Ngapali – idyllic Myanmar beach10 02 2016
‘Getting away from it all’ isn’t exactly why most people come to Myanmar, but if the need strikes, Ngapali’s idyllic palm-lined beach is the place to do it. With its pristine white sands, the clear blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, and a host of sophisticated accommodation, Ngapali – some say named by a wayward Italian reminiscing about Napoli years ago – has a justified reputation as the country’s premier beach getaway.
Along the beach, south of the hotels, is the fishing village of Jate Taw (Gyeik Taw), which offers a slice of local life that is quite different from the immaculately groomed resorts of Ngapali (and may be in danger of being consumed by the construction of more hotels). Further south, in the next bay, you will witness traditional rural Myanmar existence, as yet largely unaffected by modern development.
Ngapali Beach has been promoted as a major tourist destination in Myanmar. Several resorts and hotels are located in Ngapali, usually of the high end – such as Bayview Ngapali, Amata Resort, Amazing Ngapali and also the government owned Anawa. Ngapali used to have private bungalows, but these were torn down in the late 1990s to make way for the development of hotels. The hotels and small tourism industry help to provide income for the villages around Ngapali and also Thandwe. There is also a golf course nearby.
Most hotels have beach view restaurants that are open to everyone, and at lunchtime a fun (and cheap) option is to head to the independent beachside restaurants centred around Angel Bar and Restaurant, which can be found at roughly the midway point of the main beach.
The beach is served by Thandwe Airport. All of Myanmar’s internal airlines, Myanma Airways, Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, Air KBZ and Air Bagan have frequent flights to Thandwe from most of their destinations. Ngapali’s isolation means that few people are able to afford the airfare, thus making it more popular amongst tourists as an unspoilt and private beach.