Whilst Myanmar might not be the first name of your list when it comes to looking for a beach holiday, you shouldn’t underestimate it. Although most of the beaches in this country don’t offer fun activities like some beaches in Indonesia, this isn’t why you should look to visit.
Many people travel to Burma to experience the wildlife the country has to offer. However, not everyone knows that Myanmar actually offers some of the best untouched beaches in Asia. They haven’t had the media coverage and footfall of many other Asian beaches, leaving them as they have been for thousands of years.
So where should you look to visit in Myanmar? Well, we’re going to look at some of the top spots.
Best Beaches in Myanmar
Beaches in Myanmar are situated in the western part of Myanmar, where the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Martaban meet. Beaches are formed from the deposition of sand, mud and gravel by both wind-driven currents (swash) and longshore currents.
Beaches usually have a gradient between 1:3 and 1:20, depending on energy density and frequency, sediment size or type, duration of waves’ action etc. Beaches are not permanently populated until structures are built to protect buildings and people., which can be vulnerable to erosion.
Undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Myanmar, Ngapali is a little way off the beaten track. But if you’re looking for somewhere to get away, then there’s nowhere better in the whole country. You can catch a flight to nearby Thandwe airport from Yangon, which only takes around 50 minutes.
When we’re talking about the best beaches, then we’re generally looking for clear waters, soft sands and a clean beach. Ngapali has all of these things, and it’s not inundated with tourists either. You can easily lose a day walking along the beach, relaxing and taking a quick dip when you feel like it.
The beach itself is very long, and it’s the longest stretch of beach in Myanmar. Whilst many people look to Thailand for some of the top Asian beaches, and rightly so, Ngapali is a reminder that there are some amazing beaches elsewhere.
If you’re looking to stay a little closer to the city of Yangon, then maybe Ngwe Saung would make a better choice. It’s another one of the best beaches in this area.
What you lose in terms of activities with most beaches in Myanmar, you gain in tranquility and calmness. Ngwe Saung isn’t the best place to go if you’re looking for fun stuff to do every day. But it is the perfect place to take an actual break.
As you might expect from a quaint town, the locals are extremely friendly and always smiling in this area. There are some excellent seafood restaurants in the area too, and it’s a good place to relieve some stress. Although it’s a little busier than it once was years ago, it’s still a great place for you to visit if you’re in Myanmar.
Although not part of Myanmar’s mainland, I have to mention Mergui Archipelago, which is often called the last unspoilt islands of Asia. Whilst there are still some great islands for you to visit, Mergui Archipelago is definitely the least explored.
They’re still relatively easy to get to, and you can get to them from Kawthaung, which is a two hour flight from Yangon (and only 35 minutes from Ranong, Thailand). Different resorts have popped up across the island over the last decade, as only in the last 25 years has Myanmar decided to allow people to do so.
The good thing is that all of the resorts being built on this island are dedicated to maintain as smaller footprint as possible. Much of the energy here is solar powered. There are different bays and islands to choose from here that it’s difficult to narrow it down to just one. Pictured is Ta Fook island, which still remains relatively unexplored.
So, if you hate the thought of visiting some of Asia’s touristy islands nowadays, but would have loved to visit them before they became inundated with backpackers and tourists, then visiting Mergui Archipelago should be on your bucket list – as soon as you can.
As you’d expect, many of the best beaches in the country are situated off the West coast. It’s easier to get here from Bangkok than it is from Yangon. And in some ways, it’s quite similar to Hua Hin, which is one of the better beaches to visit near Bangkok.
But Maungmagan beach is famous in it’s own right – it’s one of the most well known beaches in this country. One thing that it’s well known for is it’s high quality seafood, which is some of the best in the country.
The food isn’t the only reason to visit Maungmagan beach. Another thing that it has is some of the best sunsets in the region too. So, coming here in the early evening is definitely a good idea if you want to experience this.
Maungmagan itself is a small village, and the beach here is the second oldest in Myanmar. So, it’s definitely worth taking the time to visit if you’re in the area.
Kabyar Wa Beach
A little further up the coast from Dawai and Maungmagan is Kabyar Wa, another relatively untouched beach on the Western coast. As you’ve probably expected if you’ve read this far, it isn’t the easiest beach to get to, but it’s definitely worth your time.
In terms of scenery, this beach is definitely at the top of the list. There are a few places where you can pull up and bamboo chair and watch the world drift by here. As well as this, the area itself is pretty cheap, so if you’re looking for somewhere affordable to visit, then Kabyar Wa definitely fits that bill.
I’ve actually seen some of the reviews of this beach complaining that there’s no built up buildings in the area and upscale hotels. Well, this isn’t the sort of place for you if that’s what you’re looking for. But if you’re looking for a genuine beach that locals love, then consider visiting here.
In conclusion, Myanmar is’t many people’s idea of a beach holiday – and that’s a good thing. This means that for those who do their research beforehand, they might get the chance to visit some of these beaches without mass tourism in the area, giving a more peaceful retreat. Oh, and it should go without saying – if you’re the kind of person to leave plastic at the beach, then please stay away from Myanmar (and all beaches, forever).