Where the Best Beaches in Myanmar are Located?
Most of the beaches in Myanmar look out over the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea which means that they are westerly facing so that you can take in the amazing sunsets in the evening.
When is the Best Season to Go to Myanmar Beaches?
The beach season in Myanmar runs from December to April when the weather is more stable. Most of the resorts and hotels shut down from May to October as this is the monsoon season and you will not be able to visit easily at this time. If you want to enjoy the surf in Myanmar then the biggest waves are found from May to June right before the main rainy season, although you can surf all year round if you don’t mind smaller swells.
Top 3 Best Beaches in Myanmar
The main beach areas in Myanmar include Ngapali Beach as well as Ngwe Saung and Chuang Tha and all of them offer something different for visitors to Myanmar. One thing to bear in mind with all of them however is that they are more off the beaten track than many other places in Myanmar like Bagan and Mandalay.
Of the beach areas in Myanmar, Ngapali Beach is the most well known and on a trip here you can expect some seven kilometres of white sand along the coastline that backs on to azure waters.
To get to Ngapali Beach you can fly direct from Yangon which is only a 45 minute flight and makes this one of the easiest beaches to get to in the country. You should note that it is quite difficult to get to Ngapali Beach overland as the area directly around Ngapali Beach is inaccessible to visitors and the state is officially on many government travel warnings.
Ngapali Beach is relatively secluded as it is quite far off the beaten track in Myanmar although you will still find a number of hotels and resorts that are open in the high season. You should note however that many of these are quite expensive and backpackers may struggle to find accommodation on a budget although there are a few options that are around USD 20-40 per night. When it comes to the high-end resorts, you can end up paying over USD 100 per night in the high season. Even though this is a remote spot, you will also find a range of seafood restaurants here and snorkelling, diving and kayaking are all popular pastime at Ngapali Beach.
Another popular beach destination in Myanmar is Ngwe Saung which means Silver Beach.
Ngwe Saung is located to the south of Ngapali Beach and is therefore closer to Yangon. On a trip to Ngwe Saung you will find clear seas but it is a little less developed than Ngapali Beach which is great if you want to get away from it all and relax.
To get to the beach you can fly from Yangon which takes around 35 minutes or you can travel overland by bus which takes 6 hours or take a scenic boat trip which takes 16 hours and goes via Pathein. As with Ngapali Beach, the main draw of Ngwe Saung is the chance to go swimming and snorkelling or you can also explore the area on a motorbike.
When it comes to accommodation, you can find some bargain guesthouses where you can get a shared room for around USD 15, or you can stay in a resort which can cost anything up to around USD 400. As such there is a wide selection of accommodation to suit all budgets in Ngwe Saung and you will find that delicious seafood restaurants abound here where you can dine on delicious lobster, crab, and shrimp.
Last but not least, another good choice is Chaung Tha which is nestled nearer to Yangon and is known as a popular escape for middle class locals who want to get out of the city for the weekend.
Although it is convenient, Chaung Tha is not quite as pretty as some of the other beaches in Myanmar and it gets very busy during major holidays. The waterfront is lined with hotels which make it feel a little less picturesque than the wide open beaches of Ngwe Saung and Ngapali Beach but you can take a boat trip here and go snorkelling off the coast and take in the wonderful tropical fish that swim in these waters. As such island hopping is the big reason to come and you will also find plenty of nice seafood restaurants here that make a great place to relax in the evening with a cold beer.
Even though Chaung Tha is little closer to Yangon you can still find some budget accommodation in the region of USD 15-20 as well as high-end resorts.
To get to Chaung Tha many people travel to Pathein first or you can get a bus direct from Yangon which takes around 5-6 hours. You can also travel between Chaung Tha and Ngwe Saung by bus which takes around 4 hours and is a good idea if you want to visit two different beach destinations while you are in Myanmar.
Useful Tips for Your Beach Vacation in Myanmar
One thing to note about visiting beach areas in Myanmar is that they are often more expensive than other parts of the country due to their remote locations, developing infrastructure and emphasis on resorts.
You should also bear in mind that in Myanmar beach wear is different than other parts of Southeast Asia and many locals will swim in their clothes including in jeans for modesty reasons. Visitors are not held to the same standard and you can wear a bathing suit but you should also remember that it is best to dress modestly in beach areas. Certainly topless sunbathing or skinny-dipping is not recommended in Myanmar.