We already know some beaches and beach towns in Southeast Asia. So we really wanted to see for ourselves what some call the “most beautiful beach in Asia”. Our summary? Ngapali Beach is pure idyll and easily ranks in our top 3. In this blog article we will tell you why it is definitely worth spending a few more days in Ngapali at the end of a trip to Myanmar.
1. Ngapali Beach: Our experience report First of all: If you, like us, are thinking about the Pronunciation of “Ngapali” makes – Locals have told us that you say “Napalli”. So the “g” is not stressed. Ngapali Beach is located on the west coast of Myanmar, just 72 kilometers northwest of Yangon as the crow flies.
Ngapali is the most famous bathing resort in Myanmar, but you don’t really notice much of it on site. In other words: Ngapali is incredibly idyllic and there is very little going on on the beaches. You will look in vain for nightlife or discos. Instead, people meet for happy hour on the beach. Because Ngapali faces west and is therefore ideal for marveling at the most beautiful sunsets.
The beaches in Ngapali: Information & Experiences Although there is always talk of one beach, ie Ngapali Beach, the bathing resort extends over seven kilometers. There are three bays in total: two slightly larger and one very small.
The beach in the south The longest stretch of beach with most of the hotels is in the south between the town of Ngapali and the fishing village of Gyeiktaw. It is something like the main beach of Ngapali. Although most of the hotels are located here, the beach is very, very far away from mass tourism.
The sand is partly unbelievable fine and bright. Our favorite stretch of beach is quite far north, not far from some large rocks.
In the northern section there is a small “food mile”. That means: Here you will find lots of great and very cheap beach restaurants. We ate here every day with a view of the sea – an absolute dream.
The beach in the north This beach borders on the very north directly to the airport. This may bother some people, but if we had lived there, we would have found it more exciting to watch the planes. Air traffic is also limited.
Some very expensive hotels are located on this beach , including the Hilton. Here, however, we found it disturbing that the beach directly in front of the Hilton Hotel has a protective wall built on it. Further south the beach is again very nice. The lowest south, however, was very polluted. This is because there are only a few hotels there and the section is mainly used by locals for swimming. In general, fewer restaurants and bars are located directly on the beach along the northern beach.
The small bay in the middle The smallest part of the beach is in the middle of the two main beaches. This is where things are most peaceful and contemplative. Nevertheless, there are already some beach restaurants here, so that you are well looked after in culinary terms. If you want to spend the night on this beach, then we recommend the Yoma Cherry Lodge. We will tell you more information about this hotel further down in this blog article.
Who is Ngapali suitable for? We mainly met two “holiday types” on Ngapali: Couples (from young to old) and Families with children. In general we can recommend Ngapali if you want to really relax.
You won’t find any party or action in Ngapali. The focus here is really on the beach and relaxing. Most of them – including us – are drawn to Ngapali at the end of their Myanmar trip. We can really recommend that to you. For us, Ngapali was the perfect end of our Myanmar trip.
Prices in Ngapali Let’s get to the less pleasant part: the price level in Ngapali. Ngapali is not cheap. Or rather: The accommodation prices in Ngapali are disproportionately high, when compared to the rest of Myanmar.
The accommodations directly on the beach are particularly expensive (you can find more about this in chapter 5 of this blog article). Here you have to – depending on the desired standard with approx. Euro per night. On the other hand, we found the food prices very reasonable: we usually spent around 6 to 8 euros for a meal on the beach for both of us (including drinks).
2. Boat Tour in Ngapali: Snorkeling and Islands If you don’t want to just lie on the beach anymore, then this is a Boat tour to the offshore islands off Ngapali one of the most popular activities. We also did such a 4-hour boat trip and rented a private boat for .000 Rented a kyat.
We took off in the morning around 9 a.m. and headed for two snorkeling spots right at the beginning . You can snorkel here near several rocks. You shouldn’t expect too much from the underwater world, because there are only a few corals and most of them are dead. But we saw a lot of fish, some very colorful.
After snorkeling, our boat driver drove us once through the harbor of the fishing village of Gyeiktaw. We had the village the day before crossed by moped, but also found the view from the water very exciting. The last stop was the offshore island called Pearl Island. It’s a pity that there were a comparatively large number of people there, but otherwise the beach there was incredibly heavenly.
3 . Excursion to the Buddha on the mountain A worthwhile excursion is to visit the standing Buddha with the unpronounceable name “Tilawkasayambhu Buddha”. It sits enthroned on a hill directly on the coast. Therefore, you also have a beautiful view of the bay of the fishing village from high up. Admission is free, but remember to dress appropriately.
We rented a E-Scooter for a ride there. borrowed. With the exception of the last steep climb, the journey through the fishing village went smoothly. In the end, Kathi had to get off because the power of the e-scooter wasn’t enough for both of us. But you can simply park the scooter just before the Buddha and walk the last few hundred meters.
By the way, there are very strange and sometimes contradictory stories about the Buddha. A local (with very good knowledge of English) told us that the Buddha was born a year before the devastating tsunami 2008 was built. According to their story, the locals attribute the fact that Ngapali was only a little hit to the holy Buddha. But then we read again that the Buddha first 2004 and has since protected Ngapali from natural disasters. Either way: the panoramic view from there is fantastic and we really enjoyed the trip to the Buddha.
4. Our restaurant tips for Ngapali In Ngapali we have preferably right on the beach eaten. The restaurants there are inexpensive, the food is fantastic and of course the view of the sea is great. In general, the range of restaurants in Ngapali is very, very homogeneous. In other words: the price level and the dishes offered are similar in most restaurants.
Sunset View Beach Bar & Restaurant We have tested some beach restaurants and although we liked everything very much, the “Sunset View Beach Bar & Restaurant” is our favourite. The eggplant curry with coconut milk was amazing! The restaurant is very reasonably priced: we often only order the 12.000 Paid Kyat (6 Euro) for both of us.
The “Sunset View Beach Bar & Restaurant” is located in the northern section of the main beach directly in the “Restaurant Mile”. (There are several restaurants next to each other here.)
Tip: There are several “Sunset View Restaurants”. As strange as that sounds, but pay attention to the “original” in the name!
Htay Htay’s Kitchen Along the main street we can offer you the Recommend Htay Htay’s Kitchen. We were almost the only tourists there among all the locals and had an excellent meal.
Ngapali Coffee House Since we had been craving a really good coffee for days, we just had to pay a visit to the Ngapali Coffee House when we spot it as you drive by. It is part of the Pleasant View Resort and is located right on the main road.
5. Hotel Tips for Ngapali Beachfront accommodation vs. accommodation along the main road It is most comfortable to vacation in an accommodation that directly on the beach is located. There are now plenty of these on the beaches of Ngapali. These accommodations have direct beach access and many also have a pool. The disadvantage: The prices are usually well above the Myanmar average. We have been told that the price level is state regulated . They say you want to avoid mass tourism. We cannot confirm whether this is true, but it would certainly be a logical explanation.
An alternative to the beach hotels are the cheaper guesthouses, the are in the second or third row without direct access to the beach. Here you can with a bit of luck for 18 euros per night find a nice double room. The disadvantage: Without direct access to the beach it is of course less comfortable and relaxing and of course there are also no appropriate beach chairs. However, you can rent them on the beach.
Tip for a hotel on the beach: Yoma Cherry Lodge High recommendation! The Yoma Cherry Lodge, which is run with a family and with great attention to detail, is located directly on the beach – more precisely in the small one Bay in the middle of the two main beaches. There are several bungalows in a beautifully maintained complex: Ins total there is just once 15 Rooms.
The rooms themselves are very large and comfortable, traditionally furnished and simply to feel good. If possible, we recommend a room on the 1st floor of the bungalows, as these are even brighter. The service is particularly outstanding: the employees are incredibly attentive, courteous and friendly.
The beach, on which the hotel is located is beautiful. There are a few beach restaurants around the hotel where you can eat inexpensively and very well. If you’re looking for peace and relaxation, you’ve come to the right place! Our conclusion: The Yoma Cherry Lodge is the perfect place to stay for anyone looking for a great hotel on the beach in Ngapali. It is essential to reserve in good time, because the hotel is rightly very popular and often fully booked.
You can book the hotel here: Yoma Cherry Lodge
Tip for cheap accommodation: May 18 Guest House If you are looking for a cheap alternative then we also have a great tip for you: Das May 15 Guest House. It is on the main road that runs behind the beach. The beach is about a five minute walk.
The rooms lack counter space but are otherwise comfortable and clean. The bathroom is also absolutely fine and the breakfast is sufficient. The owner is incredibly helpful and gave us good tips. We would come back!
Link to the guesthouse: May 25 Guest House
6. Local Transport Since most travelers rarely leave the beach and stay in the same place, the offer is for a transport relatively low. We really wanted to see something of the area and rented an e-scooter by the hour. Just like in Bagan, e-scooters are now almost exclusively rented out to tourists in Ngapali. When driving, it doesn’t make a big difference, except that the e-scooter has less “power” and you have a hard time on steep climbs.
The prices for an e-scooter are comparatively high: One hour costs 3 with most providers. 000 Kyat, so almost 2 euros. For comparison: In Bagan, the scooter gave us 5 for the whole day. Kyats cost. To rent a car in Ngapali we didn’t have to show a driver’s license, leave our passport or a deposit or even fill out a form. We were only asked about our accommodation.
By the way, scooter riding around Ngapali is absolutely doable. The traffic is limited and the distances are not very far.
An alternative to the e-scooter are open shared taxis. There are too many not of that though. Sometimes they wait for customers in front of restaurants or hotels. If you are planning an excursion (e.g. to the Buddha) and do not want to drive a scooter, it is best to hire a private driver.
7. Arrival to Ngapali We decided to arrive by plane decided and can also recommend it to you. We came from Inle Lake (Heho Airport). From there, the flight to Ngapali takes less than an hour. We paid for the flight Euro with the airline Air KBZ.
The Airport (Thandwe Airport) is located almost directly on the beach and is therefore perfectly accessible. Depending on the location of the hotel, the journey takes 5 to a maximum of 12 minutes. For our transport we have 7. Kyat paid. (Some hotels such as Yoma Cherry Lodge – see above – include transportation.) The airport only serves domestic destinations, including Yangon, Mandalay and Nyaung U (Bagan).
Flying with small propeller planes (ATR 30). We tested several airlines within Myanmar and found no significant difference. The planes made a neat impression on us – we felt safe in them.
8th. Travel Guide for Myanmar For a round trip through Myanmar we can highly recommend the Stefan Loose Travel Guide. The latest edition is in the year 2018 and is therefore still quite up-to-date. We think the guide has been researched in great detail, which means that it weighs quite a bit. Nevertheless, a clear recommendation!
You can buy the travel guide here: Stefan Loose Travel Guide Myanmar
9. More Myanmar Travel Reports Our route for Myanmar Our travel guide for Myanmar: Tips for a trip to Myanmar Yangon Bago Golden Skirt Hpa-An Inle Lake The Tempe l from Bagan Mandala Transparency: Affiliate Links2019 This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. cool thing right?
Have you ever been to Ngapali Beach? How was your experience? Leave us a comment with your tips – we look forward to it!