Ngapali BeachBeach Ngapali
Beach Ngapali: Myanmar's dream beach
Our many travels in Southeast Asia have allowed us to say that we have become acquainted with the many breathtaking shores and seaside towns in this part of the globe. But there is one we wanted to see for ourselves and, as some say, "the most attractive beach in Asia".
Beach Ngapali. Read this article to find out why it is rewarding to spend some quality English language classes in Ngapali at the end of your Myanmar-journey. First, if you are interested (as we are) in how to say the term "Ngapali", the natives have said to us that the "g" is actually quiet, so it is said "Na-pal-li".
Ngapali Beach is situated on the western shore of Myanmar, about 300 km northeast of Yangon. It is Myanmar's most popular bathing town, but you don't get this feeling at first glance. This means that Ngapali is unbelievably calm and the beach is unexpectedly calm for such a wellknown town.
Night life and nightclubs are not really a big deal here, instead folks get together at the beach for happily hours. Ngapali is facing westward, making it the ideal place to watch the sunset. Though we speak of Ngapali Beach as if it were just a beach, the complex actually stretches over seven kilometers and has a combined three coves, two slightly bigger and one very small.
Its longest beach with the most accommodation is situated in the southern part, between the small hamlet of Ngapali and the fishermen's hamlet of Gyeiktaw. At this beach we spend most of our times. Although most are here, the beach is far away from your usual "mass tourism".
My favorite part of the beach was further upstate, not far from some big rock. Further north you find a small "food mile" where there are many great and inexpensive beaches. The beach in the far northern part is directly adjacent to the neighboring airfield - which some would find disturbing, but on the other side, with so little flight activity, we would find it quite thrilling to observe the airplanes if we had been there.
Nordstrand is also home to some very pricey properties, including the Hilton, of course. It was rather uncomfortable that the beach was constructed directly and only in front of the Hilton Hotel with a shelter. However the beach further down in the southwest becomes much more beautiful, but only to end with a very filthy section down in the lower southern part.
This is why there are few establishments here, which means less cash and less incentive to keep them tidy, so the section is mainly used by local people for bathing. Of course there are also fewer places to eat and drink along the Northern Beachfront. For whom is Ngapali for?
At Ngapali we seem to have met two major groups of travellers: pairs (young and old) and homes with a family. Though we would suggest Ngapali to anyone who wants to unwind and soothe. It is a place where visitors come for its quiet and peacefulness, the most important thing is to unwind.
At the end of their journey to Myanmar, most of us, too, move to Ngapali. Ngapali was the ideal conclusion of our Myanmar-journey. Now we come to the less thrilling part: the Ngapali area. It is certainly not a'cheap' place and by this we mean above all the excessive housing costs, which are disproportionate to the remainder of Myanmar.
Undoubtedly the most costly are the accommodation directly on the beach (more about this in section 5 of this diary article). Here you can calculate with approx. 100 euro per overnight stay according to room and beach view. Usually it costs us 6-8 Euro for a beach dinner (drinks included!).
When you are not the kind of people who spend the whole afternoon on the beach, a boating tour to the off-shore Ngapali islets would be a very invigorating experience and is also one of the most enjoyable to do. We' ve also chosen to rent one of these boats ourselves and rent a 30,000 kyats personal yacht and a 4-hour cruise around the isles.
The last stop was the off-shore Pearl lsland, which to our consternation was romping around with humans, but the beach was still unbelievably nice and paradisiacal. Located on a hillside directly on the coast, one has a breathtaking look at the cove and its aviary.
That Ngapali has evaded the catastrophe's devastation as divided by the natives is something they are praying and thanking the Buddha for his shelter. But on the other side we find somewhere that the Buddha was actually constructed in 2008 and has been protecting Ngapali from catastrophes ever since.
One way or another, the panorama from up there is amazing and we really enjoy our journey to Mount Buddha. At Ngapali we prefer to dine on the beach, as the restaurant is all quite inexpensive, the meal is delicious and of course the views to the ocean are excellent.
In general, the offerings here in Ngapali are very, very homogenous, which means that the prices and meals between the different places are similar. We' ve tried a few beach bars and we've all really loved them, but the Sunset View Beach Bar & Eatery was our favourite.
There' s more than one "Sunset View Restaurant", odd as that may sound, so pay attention to the "original"! We were annoyed for a lot of times by an unsatiable wish for good coffees, so we couldn't say no when we passed the Ngapali Café. It is part of the pleasure view resort, which is situated directly on the highway.
Can you think of a more convenient way to enjoy your holiday than living directly on the beach? Ngapali has many accommodation on both shores, most of which have immediate beach entrance and even swimming pool facilities. This has the drawback that the price is usually well above the Myanmar averages.
Alternatively to the beach resorts are the less expensive guest houses, which are two or three blocks further back without beach-accessibility. Of course, the disadvantages are no beach entrance and also no beach chair, which can unfortunately not be hired at the beach. It is only a five minute stroll to the beach from the guest house.
As most travelers hardly ever abandon the beach and are more or less within easy reach of the area, the possibilities for all kinds of transports are rather restricted. As in Bagan, Ngapali today almost only hires out e-scooters to visitors. Most landlords charge about 3,000 kyats per minute, i.e. about 2 Euro.
In Ngapali we did not have to show a licence, give our passports, leave a security or even fill out a booking for rent. Incidentally, riding a motorcycle through Ngapali is absolutely feasible, as the road is not so crowded and it doesn't take long to get to places.
But they are rather rare here, sometimes you can see them in front of a restaurant or hotel and wait for you. Coming from Inle Lake (Heho Airport), the plane to Ngapali took less than an h. You can reach the beach almost directly from the beach.