There is an extensive coastline in Myanmar. Its beautiful beaches have perhaps not yet received the recognition afforded to those of Thailand and Vietnam but as more tourists visit the country for a Myanmar family holiday the word is spreading. Typical Myanmar tour packages include the religious and cultural sites in places like Bagan, the natural wonders and people typified by Inle Lake but an ideal way to relax on a Myanmar holiday is to visit the coast and enjoy the fine beaches; there are many. They are yet to be as busy as many others in South East Asia but the word is getting out.
There is over 2,000 kilometres of coastline in Myanmar, in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, facing west with great sunsets during the dry seasons.
• Kyun Phi Lar is an island in the Mergui Archipelago. Its white beaches stretch for kilometres with few people there to enjoy them. You are as likely to see a monkey searching for crabs as a tourist.
• Lampi Island in the south of the archipelago is horse-shoe shaped, a large island with wonderful wildlife. It is said that there are even still some wild elephants in the forest.
• Macleod Island is also in the archipelago and there is a small resort but it does not intrude with the beautiful natural environment.
• Nyaung Wee I and the surrounding islands, many without a name, are another gem. There is a small village on the east side with the Moken villagers very welcoming.
• (No Name) Island actually exists. There are hiking trails in the forest, lovely beaches and coral reefs.
The Mergui Archipelago has over 800 islands where you can relax and simply breathe in the wonderful sea air in great surroundings.
Away from the Archipelago here are a few other ideas:
• Ngapali has seven kilometres of white sand, palm fringes and a crystal-clear sea. It is now the most popular beach in Myanmar, a 45-minute flight from Yangon or through the Rakhine Yoma Mountain range by road. It remains remote but is developing quickly as more people hear about it.
• Ngwe Saung (Silver Beach) south of Ngapali is less developed and 6 hours from Yangon by road. Those with time can go by boat; 16 hours from Yangon.
• Chuang Thar is west of Yangon, 240 kilometres. It makes it a popular weekend resort for those living in the City
• Kanthaya Beach has hardly developed at all. The sand is golden in contrast to the white sand further north. But there is plenty of it.
The best season for the beach is December around to April before the monsoon rains arrive though it would be wrong to think that the monsoon seasons means rain every day for a number of hours.Those on organisedMyanmar tour packages will have everything organised for them and inevitably the beach locations are the ones that have become increasingly popular. It does not mean they will be really crowded. That is one of the real pleasures of the Myanmar Coast.