When you have left Europe during the winter you are likely to long for summer, I do. With summer I think of a visit to a beach to swim in the ocean. Myanmar provides several opportunities to do so. I have found that Ngwe Saung Beach is a lovely spot for recreation. You find an approximately 15 km long white sand beach – with a few rocks – with hotels between the coconut palms along the beach.
Hotels can be found both cheap (from $50) to the expensive (around $250-300) and some in between.
To get there you need to take the bus from Yangon, over Pathein. None of the buses I’ve seen on the road can be classified as VIP, most are worn down. The ride from Yangon takes5-6 hours with 1 or 2 stops.
In 2013 the buses stopped at the road branch in the village, so you had to get a (motor) bike taxi from there to your hotel. In 2015 the drivers assistant queried for which hotel you were going to and then you were set off at the road in front of the hotel.
There is not much to do in Ngwe Saung Beach. I’ve found these
- Watch the tide go out
- Watch the tide come in
- Walk along the beach
- Walk around Lovers Island
- Have a beer a the beer-stations by Lovers Island (drink from the bottle as they don’t wash the glasses)
- Swim in the Ocean
- Buy a fresh coconut at the beach
- Buy grilled sea-food at the beach
- Locate a restaurant for your next meal
In 2015 I met a Burmese who offered snorkelling tours to Birds Island. When we had agreed on the price (20.000 Kyats when we were 4, but had we been 6 the price would have been lower. The price included lunch and water) we entered his boat at the shore by Lovers Island. We sailed almost 2 hours to the first island, due to the angle of the waves it was not safe at the first island, so first after another half hours of sailing we could get in the water. We did see fishes around the island, but the bottom were not populated with colourful sea weed, it was mostly grey stones. We were able to swim for around 1,5 hour before returning to the beach.
The guide told us that he owned a faster boat, but as he had hoped to have 6 or 8 passengers he had only prepared the slower and larger boat. The faster boat he said could make the trip on 45 minutes instead of the 2,5 hours. So ask for a fast boat if your not fond of a slow boat rocking on the waves.