The world’s most under-rated beach: Ngapali in Myanmar

Despite the hype about Myanmar as the new “it” destination, there’s not another soul on Ngapali Beach.

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12 comments

The UK magazine Wanderlust recently named Myanmar as it’s top tourist destination, yet after spending five days at Ngapali Beach I’m still surprised by how (pleasantly) quiet it was. Most people don’t associate Myanmar with Hawaii-toppping beaches and gorgeous resorts, so to address this I decided to post a few photos – and let you be the judge! I’ll add a little bit of commentary along the way…

My husband, in paradise
My husband, in paradise

Despite the hype about Myanmar as the new “it” destination, there’s not another soul on the beach, as you can see. The snorkelling was amazing – both at the rocks close to shore, jumping off a boat (great fishing too) and on a nearby island. Rumour has it that ‘Ngapali’ got its name from a sailor homesick for Napoli…

IMG_7254

Happy Hour on Ngapali Beach means two hours of half priced drinks, from 5pm – 7pm. Before dusk, the sun is a huge ball of electric pink fury and when it finally dips out of view, the lights on the squid fishing boats twinkle on the horizon. Very romantic. Every cocktail imaginable is on offer and the restaurants (such as Ngapali Bar) that aren’t attached to a hotel are super cheap. My husband ordered a barracuda that was so big it was chopped in half and brought out on two plates – and it cost about 3000 kyat (US$3.40). I ate seafood at every meal for five days…

Luxurious living
Luxurious living

This is a bedroom at Amata Resort and Spa – there was also an adjoining living area with a television, fridge, desk and so forth. The room was flanked by bamboo trees and a gecko the size of a football ran across the window at night once (a true beefcake). Other than a push-mower and a fishing boat, I never heard the sound of anything with a motor. It’s subliminal relaxation at its best. The service at Amata was faultless. The massages were expensive so I can’t vouch for them, but I’d be surprised if they weren’t awesome. There are some cheaper options (under $100 a night) closer to Thandwe airport. A friend also recommends Oliver’s Resort.

Amata's swimming pool
Amata’s swimming pool

I never got enough of this – after an afternoon of swimming, my husband and I relaxed in here until happy hour. And the hotel’s breakfast was as good as this looks!

No fighting over sun lounges
No fighting over sun lounges

Just to reiterate that crowds aren’t a problem in Ngapali.

Lazy and active as you like it
As lazy or active as you like it

Renting a fishing boat for a four hour trip to a nearby island – stopping along the way for fishing and snorkelling and a bbq fish lunch (the fishermen were generous with their catch because we caught one small fish between us) costs K25,000 ($28). It’s also possible to hire one person or two person kayaks – the tide is gentle so it’s an easy spin.

Ngapali Beach
Ngapali Beach

It’s not deserted by any stretch (pardon the pun) but this here looks like an under-rated beach. And it’s just a 40 minute flight from Yangon.

The cliche sunset shot
The cliche sunset shot

Please, put Ngapali Beach on your bucket list – I couldn’t think of a better ending for a holiday in Myanmar.

12 comments on “The world’s most under-rated beach: Ngapali in Myanmar”

  1. Ngapali Newest Attraction, The View Point, Ideal for Sunrise or Sunset, Private Moments with Friends, Photography, Romantic Dinners and much more.
    This is a private house that is offered to the tourist as a View Point with Spectacular 180 Degrees Views of Ngapali, its Ideal for those who like something different this activity combines a short 5 minutes 4×4 adventure to get to the hilltop house for option 1 $15 per person or option 2 you can ride the Elephants to the Hilltop House for $45 Both Option Including Drinks of Choice. ( Duration 2 Hours )

    The Sunrise Tour is for early birds ( pick up time )and it is an amazing Photography Tour as Tourist will be delighted to see how the sun comes up and starts lighting the mountains and palm trees and than the Island in front of us, this tour is $10 pp and only includes pick up and drop off as clients will get back to the hotels to have their nice Breakfast Buffet that is Already included with their hotel rate. ( Duration 1 .5 hour )

    Our Place Its only 10 minutes away from most hotels in the Ngapali Golden Mile, the place is not a restaurant or bar but is able to customize any kind of food you may crave to enjoy with this Spectacular Panoramic view from Steaks and Foie Gras, Cheese Plates, Spanish Tapas to local Myanmar Curries, its your choice!
    Due to our proximity and good relation with Hotel Chefs, GMs and Local Restaurants we can order and have it properly packed to be able to enjoy the hot
    meal of choice at Lunch or Sunset or Just with some drinks at our 180 Degrees Views.

    Trekking Tour 99% of the people who visits Ngapali come and go without seeing the wonders hidden in the forest of Ngapali with spectacular trails and flora with magnificent views of the sea and the lake.

    This activity is mild is a two our hiking tour to for photography of the plant life and the fantastic views from 170m oversea level. ( Duration 2 Hours )

    For info: guntherhotero@gmail.com, Tel: 0942 173 1079 or visit: https://www.facebook.com/GSPOTBEERDELI

  2. Truly a Fantastic Beach the only thing is the lack of activities and because I spent 3 months later I found out that there are plenty of activities but for some reason hotels try to “impose a lock out” to the tourists coming to Ngapali

  3. Im so sad to see an advertisement like this. obviously you have not done any research about the forced relocation of the poor ethnic groups in the region, or how the “oasis” you stayed in was made by forced labor. shame on you for advertising like this. do your research about paradise before you go there next time. The resort where you stayed is owned by one of the largest tycoons in Myanmar, with direct connections to the military regime who still owns and controls everything. the man who so kindly served you dinner gets a lousy payment, and is probably of Burman origin as all local fishing villages were forced refuges. maybe you now understand why there were not many tourists. not everyone wants to support the regime, no matter how well hidden behind bribes and corruption (Burma is one of the most corrupt countries in the world still.) Just think about it.. how much poverty did you actually see? in one of the poorest countries in the world? The forced labor camps and deprived etnic groups are tucked away along the boarders, far from areas tourists are allowed to go. for a reason. dont believe everything you see, and don’t support the “hype” by going to the “it” place for vacation. then you also indirectly support the junta, tycoons and the puppet show they keep up for naive toursits like you. do your research next time! and dont advertise it to friends like this. if you are a top – expat blogger, im surprised you wouldnt know better…

    1. Nothing can be more cruel than occupation of myanmar by Britian,British government paid no compensation to the people of myanmar despite destroying the country ,with tourism at least the local people of ngpali can survive.

  4. really a lovely place for us but we didnt know about before yourblog post. Hope to have a tour at the Ngapali Beach soon with my friends. Thanks for your kind information.

  5. Couldn’t agree more. On top of the serenity and majestic beauty, Ngapali also probably has one of the nicest bunch of people on earth – always smiling and saying Mingalaba! 🙂

  6. Okay, green with envy right now! Very glad to see someone with a journalist’s eye cruising Myanmar’s sites.

    Bradt was interested in doing a guidebook for Myanmar, but they didn’t really bite on my crowdsourced idea for it. Maybe you know someone who would like to take up the cause… 🙂

    1. I’m surprised by Bradt – will keep my eyes peeled for people. Also, feel free to post about this on the Foreign Correspondents’ Club page on Facebook – that could lead to something… You must go to Ngapali Mikey 🙂

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