With over twelve hundred miles of white sand beaches along the coast of Myanmar, there are so many stunning destinations to choose from. Practically every shore faces west across the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal allowing you to watch the sunset every night. So, if the plethora of options and sunset views don’t draw you in, maybe having access to over eight hundred islands will. Myanmar, also known as Burma, is not nearly as developed or touristed as neighboring Thailand. This being said, don’t expect raving nightlife or swarms of people. Instead, expect a local experience on beautiful beaches yet untouched by the tourism industry. So, choose from our list of the best beaches to visit in Myanmar and you won’t be disappointed.
1. Ngapali Beach
The most developed beach in Myanmar is Ngapali beach. This is the most touristy, although it has a more exclusive feel as you have to catch a flight from Yangon to be here. But, the pristine white sand speckled with palm trees will be worth the time and effort to get here. While the beach is continuing to grow the amenities, there are still a variety of activities to choose from. These include snorkeling, cycling, kayaking, golf, and hiking in the mountains nearby. The accomodations can run from a twenty dollar small beach hut to an over two hundred dollar hotel suite. So, there are options for our cheaper traveler as well as the week long family vacation.
The south end of the beach is where you can experience the true local Ngapali life. The small fisherman’s village will bring you into their daily life of catching and processing the fish. Enjoy a vast array of incredibly fresh seafood at any of the local restaurants as well. Between the beaches’ seclusion and amenities, along with the beautiful scenery, bright blue water, and sunsets, Ngapali beach is one of the best in Myanmar. It will be worth booking that weeklong stay if you’re in the area.
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2. Ngwe Saung
Our next beach is the closest to Yangood, making it slightly more accessible for the everyday traveler. It will still be a trip, whether you take the thirty five minute flight of a five to six hour car ride to the Ngwe Saung, also known as Silver Beach. This beach is one of the most popular to vacation at due to its proximity to the city, so know you’ll have to walk a bit down shore to get the secluded feeling. However, don’t let that stop you. Having a few more people around means the foodie culture is extraordinary. With delectably fresh seafood and brilliant chefs making a living here, you will fall in love with the fish, lobster, crab, and shrimp dishes made to order.
Similar to Ngapali beach, there is a vast array of accommodations available. From the cheap backpackers hotel to upscale resorts, you will have even more options to choose from here. Lastly, one of our favorite things to do from Ngwe Saung is catch a boat ride to an island just off shore. Here you can enjoy your own personal island for a day while exploring the crystal clear waters. So, if you’re looking for an easier getaway with some adventure tied in, Ngwe Saung is your beach destination in Myanmar!
3. Chaung Tha
For those hoping to truly experience the local, everyday beach feeling with easy accomodations, head over to Chaung Tha. Popular with locals, this beach will have many characters, from young families on horseback to elderly folk sunbathing, along with monks collecting their morning alms along the beach.
As this is a more local destination, you’ll find cheap accommodations, but that will be traded for a slightly less pristine beach. To seek out a little more seclusion here, head north to the quieter end of the beach. We recommend avoiding this beach during weekends and holidays as it gets busy and full with fireworks, football games, and other local favorites. But, for the beach with the best Burmese feel, come to Chaung Tha.
4. Maungmagan and the surrounding beaches
For true seclusion, head south to the Andaman Sea. These beaches near Dawei are far enough removed from the hustle and bustle of Myanmar to give you a feeling of being the only person around for miles. Couple that with a gloriously expansive landscape overlooking the sunset and you have your perfect getaway.
As you venture south along the coast from Dawei, you will first reach Maungmagan beach, then others like sin Htauk, Grandfather’s, and Paradise beach. Maungmagan beach was a popular landing spot for Brits years ago, so you will see remnants and touches of their influence. But, as you go further south, the beaches will get more and more secluded.
Whether you’re hoping for a myriad of activities and a gorgeous hotel, or want to be the only one on the beach for miles, Myanmar has beach destinations for you. Keep in mind that getting to any of these beaches will take a little extra time. This is typical of the Myanmar way of life, a little bit more laid back than what westerners are used to. In addition, the Burmese people are conservative, and you will most often see them swimming in t-shirts and jeans. So, while it is acceptable for tourists to don their bathing suits, keep them PG out of respect for the hosting culture.
Myanmar is still an up and coming beach destination, so feel free to bring a surfboard to help stir up that scene as well. Just remember, the beach season will be from December to April when it is warm, before monsoon season hits in May. So, back your bags light because you won’t need much when all your cares melt away on the beaches of Myanmar.