Ngwe Saung Beach is a very laid-back destination in Myanmar and perfect for the travellers on the Myanmar tour packages in search of a place to relax after touring temples or other sightseeing. It is one of the most picturesque beaches with beautiful white sand and views, with plenty of nice restaurants in the local area serving fresh seafood.
This beach isn’t as exclusive as Ngapali Beach, but is able to provide more mid-range and budget accommodation, and is a lot closer to Yangon (only about 6 hours by bus). The northern part of the beach has attracted a lot of upscale resorts, but for the backpackers and budget travellers, the southern part of the beach is more desirable with its laid-back vibe and inexpensive bungalows.
For the travellers on the Indochina tour packages wishing to experience the beach getaway that won’t stretch the finances too much, a stay at Ngwe Saung Beach is certain to appeal. The north to the south of the beach is nearly 13 miles in length and in the centre is Ngwe Saung Village.
Many of the hotels close down throughout the quiet season, which lasts from May to October – thou there is still a few guesthouses and hotels that will remain open year-round. This time of the year might appeal to travellers interested in a more peaceful time, but the weather can be a complete lottery, with a high risk of long spells of heavy rain. Also, swimming in the sea at this time of year is dangerous because of the strong currents.
How to get there
The local bus service is the most practical option to reach Ngwe Saung. The buses depart from Yangon (Hlaing Thar Yar bus station) at regular intervals. On arrival in the Ngwe Saung village, there are plenty of motorcycle taxis that can help complete the journey to the hotel – the cost is in the region of $1-$2.
The bus service in Ngwe Saung starts to see a significant decline in June to October when the rainy season arrives.
Alternative travel options include a minibus or car (with driver) which travels between Yangon to Ngwe Saung and costs approx $285 – although this varies with the number of passengers on board.
Where to stay
The budget travellers on the Myanmar tour packages should make their way to the southern end of the beach which has a cluster of low-cost and affordable accommodation. But, for the more upmarket hotels with swimming pools, high-quality restaurants, spa, etc., the preferred resorts are in the northern end.
Also, 24-hour electricity only usually applies at the expensive resorts, with many of the low and mid-range places limiting power to 6pm to 6am only.
Because of the increased risk of hotels closing down throughout the rainy season (May to October), it benefits to call ahead to check on availability before starting to travel.
A stay at the Dream House can give affordable accommodation ($10 per night) with basic features, but no access to a private bathroom. This guesthouse does offer a bike hire service.
The Central Ngwe Saung Resort is a more high-end resort with free Wi-Fi, spa and outdoor pool. It is within a 10 minute drive from the centre of the village. The rooms include a private bathroom with shower facilities. The 24-hour front desk is friendly and helpful and can help with bicycle or car rental. The cost per night is in the region of $100-$125.
Eat and drink
The Ngwe Saung village has a variety of places to stop and eat with a choice of fantastic seafood dishes including various types of fish, lobster, shrimp and crab. Plus, there are several shops trading in locally-produced handicrafts that make great gifts or souvenirs for friends or family.
A visit to the Ume cafe is certain to appeal to the travellers interested in something a little different with its choice of Asian and Japanese food and evening entertainment of a fire dancing show. It is located close to the Silver View and Yanomar Oo resorts
The Ume Restaurant & Bar is situated south of the village and a very cool place to visit for an evening meal. The menu is quite varied with a choice of Japanese, Thai and Chinese-Burmese. This is another of the restaurants with a nightly fire-dance show and a late opening bar serving cocktails.
The main village at Ngwe Saung has one or two shops that are worth a visit for the tourist interested in buying souvenirs. One of the popular souvenirs in the local area is the umbrellas painted by locals.
Things to see and do
There are plenty of enjoyable things to see and do in Ngwe Saung on the Indochina tour packages. A simple day trip includes walking to the small island to get panoramic views or the sea and beach. It is located at the southern tip of the beach – but this is only possible to complete the trip when the tide is out. Plus, this area is rich is brightly coloured fish and coral which makes a perfect place for snorkelling.
A popular activity in the Myanmar travel guide is the boat trips. A daily boat hire gives the wider opportunity to go snorkelling with the chance to visit several of the islands that are located a short distance offshore.
Hiring a motorbike for the day makes it possible to ride certain sections of the beach to explore the local area – although this type of trip is only practical when the tide or water levels are appropriate. On arriving at the southern end of the beach, it gets a lot quieter and is mostly deserted before reaching an isolated fishing village.
A trip that goes further afield makes it possible to explore the lush and beautiful village and jungle scenery which can include the delightful beach resort of Chaung Tha or the Irrawaddy Delta city of Pathein. Also, it is possible to visit Padaung Village and its elephant camp. Most of the hotels hire out a motorbike for the day, which can cost in the region of $7-$8.