After country is opening up, Myanmar in the running to be Asia’s next popular beach destination by its much of long stretches of white sand along two thousand kilometers of coastline. And most of the Myanmar beaches and islands are unspoiled, undiscovered and un-inhabitant.
Best of the bests are laying along Bay of Bengals on the west and the Andaman Sea down the south of country. But where guaranteeing the great sunsets are facing virtually to the west.
I- Ngapali Beach
Appraising as turquoise sea with crystal clear where beach dream comes true by most of the international visitors. This is 5 kilometers long white sand fringed with palm trees situated in Thandwe Township, Rakhine state.
This is not a good fit for budget travelers as visitors shall find few budget services. Tariffs are sky high by SEA standards and infinity pools stylish teak built chalets and sun terraces with uninterrupted sea views are the norm. Luxurious 5 stars hotels are also offering the charming facilities and services.
Ngapali underwater aquarium also attracting the scuba diving enthusiast and Day return activities such as cooking classes, Beach safari to nearby fishing villages, golf and soft trekking are being offered by local travel agents there.
From Yangon, only 1 hour flight to Thandwe township airport.
II- Ngwe Saung (Ngwe Saung Township, Ayarwaddy Division)
After Ngapali, Ngwe Saung Beach positioning in the luxurious beach destination which is closer to the Yangon. The resorts on this stretch of coast arrived a little more than a decade ago.
Crystal clear sea and silver sand beach as its name Ngwe Saung mean’s Silver beach. Confined to the north end of the 10 km beach, resort complexes are still few in number more low key hotels and budget guest houses cluster in the south.
There are places for scuba diving and snorkeling at some of the end island. Most the of the tourist hotel offer masks and equipment to do the day activities. Seafood here must try.
This is the only first place where 2013 Southeast Asian Games was host so international tourists are ready to be served. And so far, this is the only beach where water sport activity, surfing can be done.
Be cautious, deadly RIP current occurs sometime. This is 6 hours driving from Yangon.
III- Chaung Tha beach
Looking for way too local? Cheap and fresh sea foods? Doesn’t matter to be clean sand and clear water? Then should choose this local top favorite Chaung Tha beach where nearby coast line with Ngwe Saung beach just 1.5 hours drive between. In here you can get budget accommodation even at the sea front view. This is the only beach which opens the whole year as occupied by local demand. This is also located near Pathein township which is 6 hours drive from Yangon and 1 hour between Pathein township and the beach.
IV- Mergui Archipelago (Southern part of Myanmar)
For the marine lovers, these Mergui archipelagos are highly regarded as the paradise of Myanmar as one of the word’s last great archipelagos which remain largely untouched. From Kawthaung city in the south to the Dawei city in the north which is a distance over 600 miles. These are the home of Salone tribe also known as Moken or Sea Gypsies whose only habituating in the water. By the restrictions of Government of Environments, most of the islands are restricted to visit or expensive to visit for its island sustainability and security.
These are the best sites to do the sailing, kayaking, snorkeling and diving where world class diving locations are available through licensed international dive centers. Overnight on the islands are prohibited but only overnight on board with registered boating companies. Not only the wealth of marine resources, these archipelagos are filled with rare wildlife species.
Among these 800 islands, below are the top visiting sites recommended by the author.
1- Lampi Island (Near Kawthaung City)
One of the larger island here which is the home of hornbills, deer, flying foxes and some elephants. Besides, northern end of the island has a large settlement where a number of Moken were forced to opt for a land based existence. This has been reserved as nature heritage to ensure the beauty itself.
2- Western rocky (Near Kawthaung City)
The best diving spot of the archipelago with the large tunnel cave through Western rock. Habitants of seahorses, giant frogfish and numerous sharks.
3- Macleod Island (Near Kawthaung City)
The only island which visitor can accommodate in the Eco lodge resort with the full package including accommodation, meals and activities.
4- Island 115 (Near Kawthaung City)
Best small island well-known for its shallow snorkeling options. This is also a good spot for kayaking and snorkeling which also can be day return trip form the Kawthaung.
5- Marcus and Dome islands (Near Myeik City)
These two islands are the famous sites of Myeik city which is 2 hours boat ride. Along the way you will see the tropical islands and some village of Moken. Visiting the virgin island is really memorable moments there.
All these described sites are being developed nowadays and interest of tourism is increasing. Besides those, there are a lot of hidden paradise which has been not explored yet. For example, Gorangyi and Nga yoke Kaung (pepper) Island which is wild virgin beach near Pathein township which are difficult to access at the moment and infrastructure to facilitate the visitors are not yet ready. As well as the islands near Dawei city are the hidden gems. However, Safety standards and environmental protection policies are not yet ready to practice, Visitors should carefully consider for choosing the right suppliers or organizer.