Heaven on a beach – Ngapali Beach Tips and Advice

Heaven on a beach – Ngapali Beach Tips and Advice

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!

Getting there

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).

Weather

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.

Food/Restaurants

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!

Hotels/Accommodation

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! 🙂

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15 Comments

  1. May 16, 2014 / 2:50 PM

    I’ve always wanted to stay in an eco lodge! The beach looks gorgeous!

    • Samantha
      May 16, 2014 / 4:03 PM

      The beach was pretty amazing! The lodge was nice, a little run down which was a shame because it’s the only real eco-lodge there and it could be so much more if they invest some TLC into it!

    • Samantha
      May 18, 2014 / 5:29 PM

      “Eco Lodge” per-say…it was rustic and everything was made from locally sourced materials and the food was locally sourced. We had no electrical items in the room only two power outlets which only worked in the evening and lights of course. But we used candles for the entire week which was nice. Compared to other Eco Lodges around the world I really don’t know how Eco this lodge really is…if you call over grown gardens, broken wooden sunloungers Eco then I guess it’s spot on! 🙂 But lovely regardless…

  2. May 17, 2014 / 4:14 PM

    Wow! I had to google more photos of this beach.. it’s gorgeous. I really didn’t know Myanmar had such beautiful beaches, and I was planning on visiting the country. This definitely will make the trip worthwhile. I’ll have to look up the budget accommodations.

    • Samantha
      May 18, 2014 / 5:22 PM

      It was a beautiful beach although there are other beaches on the west coast that are equally as nice, and probably a lot cheaper to stay at. Ngapali is the most expensive and commercialized beach so while it still is relatively tourist free if you compare it to the Caribbean it is the most developed. Ngwe Saung & Chuang Tha are probably better for budget travellers and they will give you a more authentic local experience. While I loved Ngapali it lacked the in touch with the locals feel. It is all very much aimed at tourism now which is a shame as its losing its authenticity that attracted so many travellers in the past. It’s also got incredibly expensive! I don’t know of its greed or what but $400 per night is demanded from some of the hotels! Incredible!

  3. May 17, 2014 / 9:57 PM

    This sounds like a great and relaxing place to visit. I just wonder if it was noisy with the current developments going on.

    • Samantha
      May 18, 2014 / 5:18 PM

      We didn’t hear anything…they work during the day but to be honest most of the development was towards the airport and right at the other end of the strip towards to fishing village so it doesn’t really effect the main popular hotels…just a pain as the ride from the airport takes longer and incredibly bumpy! one thing that did concern me a little was the large number of women and children working on the road…I’d hate to think they were “slaved laborers or under paid workers working on the road for the benefit of us westerners to have a less bumpier ride!

  4. May 18, 2014 / 7:44 PM

    Loved reading about this. I visited Myanmar in 2010 when travel was very strictly limited and it was hard to get to Ngapali, so I gave up on the idea. Then a friend visited two years later and told me about the beach, and now I have read your post I just want to go back!

  5. Michel
    March 3, 2015 / 6:08 PM

    In wich period you visited Ngapali beach? We heard stories that during the wet season à lot is closed?

    • March 5, 2015 / 5:42 PM

      We visited in February which is shoulder season just before off peak season. I have also heard some parts of it shut down during Monsoon season but I would imagine a lot of the main hotels will still stay open 🙂

  6. Sheena
    February 10, 2016 / 1:12 PM

    Hey Samantha-
    Just after some advice from a like
    Minded traveler!
    I’ve got a few days free after 2 weeks of touring Myanmar, finishing up in Yangon.
    My options are- fly to ngapali and relax on beach there.
    Bus to ngwesaung and relax there.
    Fly to ho chi min city for more sight-seeing!
    I’m going in mid-March. Am
    A single 37yo female and money is a slight consideration- recently been a uni student!
    Would love your opinion!
    Many thanks!

    • February 10, 2016 / 2:42 PM

      Hey Sheena! Ngapali is great but pretty expensive. You’ll have trouble finding anywhere under $90 a night. Even for a three star. I have heard great things about Ngwesaung and Ho Chi Minh is great but far from relaxing! Its a nightmare there but fun at the same time!

  7. Gunter otero
    August 14, 2016 / 9:12 AM

    Traveling to Ngapali Beach here is the Official Ngapali Map

  8. July 12, 2017 / 3:38 PM

    Great guide! Ngapali beach is definitely worth visiting.

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