Due to a lack of development, Myanmar still offers unspoiled, wide beaches with fine sand and clean water. Fishing villages are beside the few resorts. The entertainment usual in other countries does not exist here yet. A great place for long beach walks, reading books and swimming in the ocean. There are a few beautiful resorts that well fit into the surrounding. At all the beaches, seafood can be enjoyed at very moderate cost.
Please dress appropriate at the beaches; local people would often even not wear a normal swimming suite, but rather pants and T-Shirt when swimming.
THANDWE / SANDOWAY (NGAPALI BEACH)
Thandwe beach is situated 30 minutes drive from Thandwe town and can be reached conveniently by plane. The name Ngapali probably derives from an Italian who was reminded of Naples. White sand, blue sky and blue sea will astonish you. The main beach is 2 miles long. On the southern part of the beach there is a fishing village. A few beautiful resorts offer high-quality accommodation. Ngapali is the most popular beach in Myanmar.
NGWE SAUNG BEACH
Ngwe Saung beach is situated to the West of Pathein (Bassein). It is a 5 hours drive from Yangon to the 9 mile long white beach with crystal clear water. The road to Ngwe Saung in the meantime is all the way through concrete. This beach was recently developed and can compare with Ngapali beach. Nice beach resorts invite.
Scuba diving is offered by one of the resorts. At most times of the year, there are only few tourists around. The up-market beach resorts are a bit cheaper than comparable resorts in Ngapali.
Most of the better Resorts are relative close to Ngwe Saung villages, where there are by now a number of restaurants etc.. Ngwe Saung is however not a typical fishing village.
Shortly before Ngwe Saung, there is an elephant camp.
Disturbing the otherwise very quiet surrounding are some Jet Ski and motorbikes on the beach.
If there is enough demand, there may be flights from upcountry (from Heho) to Pathein.
A visit to Ngwe Saung could formerly be combined with a journey on the “Delta Queen”, a boat from Yangon to Pathein. The Delta Queen does not operate anymore from middle of 2007!
Also Chaungtha (Chaung Tha) beach is situated to the West of Pathein (Bassein), further north from Ngwe Saung. It is also a 5 hours drive from Yangon to Chaung Tha beach, which rather caters for the new Yangon middle class and backpackers. Especially on the weekends, expect many local people coming in big groups, not always staying as quiet as some foreigners would wish.
Kanthaya Beach is a very shallow, 4.5 km long beach and situated 100 km to the south of Ngapali Beach. The sand here is not white.
It is a possible to drive from Ngapali to Yangon along the west coast and stop over at Kanthaya. It however is a very long and uncomfortable drive.
Around 7 km north of Kanthaya is a small, shallow and lovely bay called Maw Shwe Chaing. There is a private Hotel called Maw Shwe Chaing with ten bungalows. There is a fishing and trading village about 2 km from the bay.
It is an ideal place for people who would like to get away from tourists and can do without comfort. Advance bookings are not possible.
Located just south of Yangon across Yangon River, Letkhokkon beach is certainly not tempting for swimming due to mud. It is however idyllic and little visited. There was previously a low standard hotel which was closed however.
80 km south from Mawlamyaing and therefore around 10 hours drive from Yangon. Setse beach itself is wide, but the water is not clear, the beach not well kept. There is very basic accommodation.