Ngapali Beach

NGAPALI BEACH WITH ITS turquoise water, white sand and unspoiled stretch of coastline is hailed as one of the world’s most stunning beaches. Tucked away in the western part of Myanmar, you can reach it by land or by air. The peaceful beach of Ngapali is isolated from the rest of the country by mountain ranges and offers a charming vibe of nearby fishing villages. Ngapali is either the perfect place to cap off your holiday in the country or simply a stand-alone beach holiday. You can either lie on the beach and enjoy your mojito while adoring the palm-lined beach and the blue skies, or go island hopping and snorkelling, or simply enjoy swimming in the crystal clear waters. If you feel like being adventurous, you can head to Gyeiktaw, the picturesque local fishing village, and feast your eyes on the colorful fishing boats and the vibrant atmosphere. Last but not least, Ngapali Beach is a place of one of the most magical sunsets that you would ever experience. Tourists and locals alike start flocking to the beach during the golden hour to witness the glorious scene before retiring to either an authentic Burmese massage or fresh local seafood. Best to be visited from October to May.

Ngapali Beach is hailed as one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. Situated in the western part of Myanmar with its white sand, turquoise water and a pure stretch of coastline, it can be reached by air or by land. Ngapali's quiet beach is secluded from the rest of the nation by mountain ranges and provides an appealing vibe of close by fishing villages.

Ngapali is either the ideal place to finish your vacation in the country or just a stand-alone beach holiday. You may choose to stretch out on the beach and take pleasure in your mojito while admiring the blue skies and the palm-lined beach, or travel from one island to another and snorkel, or just enjoy a swim in the completely transparent waters. If you're feeling adventurous, by all means, head to Gyeiktaw, the quaint local fishing village, and enjoy the view of the multi-coloured fishing boats and the lively ambience.

Finally, the beach of Ngapali is where you can experience one of the most magical sunsets ever. Both holiday-makers and residents start gathering at the beach in the golden hour to view the magnificent sight before ending it with either a fresh local seafood or a genuine Burmese massage. The best period to visit is between October and May.  

The beach

“Ngapali” is used rather loosely as a general term to cover a number of former fishing villages currently almost joined into a long chain of resorts and hotels. At the north end of the beach, the part in the region of the airport is the abode of a growing number of big resorts, while on the south, the communities of Mya Pyin (aka “Myabin”) and Lin Thar are the places you will find the majority of other hotels in Ngapali. South of Mya Pyin (immediately after the Pleasant View Resort), the bigger village of Gyeiktaw (aka Jade Taw) continues to be unwaveringly local, with many little-thatched huts made of wood and an omnipresent odour of seafood being dried - there is a bubbly fish market here and the best time to visit is early in the morning between 6 am and 7 am. The village on the south after that is Lon Tha. A little hilltop place of worship here provides excellent views over the area - you can arrange for guides to take you for a walk at the Silver full restaurant. There are no many distractions from the beach here, though there are some water-based activities and tours available. If you are in the mood for something more cultural, explore Htein Lin Thar Art Gallery and Ngapali Art Gallery (ngapaliartgallery.com), next door to each other at the northern end of Lin Thar village.

Tours to Thandwe

About 10km inwards from Ngapali, the town of Thandwe offers a modest but pleasant reminder of Burmese life away from the beach - and sees several guests from the resorts in search of a piece of the “real” Myanmar. Thandwe's history is quite long. Minbin himself was the governor here for ten years before launching his bid for power, whereas the British (who called it Sandoway) set up a garrison here. Presently, it is the biggest town in southern Rakhine, though there is now a place here for strangers to stay, and the food is restricted to the typical noodle and curry stalls about the market.

Another worthy site to look at is the Thandwe's extremely impressive market, strangely domiciled in the old colonial jail and there are also three rhyming temples, each alleged to preserve a bodily part of the Buddha. A little over 1.5km north-west of the market, the Nandaw Paya is believed to have one of Buddha's ribs, while to the east of the market the Andaw Paya a tooth and the Sandaw Paya has a hair.
 

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