In a nutshell
Ngwe Saung is an up-and-coming resort area in the Irrawaddy Region of Myanmar.
Why go to Ngwe Saung
Visitors to the area can expect to find gorgeous white sandy beaches and there are a range of islands located close by that you can visit. Some of these include the romantically named Lover’s Island where you can swim and snorkel as well as Bird Island which is perfect for any keen bird watchers.
One of the main reasons that people come to Ngwe Saung is to get away from it all and relax in one of the less visited parts of Myanmar.
That said, there are some pleasant attractions here such as the local village which borders the beach and there are also a number of fishing villages dotted along the coastline that will give you a glimpse of the fishing industry in this part of Southeast Asia.
When to go to Ngwe Saung
As Ngwe Saung is a beach destination so the best time to visit runs from November to February as this is outside the monsoon period and the weather is usually dry. If you visit from February onwards then you can expect it to be uncomfortably hot, and from June to October is the rainy season which means that a beach holiday in Ngwe Saung may be disappointing as it can rain every single day. To that end, several hotels in Ngwe Saung close during the rainy season as the resort partly shuts down at this time.
Where to stay in Ngwe Saung
You will find a good selection of hotels in Ngwe Saung although one thing to note is that prices tend to rise in the high season.
If you are not on a budget then you can choose one of the resorts in the area such as the Emerald Sea Resort which is located right on the beach and has bungalow style rooms. Expect to pay around USD 90 per night although there is also a restaurant and spa attached to the hotel. Other resorts include Bay of Bengal and Myanmar Treasure which both have rooms that are around USD 100 per night.
For something a little less luxurious and a little more budget friendly consider the Soe KoKo Beachouse which has breakfast included and has little bungalows on the sand. Depending on which room you choose you can pay anything from USD 13-35 and there is also an onsite restaurant. Another choice in this price range is the Silver Coast Beach Hotel which has bungalows with a balcony or porch and an adjacent cafe.
Where to eat in Ngwe Saung
There is a varied food scene in Ngwe Saung although you will probably pay more for your food here than in other parts of Myanmar. Many of the resorts offer upscale dining or you can opt for local joints which sell simple seafood dishes and local classics.
Some of these include the Jasmine Restaurant which has meals from around USD 2-5 and will barbecue fish or seafood for you from the day’s catch. Also in this price range is the Silver Blue Sea which has a great range of vegetarian fare and is a good choice for those who don’t eat meat. If you have a slightly larger budget then you can head to one of the best seafood restaurants in town called the Golden Myanmar which serves up lobster, crab, and eel. They also serve plenty of cold draft beer if you want to watch the sunset with a drink.
How to get around Ngwe Saung
If you are going to stay in the main beach area then there is no need to use transportation to get around and you can explore on foot. If you want to go a little further afield however, then you can rent a motorbike or a bicycle from many of the guesthouses in Ngwe Saung. Another option if you want to take a short trip to the surrounding areas is to take a motorbike taxi which should cost no more than KYT 1,000-1,500.
How to get to and from Ngwe Saung
Many people visiting Ngwe Saung choose to travel to Pathein first and then break their journey. There is a bus between the two which leaves at 10 am and takes around three hours at a cost of MMK 3,000 which is a good choice if you are on a budget. You can however also travel to Ngwe Saung directly from Yangon by bus.
The bus from Yangon to Ngwe Saung leaves from Hlaing Thar Yar at 6.30 am, 7 am and 8 am and arrives in Ngwe Saung between 11.30 am and 3 pm. Tickets costs MMK 20,000. There are also some night buses that leave from Aung San Stadium in Yangon around 9 pm and 10 pm but these arrive in Ngwe Saung between 2.30 am and 4.30 am which can make finding accommodation difficult – book it in advance then.
Another choice is to take a taxi from Yangon which should be around MMK 130,000-160,000 and takes around 6 hours.
You can also travel to Ngwe Saung from the neighbouring beach resort of Chaung Tha and the best way to do this is to hire a motorbike and a driver. It takes around 3-4 hours to drive between the two depending on the weather and road conditions. And you can expect to pay anything up to around MMK 14,000 depending on your haggling skills.
Is Ngwe Chaung a safe place to visit?
Violent crime in Ngwe Saung, particularly involving foreigners, is rare but you should still be vigilant especially if you are walking in isolated beach areas late at night. Make sure to store valuables in a hotel safe if possible and don’t carry all your money with you at one time.
Myanmar has both malaria and dengue fever and the best way to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes that carry these diseases is to cover up at night with long sleeved clothing and use insect repellent. It is also a good idea to consult with a medical professional to see if you would like to take anti-malarial prophylaxis during your trip to Myanmar.
Healthcare in Ngwe Saung is basic and the best large hospital is in Yangon which is at least a five hour journey away. As such if you are seriously unwell in Ngwe Saung you will need to travel overland to Yangon for treatment or possibly to neighbouring Thailand.