Visit Asia’s Most Beautiful Beach in Myanmar
Did you know that Myanmar has Asia’s third best beach? Did you also know that its over seven kilometres long? If you’ve been looking for an exotic beach holiday, then look no further than the exclusive Ngapali Beach on the west coast of Myanmar.
In this blog post, you’ll find everything you need to know to plan a visit to Ngapali beach, including details on where to stay in Ngapali, where to eat and even things to do in Ngapali. Also find information on how to reach Ngapali from Yangon and other cities in Myanmar.
White sand beach and heavenly turquoise blue water
Ah, there’s just no other way to say it – Ngapali beach is the most beautiful beach we’ve seen in our lives! What makes this beach even more impressive is how long it is at 7.5 kilometres! Imagine this never ending streak of white and blue, and the coconut palm fringe – thats what Ngapali beach looks like.
When to visit Ngapali: Ngapali has great weather all year round except between June and September, when most resorts and hotels are closed for renovation and the very turbulent monsoon. The best months are December and January.
Thanks to the coral reefs around the beach, the waves are quite calm and it is safe to swim and play in the sea. The coconut palm lining along Ngapali beach has some great spots to relax in, especially when it gets very hot during mid day.
Tip: Buy fresh tender coconut water from the locals on the beach for MMK 1,500 (about one USD) – they are huge coconuts with the sweetest water!
Take a walk in the early morning or late afternoons
The beach is very flat and you’ll love taking a stroll on the beach! There are many visitors who enjoy their early morning jogs or their evening walks on this long stretch of sand. Besides, the number of visitors to the beach is very low. In fact, when the tide is low, many locals ride their bicycles along the beach too.
Tip: The best hotels and resorts on the Southern coast are listed here
Take a fisherman’s boat to the nearby coral island
Just a few hundred metres from the beach is an uninhabited island where you can find interesting diving and snorkelling spots. During winter and summer, visit the beach shack on the island’s natural sand bank.
We chose to snorkel at the island in the morning. Although there were very few live coral reefs, we still got to swim with many fishes. A four hour snorkelling session can be as cheap as MMK 20,000 (USD 12 or INR 980) including the boat service and the snorkelling equipment!
Tip: Find your stay near the island here
Take a nap under the trees or get a traditional Ngapali massage
The afternoon heat is tough and therefore, the best way to enjoy Ngapali Beach during those few hours, is to just relax in the shade of the seaside foliage. In some parts of the beach, its very easy to spot a massage parlour. Although many different tyoes of massages are offered, the best one is the traditional Ngapali full body massage. We couldn’t decide which was better: the therapeutic effect of the massage or the beautiful view of the ocean while being massaged!
Tip: The massages cost only USD 10 (INR 700) for 60 minutes, so don’t hesitate to tip the therapist for their good work!
Enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Bay of Bengal
Considering how expansive the Ngapali beach is, everyday sunsets look so stunning! Its those surreal hues in the sky, the warmth in the waves, the cold breeze blowing gently that come together and bedazzle any sunset-lover.
Our favourite spot to see the sunset was on a leaning Coconut tree.
Explore the villages in Ngapali Beach
If you like exploring local cultures and meeting the local people, rent a bicycle and ride along the main boulevard of Ngapali. The road terminates at the Thandwe Airport, which is 10 kms from the southern most point of Ngapali.
Along the way, visit some of the Pagodas and Cafés, or just admire the calm village atmosphere. Tuktuks are also a great way to see the villages.
Tip: Bicycles are generally free to rent or less than MMK 5,000 and most hotels/guesthouses provide bicycles
Eat at the local restaurants and coffee houses
Seafood is very popular in Ngapali and the fresh catch of the day is proudly displayed in most restaurants! The prices are very wallet friendly and cheap. If you are looking for other options, Pizza, Burgers and Pasta are available in most cafés too!
The spicy mixed vegetable curry is another authentic dish you must try. We liked it most at the Taste Restaurant across the street from the Kyaw Myanmar hotel. Also try Jones Pizza on the same street!
How to travel to Ngapali
Getting to Ngapali is usually considered very expensive due to how remote it is from other tourist cities in Myanmar (which makes it all the more worthwhile to visit)
Air (expensive): The best option is to take a flight to Thandwe and a cab ride to Ngapali Beach. A flight from Yangon to Ngapali costs USD 75 (same price for a Heho to Ngapali flight). If you want to fly from Bagan to Ngapali, it costs USD 110.
Bus (cheap): Take an overnight bus from Yangon to Ngapali, which costs USD 13 (INR 910) one way. The route is scenic and it takes 16 hours. Bus from Bagan to Ngapali through Pyay costs over USD 16.
Tip: If you are short on time, fly from Bagan to Thandwe and take the overnight bus to Yangon. Local flight and bus tickets can be purchased here
Where to stay in Ngapali
Ngapali has many beachfront resorts and hotels along the 7.5 km stretch. The best places are in the south beach and you can find 5 star hotels too. We stayed at the Kyaw Myanmar Guesthouse. Here are a few curated stays based on budget.
See all resorts and hotels for your stay here