Myanmar Beaches – Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar has now, for many years, flown under the radar as a tourist destination, reeling in only those with truly adventurous spirits and rather carefree attitude to cross the borders into its relatively mysterious land of grand monuments, rolling mountain landscapes, two thousand kilometres of coastline, and incredibly jaw-dropping sunsets. In the past, whispers of how beautiful the country is and how welcoming the people are, have been heard all over the world, but lack of sustainable and reliable information online has deterred many from making that decision to visit Myanmar.
Now, it’s definitely put itself on the map.
Whilst even just a few years ago, booking accommodation would have been a difficult thing to do last minute because of the limited number of options, these days, everything is easily done online, and with the steadily increasing number of resorts and hotels popping up all over the country to accommodate for the spike in foreign visitors, there’s never been a better time to make Myanmar your summer tropical getaway.
Two of the most visited cities in Myanmar are Yangon, full of stunning architecture, a wonderful night life, and plenty of markets, and Mandalay, for the wonderous structural ruins and pagodas. Without forgetting the mystical Bagan and the authentic Inle Lake. However, not much love has been given to the coastlines of Myanmar.
Few things to know before your trip
Our goal here today is to recommend to you the top five beaches that’s absolutely blowing up in Myanmar. Before we begin though, please note a few things before you start packing that skimpy bikini:
1. The locals are quite conservative with their clothing, even at the beach. Sometimes you’ll even see them swimming in denim – that’s how conservative they are. Whilst foreigners are given some leeway, may we suggest not sunbaking in a dense tourist area in a bikini, rather, select some beach attire with a bit more coverage.
2. The best season, and only season, to visit the beaches in Myanmar is during late November until April. If you visit the coast any other times outside of that period, you’ll be met with empty, closed resorts, and possibly a monsoon. April is also when their major Water Festival is held.
After these few tips, let’s now explore our selection of the best beaches in Myanmar:
- Ngapali Beach
- Ngwe Saung
- Chaung Tha
- Kanthaya Beach
- Grandfather Beach
Myanmar Beaches #1 – Ngapali
As with most people familiar with Myanmar, Ngapali is quite possibly the best beach in the country right now. It’s like you’re stepping into a postcard when you step foot onto the seven kilometer white sand beach. The palm trees that line the edge of the beach coupled with the crystal blue shade of the water will have you imagining a ukulele playing as you wiggle your toes and take in the beauty in front of you.
There are many reasons why this is the preferred beach destination for an increasing number of tourists in Myanmar, however, we have to say that if you’re looking for a place that is filled with an abundance of activities that can cater to all types of audiences, then look no further.
Here, you’re able to idly sunbake away whilst watching the local fishermen reeling in today’s catch, but if you’re up for some adventure, why not book in a diving lesson, or snorkeling tour, or go kayaking out into the ocean, or even sign up for a round of golf. In saying that, whilst there are plenty of activities that cater towards the international audience, there is still a vibe of authenticity here, seen on the smiling faces of the locals and felt in the way the clocks tick slowly across the land.
The easiest and quickest way to get to Ngapali is via a flight from Yangon.
Resort – Jade Marina Resort & Spa
It really, really can’t get much more tropical island getaway than this resort. Jade Marina is the epitome of luxury, class, comfort, and beauty. Its private villa rooms are stunning in facade and equipped with air-conditioning, a deposit box, a minibar, and bathroom amenities. The en-suite is spacious and also comes fully equipped. Watch the gorgeous sunset from your private balcony. Stay connected with free Wi-Fi.
The best feature, though? That gorgeous outdoor swimming pool you’ll be dying to dip in the moment you lay your eyes on it.
If you’re looking for the full circle experience, Jade Marina Resort & Spa offers free airport transfer from Thandwe Airport, which is only 15-minutes away.
Why Guests Love It: The beachfront aspect is simply divine, like waking up in paradise every morning. The beach is also one of the nicest in the whole area. Eating breakfast right next to the beach is a dream. Many guests applaud the fantastic food served at the onsite restaurant.
Book It Now: Jade Marina Resort & Spa
Myanmar Beaches #2 – Ngwe Saung
Ngwe Saung is like Ngapali, but a bit smaller in tourist scale; however, it’s definitely not smaller in beauty, breathtaking sunsets, or the freshest seafood selection you’ll ever come across.
Whilst Ngapali will take anyone’s breath away, in Ngwe Saung, you’ll feel less pressured to catch your breath again right away. Rather, you’ll feel at ease being stunned by the pristine clean beaches and serenity of the area.
Ngwe Saung is, and always has been, a rather quaint fishing village, but the increased number of tourists visiting this place has brought a whole new lifeline for the locals. Have we mentioned how great the seafood is here? The local fisherman work hard daily to reel in fresh seafood daily, so you know that the prawns and lobster you’re dining on for dinner is only hours old.
Surprisingly, it’s actually closer to Yangon than Ngapali (only 35-minutes by plane), which means before we know it, it may overtake its predecessor in popularity.
Resort – Eskala Hotels & Resorts
Imagine laying by the pool, sipping on a pina colada as you stare through a smattering of tall swaying palm trees, right into the ocean. That’s pretty much what your life will be like if you checked into the five-star Eskala Hotels & Resorts that sits pretty much right on the beach.
This place is pure luxury rolled into one expansive resort offering fantastic views of the sea, larger-than-average accommodation rooms, a huge outdoor pool, and a multitude of activities. It offers standout services such as 24-hour front desk, free Wi-Fi access throughout, on-site parking, a tour desk, and luggage storage.
The rooms themselves are modern with touches of tropical influences subtly present throughout, but you probably won’t even notice those once you open up the curtains to get a load of the view. The balconies here are simply divine!
Why Guests Love It: “Best hotel breakfast ever.” How can you resist that statement? Other than that, the staff are fantastic, the pool, the rooms, and the entire environment is kept clean and well-maintained at all times. The dive centre right on the private beach is a massive bonus.
Book It Now: Eskala Hotels & Resorts
Myanmar Beaches #3 – Chaung Tha
Whilst beach-goers usually prefer the white sandy beaches with gentle waves and bright blue water, Chaung Tha appeals more to the crowds who love the idea of being in a loud, bright, colourful sandy playground near the ocean, without feeling the need for white sand, clear waters and peace, per se.
Chaung Tha is a very popular destination for local families on the weekends, simply because the accommodation scene across from the beach is condensed not only with resorts but also plenty of hotels and middle-low class guest houses for those after a cheap getaway.
During the high season, there’s probably loads going on at the beach at all times, with kids running around building sand castles, flying kites, playing soccer, and parents spread out all around simply enjoying the sun and watching their children. On that note, this place is quite the perfect choice for smaller families looking for a beach holiday in Myanmar that’s entertaining for kids also.
If you want to do some deeper exploring, you can hire a boat and explore one of the neighboring islands. This is one of the more intimate and private activities to do in Chaung Tha.
Resort – Amazing Chaung Tha Resort
Whilst the island paradise resorts of Ngapali and Ngwe Saung may seem a tad out of place here, Amazing Chaung Tha Resort does an amazing job at bridging that gap. This three-star hotel offers overwhelming value for money. You pay a fraction of the price that you’d pay at other resorts, and you get the same stunning beachfront views, access to a beautiful outdoor pool at any time of the day, access to a private beach and therefore no crowds and loud noises, and stylish, comfortable rooms that leave little for the imagination.
To make your stay convenient, there is a ticketing service onsite where you can look at booking tours directly with the hotel, and even a car hire and bicycle rental service that you can also take advantage of.
Why Guests Love It: The amount that you pay versus the value that you get astounded many guests – this place is a complete bang for your buck. The staff are completely attentive here, and kept all areas and facilities well-maintained at all times.
Book It Now: Amazing Chaung Tha Resort
Myanmar Beaches #4 – Kanthaya Beach
If you’re after a detox from the world, a few days at the gorgeously and beautifully secluded Kanthaya Beach is just what the doctor ordered. It may seem fishy that we’re recommending you spend a few days in an area that’s still undeveloped (in terms of tourism), and won’t even accept any accommodation bookings online beforehand, but believe us when we say: trust the process.
At Ngapali, book a car, go for a drive along the coast towards Kanthaya Beach and just enjoy the views. Once you’re there, head to one of the guesthouses located along the beach and simply request boarding – we guarantee that you’ll find something on the day.
Most people head to Kanthaya because they’re after seclusion, peace, and quiet. This place won’t have the humming of large crowds, the loud gunning of motorboats, the screams of laughter and conversation. Rather, your days will be spent walking around, exploring the area on foot, soaking in the sun, taking time to truly relax and detach from the world for a while. It’s a rare thing today, to be able to come across such a self-sufficient place that will welcomes tourists wholeheartedly.
Spot #5 – Grandfather Beach (aka Po Po Kyauk Beach)
We’re not sure why this beach is nicknamed Grandfather Beach, but it’s a timeless beauty that really hasn’t hit the maps as of yet. We definitely need to mention that it’s quite the photographer’s heaven here during sunset and sunrise, and it’s not uncommon to see those who do venture out this far, to be carrying along chunky cameras to capture the true beauty of the beach for what it is.
The white sand here is almost squeaky clean, and on most days, deserted for the most part. It’s surrounded by mountains and hills that really bring out that paradise vibe, and with the sun beating down on your face, you’ll never want to leave.
Accommodation – Myanmar Paradise Beach Bungalows
This accommodation is located four kilometres away from Grandfather Beach, but feel free to hire scooters and ride around the secluded area during the day to get to and from places – it’s completely safe and highly recommended.
The accommodation itself has an onsite restaurant, a bar, and its own private beach area in Launglon. It also has family rooms that you can relax in, and all rooms come with private bathrooms with a shower and free toiletries. Don’t feel like you need to come prepared in terms of itinerary, because you can arrange a hike, a bike hire or a car hire easily at the accommodation itself.
This rather rustic accommodation is pretty basic, but it provides you with all the comforts that you really need for an enjoyable stay in a secluded beach area. Everyday that you wake up here is like waking up in paradise.
Why Guests Love It: Beautiful bungalows, beautiful beach, beautiful experience. Great place if you are looking to unwind. Truly an authentic and memorable experience if you’re looking to go off the grid for a while.
Book It Now: Myanmar Paradise Beach Bungalows
We implore that if you’re still debating whether to visit these beaches or not, the time is now. Within a few years, tourism levels might spike to what their neighbouring countries are right now, and you’ll never be able to experience the serenity that truly makes these Myanmar beaches special. Whether it’s the more developed Ngapali Beach up north or the untouched paradise that’s Grandfather Beach further down south, these beaches will imprint on you and make you want to return to Myanmar again and again to explore what this culture and beauty-rich country has to offer.
And for more tips about Myanmar, check out these articles: Myanmar Travel Blog.