Kanthaya Beach AccommodationAccommodation Kanthaya Beach
Windsurfing area and shores
The small seaside cities of Gwa and Kanthaya, where you will find apparently never-ending sandy beach surrounded by palms, are eight hrs drive northwest of Yangon. Situated between the beloved holiday destinations Ngwe Saung and Ngapali on the Bengal coastline, this area is largely unexplored in comparison to the two: the facilities are very simple and the beach is completely empty - it is unlikely that you will meet other people.
Where the Yangon Strait leads to the coastline, the city of Gwa itself is little more than a basis for accommodation in the area and a bustling landing stage; it is the environment that is definitely deserving of coming here. Watch our YouTube movie of the Gwa Jets.
There' s a beach in the city of Gwa, but it's not the best in the area - to get around it, you'll need to rent a motorcycle (or use a car). When you need something to eat or drinks, the Sea Horse Brewery (Ye Nakar) on the highway near Royal Rose Guesthouse (on the opposite side of the road) is a nice place, and the adjacent eatery offers good meals.
The area has many great sandy spots, but the most beautiful and picturesque are on the southern Gwa isle. In order to get there, you have to go to the footbridge at the southern end of the city of Gwa and then go across the estuary with the small riverboat, which rides until 6 pm on a regular basis (K1,000 each way); the motorcycles are raised onto the ship with wood poles, which are put through the bicycle's studs.
After crossing the waters you can take a coarse westbound path across the promontory, first through a small town and then in the country to get to the coastline - where you will find many leagues of empty sandy beach. A point of point of reference, from which one has a good view, is the Pagode on a small promontory some kilometers southwards of the crossing of the street with the ocean.
There' s no accommodation on this side of the river, but there is a store and a nice little pub on the pier opposite Gwa. Watch our YouTube movie from the Gwa southern part of the island. The lonely island of Gwa is five kilometers off the shore and can be accessed by a small fishermen' s vessel (K35,000 for hire).
It has a beach on the eastern side and some scenic rocks on the western side (overlooking the Bay of Bengal); it can be circumnavigated in an hours and a half. The town of Zik Hone, 20 km northern of Gwa, has a nice, remote little beach on which an eco-lodge is to be constructed in the next few years.
In order to get there, you have to travel about 30 min from Gwa (or 10 min southwards from Kanthaya) to the town of Nyaung Kyaung, which can be seen from afar by its large red-white telecommunications storm. There is a 90-degree bend in the street in the center of Nyaung Kyaung and a giant oak trees - at this point you have to turn onto the small street to Zik Hone, which is two kilometers below (there are pictures of the bend in our Gwa Flickr picture gallery - see below link).
View our YouTube movie of Zik Hone Beach and for a larger choice of pictures of Gwa, the Penninsula and Zik Hone Beach, visit our Gwa Flickr picture-book. For a brief while Kanthaya was its own beach resorts - a luxurious beach establishment was constructed here in 1995 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Armed Forces, but was soon given up (one can discover the ghostlike structure between the beach and the street running alongside it).
In Kanthaya there are several restaurant- and accommodation facilities, all situated on the major street, and at the southern end of the beach there is a large brewery with a nice crew and a panorama beachfront. Watch our Kanthaya YouTube movie and a larger choice of Kanthaya pictures can be found in our Kanthaya picture-book.