Ngapali, the unexpected stop

On 13 February 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos



When I came to Myanmar, there was so many things to do and to see that I didn’t plan to stop on the Bengale golf to go to the beach. But like every long term traveller knows, a world your is full of unexpected things! So, between the fact that I couldn’t stay in a big city after India an so I left Mandalay 30min after I got there I catch the boat to go to Bagan and the fact that Mrauk u was inaccessible buy bus / train / plane to tourists at this time unless you take another road from the coast that takes like 3 days to go there (and so as much to come back), I decided to go spend some vacation in Ngapali!

imageBut once again, I’ve been told not to go. Why? Because there are only 2 places in Myanmar you can go to the beach: Ngapali, close from Thanwe airport, and Ngwe Saung more in the south, more complicated to reach. And between the fact that it’s the high season here, that a lot of Chinese are there to celebrate their new year eve, and the fact that there are a lot of hotels, I was about to be on a very crowded beach, paying a lot of money so everybody told me I might not like it. So, after seeing Zanzibar beach, I have to admit I ha doubts. But like my traveller friend Kasia told me, follow your instinct and don’t listen to people who tell you to go there or not there. So let’s go!

imageAnd so, did it worth it?
I arrives from Bagan after one day and a half of travel, 2 buses ad a night in a shitty guesthouse (in Pyay) at 6am with an us/Italian couple that I met in the bus. After different non positive answer at the hotels, we finally spent our 1st night at the Lynn Thar Oo hotel, the only one with a room available at a correct price, and the 3 next nights at Memento hotel (2 of the cheapest places in Ngapali).
At the hotel, we were welcomed as kings, as usual in Myanmar. The huge buffet breakfasts with my foot on the sand made me forget about Pyay really quickly. I’m the sea, really hot, imageI’ve rarely seen more than 10 people at the same time all along the beach (which is about 3km long). My bungalow, paid 55$ the first night and then 30 at the 2nd hotel, had the view on the beach and the sea with only 1 bungalow between me an the sand. Compared to my basic room in Yangon which was really far from the centre at 35$, it was really awesome! Without talkin about the sound of the waves which helped me I sleep at night and wake me up in the morning…
The small cheap restaurants along the beach are really cosy and comfy, long chair with foot on the sand. And they serve great fresh fish with grilled vegetables and fresh juice for less than 5€. And of course, the sun is shining. Every single evening, you can enjoy a really nice sunset in front of you, on this sea with rocks, coconuts trees around you…

imageSo I don’t know what you think but for my part, it was another great surprise and a good moment. I having 50 or even 100 people on such a long beach annoy some people, it’s just fine for me :) actually, I thought about staying at first 2 or 3 days there to then go to see an elephant camp but as the camp is hard to reach and expensive and that I was just doing ok in Ngapali, I finally spent 4 nights there! And I even had the surprise (that’s the word!) of seeing an elephant on the beach, waking me up from a nap!!! A little bit of farniente during a very busy trip, it’s cool too!

imageI also did a boat ride during half day to do some snorkeling. I saw really nice fishes an especially one violet and brown really beautiful, just as small blue ones amazingly nice! It’s not a great place to dive such as Philippines for example of course but it allows you to do something else for some hours and see nice stuff! I also walked along the bech until a fishermen village to observe them coming back with buckets I fishes that you can eat few hours later… Finally, I went for a jogging one morning (I swear), feeling a little bit old after 5 longs of intense walk but without doing any sport.

imageSo go to this place before too many people find it out, to enjoy this nice landscape of this country! Pretty soon, apparently in March, all the small restaurants are gonna be destroyed to be replaced by fancy hotels…

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