At the end of a trip around Myanmar perfect Ngapali beach in Rakhine State is a last, relaxing highlight.
Palm trees and white sand, small fishing villages and tropical hinterland are worth a few days before leaving this amazing country.
Stay: There are many resorts right at the beach and small accommodations at Gyeiktaw main street. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose, but if you want to be closer to the local Myapyu village stay in the southern part, around the little mermaid statue. We stayed in the lovely and new Pristine Mermaid Resort, which is a luxury but laid-back resort. It’s perfectly situated, has a large pool and pretty bungalows.
Do: The main activity in Ngapali is simply lying at the beach and swimming in the clear blue sea. A very interesting spectacle takes place every morning at the crack of dawn around the southern part of the beach when the fishermen of Myapyu village bring in the catch. It’s mostly small fish that the women then spread out on huge nets on the sand to let it dry in the sun.
You can’t miss the epic sunset every night. The sun disappears right behind the sea and the equally bright moon takes its place. Also, once a month the locals celebrate the full moon on the beach.
Many hotels offer to drive you to Pearl Island, a small island close to the beach. But there isn’t a lot to do here really, except lying in the sand and the main Ngapali beach is much nicer.
Rent a bicycle or E-bike and take a small trip around Lontha and Gyeiktwa village and the amazing standing Buddha statue. The villages are located on the very southern tip of the area. In the small sandy streets around the water locals dry fish in front of their houses, repair their boats or sell coconuts and fruits. Drive up a very steep and sandy path to the bright Buddha statue and temple. From here you have an amazing view of the sea and the palm tree covered bay.
Or take another excursion to the small town Thandwe, with an E-bike it takes about twenty minutes to get there. Explore the nice market in the middle of town and the surrounding shops.
Eat: It’s great to sit right on the beach and enjoy grilled fish, simple rice dishes or seafood curries. You can’t miss the huts and simple restaurants in the northern part of the beach. Go to Green Umbrella, Blue Skies or any restaurant in between. You find a lot of friendly, cosy restaurant right across the big hotels on Gyeiktwa main road, for example the nice Two Brothers restaurant.
Getting around: It’s hard to reach Ngapali other than by plane. There are buses from Yangon but no direct connections and they take a long time. The small Thandwe airport is located only ten minutes away from the main beach area at the northern end of the Ngapali coast. You can reach most places simply by walking along the white beach. For small trips rent a bike or E-bike at one of the small shops around Gyeiktaw main road.