Burma Tourism BeachesMyanmar Tourist Beaches
Myanmars Beaches: the shore less traveled
Myanmar has had three shores for more than a century, but there are many more places to capture solar and sandy waters than just Ngapali, Ngwe Saung and Chaungtha. Myanmar's southeast coast offers a wide range of seaside opportunities, while less frequented places can also be found in south Rakhine State and even right on the outskirts of Yangon.
While some of them seem to develop into touristic hot spots, others are likely to stay in quiet backwater for years to come. Situated at the south end of the state of Rakhine, Gwa is covered by mangroves and mountains, covering about three fourths of the 2072km². Approximately 25 kilometers northerly of the city lies the Kantharyar beaches, which the army once tried and did not turn into a touristic place.
Reconfiscated for this unfortunate operation - the property was severely affected by a hurricane in 2006 - has since been returned to its former owner and the tourist industry has been handed over to small scale small-towners. In collaboration with non-governmental organisations and municipal associations, they see a promising tourist industry in the township, which prides itself kilometre by kilometre on an uncultivated coast bordered only by mangrove - some of which are very scarce and singular types - and fishermen's towns.
While there are no flights with Yangon, the recent upgrade of the Yangon Strait has reduced the journey to about seven inches. Don't wait for any luxuries when you get there - the accommodations are inexpensive and happy, and many areas still need power. The city of Yangon is a seven-hour drive by coach or motorcoach.
There was once a Lonely Planet travel guide to Myanmar with Letkokkhon, located only 60 km from Yangon city centre. Anyone courageous - or daring - enough to come and see us was bound to be frustrated by the run-down lodging, the blackmailing prices and the bony, five-hour drive on one of the delta's toughest highways.
It was wise for the author of the much-loved guide to remove the shore from their itineraries. It is not directly on the shore either - the next piece of whitish sandy is on an islet about five min by ferry - but some will be able to enjoy its seclusion and serenity. In spite of the closeness to Yangon when the setting the Milky Way illuminates the skies and there is hardly a noise to be heared.
Further down the coast there are other shores lined with fishermen's settlements that can be discovered by motorcycle or canoe. Probably the best sandy spot in the area is Seh Éain Dan, the nearest settlement just down the road southwards from Letkokkhon. On a recent voyage to the area, Seh Éain Dan inhabitants said that ground rangers kicked the tires and dragged up and down the shore to consider the possibilities of a new hospital.
Undoubtedly, they are given encouragement by repair work on Dala-Letkokkhon Street, which is due for construction early next year and will reduce the journey from Yangon to just one hours. Lekokkhon is currently a two-hour trip from Dala, which can be accessed by boat (US$1) across the Yangon River from Pansodan Jetty.
Letkokkhon's only lodging is the Orchid Adventure Shore Resort. For inquiries, call the Yangon offices at (01) 901-0061~64. The little-used sandy beaches were put on the menu by maps of a vast SEZ and a deep-sea harbor near Dawei. Whilst the area' s futures are uncertain - nobody seems particularly interested in raising the USD 8 billion needed for the first stage - Maungmagan attracts more traffic each and every months thanks to better flight links to Yangon, a small but increasing number of hostels and the opening of the Thai frontier crossings.
Only five and a half hour from Dawei, the Htee Khee ferry allows Bangkok to be reached by land in less than 10hrs and Myanmar citizens can even enter Kanchanaburi without a pass or visas. Although Maungmagan is not exactly ideal, it is still a nice place to swim and lie down and a good starting point to explore the area.
Most of the beach stretches out to the sea to the sea and can be reached by motorcycle or canoe. As there is little information available either on-line or in travel guides about the Dawei beach, this is definitely a place where it can be really worthwhile to engage a local tour leader who knows the area.
The Maungmagan is located about 30 min. by car from Dawei, the capitol of the Tanintharyi region. You can reach Dawei by air, coach or rail from Yangon. Accommodation:Coconut Guesthouse was the first fully licenced property to open in Maungmagan and continues to offer the best value for your budget. The Maungmagan Resort is another possibility.
Only a few month ago only a few persons had known about this sandy spot just outside Ye. That means that the 13 kilometers (8 miles) of the seafront promenade planned for construction will remain intact. Reconstruction of a timber viaduct that led to the shore last year opened it up to travelers, and in recent weeks a number of local shops and bars have been opened to meet the growing tourism demand.
It has a lot of unspoilt green dunes and a lot of sandy beaches. The Kabyar Wa is located about 15 kilometers southwards of Ye in Mon State. You can reach Ye by coach from Yangon, about 10h. Whilst Ye is hardly gifted with choices, Starlight Guesthouse is by far the best one.