While some people suggested missing out a beach stay in Myanmar I’m glad we found time to visit Ngapali, one of the most underestimated beaches I have ever been too! If you have time during your trip make sure you head to Ngapali Beach. Here are a few of my top tips and advice for your stay in this beautiful part of Myanmar!
Almost all the flights to Ngapali go via Yangon so make sure you get off at the right stop as a couple of passengers weren’t aware we were making more than one stop! You can organize flights to Thandwe through most hotels (at least all the ones we stayed in) and you either pay them in cash or pay at the airport. This is completely normal.
What is there to do in Ngapali Beach?
Our five days in Ngapali went far too quickly. We spent most of our time relaxing in the sun and taking walks along the beach. There are small villages at either end of the main strip of Ngapali Beach, a small fishing village towards the north near Yoma Cherry Lodge and a small village in the south towards Pleasant View. There are also various boat day trips available, including trips to Pearl Island, Scuba diving and Snorkeling although we have been informed several times the scuba diving and snorkeling isn’t great!. You can pick up the boat trips from any vendors on the beach and a couple of restaurants had connections with boat trip organizers so you might be able to get a discount.
How busy was it?
Ngapali Beach is definitely evolving and is quickly being developed with new hotels being built along the strip and several being built towards the airport. The area is obviously expecting a rise in tourism as they are also redeveloping the main road, completely relaying the asphalt and making it more of usable road. In terms of how many tourists there were, I can’t say there weren’t any but the beach was still fairly empty and during our strolls up and down the beach it appeared many of the resorts beach areas and sunbeds were empty but this could be more to do with being shoulder season (February/Beginning of March).
Even though we weren’t visiting in peak season we still had over 30 degree weather every day, no rain and plenty of warm sunshine. We had a few days of windy weather where the water was a bit rough but it didn’t put us off in any way.
For advice on food and restaurants please click here for a detailed report of all the restaurants we visited and costs. Including review of each place, break down of our meals and recommendations. While I am sure not all resorts would allow this (not sure even ours did!) we went to a local shop and purchased drinks and snacks for our room (it was cheaper than the resorts) to consume while we played cards and watched the sunset on our balcony every night. It benefited the woman’s family and we saved a few pennies too!
While I had my concerns about our hotel (you can read my view of Laguna Lodge here), there are plenty of hotels to pick from ranging from super luxurious (Amata and Sandoway) to budget lodges such as ours and Momento. Some are ridiculously overpriced and unless your budget is endless or this is your main holiday destination (ie the only place your visiting in Myanmar) then i don’t see the need to splash out over $300 a night for a hotel. Yes some were nicely kept, had swimming pools etc….but what more do you need than a beautiful underestimated white sandy beach and warm turquoise waters? We spent our entire stay at Laguna Lodge using only candle light. Since we were staying in an Eco Lodge it was rather nice not to use any electricity (although they have it). It gave a nice atmosphere in the evenings and made us appreciate how easy we have it back at home with light at a flick of a switch. Plus it was more romantic! 🙂
NB: I have uploaded a map of Ngapali Beach so you can get an idea of where each resort is…some resorts are missing as there are ALOT of new ones in the North.
NB: If you get sick there are pharmacies in both villages, both are well stocked and understand some English! Ngapali Beach (although the most expensive beach to visit in Myanmar) was an ideal way to relax after two weeks of trekking around Myanmar. We throughly enjoyed our stay at Ngapali and we will certainly be returning again! If you have any other questions please feel free to leave a comment and I will be glad to help! 🙂