Myanmar & Thailand share the same coast line. So to many travelers its obvious to include a few days chilling by the Andaman Sea – especially if you have traveled along the Thai West Coast and experienced how beautiful an Asian beach can be.
Myanmar has 5 beaches: Ngapali Beach (A) in the North, Chaung Thar (B) & Ngwe Saung (C) west from Yangon, Setse Beach (D) south from Mawlamyine, and the Myeik Archipelago (E) to the south.
Except for Myeik where you still need permission and a MTT guide (250,- US per person per day) we have been to them all.
We LOVE them – Ngwe Saung Beach is our favorite and one of the best in the world.
Still we often recommend people who wants a few days at the beach to combine their Myanmar holiday with a few days at the Thai coast. It is much cheaper, the beaches are far easier to reach and to most travelers the beaches are much better for them.
No jetskis, no clubs, just chill… Well actually the place could do with one good bar that everybody could go to, that wouldn’t hurt. but other than that, its a fantastic place.
Review on Trip Advisor of Ngapali Beach, 15 December 2013
This review pretty much nail ‘the problems’ with all the beaches in Myanmar. They are fantastic – the sand is whiter than white, the water is turquoise and clean and no matter where you look the view is stunning.
But to a lot of travelers the beach it self is not enough. Experienced Thailand Travelers often find the beaches over hyped.
The problem with the beaches are that there’s absolutely NOTHING you can do if you don’t like to read, dive and make love.
As it says in the review – there are no Jetskies, para gliding and all the other lesissures that are parts of most peoples beach holiday.
And worse – there are No Bars where you can chill to Drum ‘n’ Bass with a sexy cocktail. And the restaurants with fresh sea food and ligthly BBQ’ed fish like you get it in Thailand don’t exist. And even at the most expensive resorts (>150 US) the food is disarsterous. The Beach industry is still too young and very far from the quality you get in Thailand… where you easily get the double value for money.
Finally. All beaches are difficult and expensive to reach and the cost of living once you’re there is crazy.
Ngapali is the most pretentious beach in Myanmar with mostly >150 US$ resorts – we haven;t been there for 10 years but according to the reviews – it sounds like how we found it last time we were there: Beautiful, boring and expensive. The fastest way to go there is by plane – again very expensive and at prices that will take you to all beaches in Thailand faster with AirAsia, NokAir and the other low cost companies.
Chaung Thar & Ngwe Saung beaches are 240 km west from Yangon. The first one is the locals favorite while Ngwe Saung is prefered by foreigners and wealthy locals.
It takes around 6 hours to reach them by bus (from the Bus Park – an hour from Down Town) and cost around 15 US + 10 US for the taxi from your hotel in Yangon to the bus park. It is possible to fly – but only to Pathein an hours drive from the beaches. Chaung Thar is to the north while Ngwe Saung is to the South after Pathein. The last solution is renting a car which we have done a couple of times. That will cost you at least 150-200 US pr day…
NOTICE: It is NOT possible to travel between Chaung Thar & Ngwe Saung along the beach.
Setse Beach is at the time of writing only relevant to returning (or long term) travelers who have the time to travel south from Yangon. The beach itself is beautiful – but the water is black & dark from the sand and mud from the Ayawadda Delta to the North.
It is the perfect destination if you stay in Mawlamyine and want to explore the part to the south.
So before you book your travel reconsider what it is you want from your beach…
Remember: All resorts on all beaches are a far more expensiv compared to similar houses on other beaches in Asia.
And it is only a few of the resorts in Myanmar that has the comfort, quality and especially the location that justfy their price. We have tried to stay in an expensive house on the beach with a balcony facing the backside of the bungalow in front of us… very depressing.
NOTICE: During the monsun the beaches close down! It is possible to go BUT if you find a place to stay it’s covered in wood to protect agains the weather, there ar NO electricity and food and drinks are very hard to get. Som of the storms are dangerous…
Trust us its a very depressing way to spend your time. We have done it ourselves.
Travel to Myanmar