drawn carts amble along the beach as locals find the sand-ways a smoother ride than the rough one-lane road. Ngapali is currently experiencing something of a construction boom, fewer than two dozen bungalow-style resorts spread across more than 15 miles of the coast. However, there is still a lot of space on the beach.
Especially, Ngapali Beach also offers the best seafood cuisine in Myanmar. Almost all the restaurants are seafood restaurants, but they also serve dishes that come from other countries such as Thai, China and Western countries. On the beach-side of the main road are the resorts’ restaurants and on the other side, you will find somewhat cheaper local restaurants. Prices are affordable, even in the resorts.
Ngwe Saung Beach
Ngwe Saung Beach is about 48 km from Pathein, the capital town of Ayeyarwaddy region, about 254km from Yangon. It is on the western seaboard of the country, facing the Bay of Bengal. There are 35-minute flights from Yangon. If you are budget travelers, let take a 6-hour bus ride to get to Ngwe Saung beach. However, a standard express bus is a better option because a cheaper bus will be stopped anywhere to take more customers.
The magnificent landscaping fringed with palm trees, and the endless white sandy beaches, transparent seawater, pretty islands nearby make Ngwe Saung an irresistible attraction for beach lovers. The turquoise and clean seawater with no dangerous animals and gentle waves is the best place for swimming, surfing, swimming, and enjoying the sun. It is also home to a special collection of oil wells, your travel hobby won’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Besides, you can go around the small fishing villages and local markets, explore the countryside by bike or enjoy a boat ride to the amazing islands. The tradition of riding a Bullock cart, riding a horse, cycling or simply walking along the coast will give you exciting memories to follow for a lifetime. Fresh coconut juice will make you completely relax here.
The best time to visit Ngwe Saung is from November to February; as this is outside the monsoon period and the weather is usually dry. The busiest month for tourism is in January, followed by July and February. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months; though you can save if you purchase well in advance.
Chaung Tha Beach
Chaung Tha beach is located only 246km north-west of Yangon, only 5-hour drive via Pathein. The beach is still a secret to foreigners but a very popular place for locals, especially on the weekends and holidays since it is suitable for middle-class families in urban areas. It is a good place to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. There are many bungalow resorts and hotels along the beachfront with standard facilities. The beach is well–developed and the service here is also more professional.
A major attraction is a small pagoda built on a limestone boulder at the southern end of the beach. Nearby fishing villages and tidal mangrove forests are also popular among travelers.
Chaung Tha is where locals head when they want to relax. There are many things to do such as paddling in the water, floating about on rubber rings, plodding up and down on ponies, wasting money on tacky souvenirs, boisterous beach football games, happy family picnics and setting off Chinese fireworks in the evening. Those who find the atmosphere of cities stifling, the pressures of work stressful and the responsibilities of modern life becoming burdensome, may shed their manifold worries for a while by visiting and enjoying a restful holiday interlude at Chaung Tha. If you need to squeeze some sand and sun into your visit to Myanmar, Chaung Tha is a relatively convenient and affordable option.
Located in the south of Ngapali beach, but Kanthaya is lesser-known. It is the unspoiled beach with many offshore islands and reefs to explore. Kanthaya means “Pleasant” in Burmese. This beach is shallow and 4.5-km long. Kanthaya beach will get you to a private space to escape the noise of the city. Unlike the white sandy beach of Ngapali, the sand here is golden and a bit gritty. On the beach, there are no services for sports games or shops but perhaps that is the most attractive point of Kanthaya. You can walk along the coast, climb small hills, watch birds and talk to local fishermen. Even though there are not many things to do, you will enjoy the completely quiet moments of natural sites and tranquil retreat in a few days.
Among that, there are many types of tropical birds spotted from the beach or the mouth-watering range of local seafood being hauled from boats by local fishermen. Also, you can see the oriental style of the local huts and houses with their hand-woven mat walls. Besides, talking with the local fishermen is definitely an exciting experience. They are simple and honest, to one of the small islands off of the shore. Kanthaya beach is a true hideaway from modern civilization.
Suggested Myanmar tours
Don’t be surprised that the Burmese people can wear jeans when swimming, also wear shorts, pajamas, but definitely not bikinis. The standard of the holiday costume on Myanmar beaches is a jean and T-shirt. Not kidding, that is true!
Have a wonderful beach holiday!
Nam Lucas – Travel Specialist