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Ngapali Beach

Ngapali Beach

Ngapali Beach is a beach located 7 kilometres from the town of Thandwe (Sandoway), in Rakhine State, Myanmar. It is one of the best known beaches in Myanmar and is a popular tourist destination. The beach stretches for 3 km and overlooks the Indian Ocean. The name "Ngapali", has no meaning in Burmese, but comes from the Italian "Napoli" (the city of Naples)
Ngapali Overview
Ngapali Beach is Myanmar's best-known, premier beach resort, and one of just three beach destinations in the country. It lies on the country's northwest coast facing the Bay of Bengal, an hour's flight from Yangon. It is popular enough with both wealthy Burmese and foreign tourists to warrant a half dozen or more ATR flights a day from the commercial capital Yangon in the high season between November and April.
 
The recent opening of Myanmar has proved a huge boost for Ngapali, and the 2013-14 high season was perhaps the first where all hotels – almost 20 that year – were booked out completely, something the hotel industry is anticipating will continue for years to come. Myanmar's amazing transformation from pariah outcast to darling of the global travel industry has created huge demand in its three beach destinations. The hotel and land owners of Ngapali couldn't be happier. While the hotels were full in early 2014 the sound of construction resonated up and down the beach. Four large new hotels were coming close to completion, while several others were expanding and upgrading.
 
With so many hotels brimming with guests, Ngapali's status as an 'undiscovered' beach is virtually over, but passing that benchmark is just the beginning of the journey for a beach that is almost certain to join the ranks of Asian's best-known, high-class destinations.
Ngapali History
Ngapali Beach is a beach located 7 kilometres (4 mi) from the town of Thandwe (Sandoway), in Rakhine State, Myanmar. It is the most famous beach in Myanmar and is a popular tourist destination. Myanmar's political climate means that Ngapali is not as well publicized as other good beaches of Southeast Asia.
 
The beach stretches for 3 km (2 mi) and overlooks the Indian Ocean. The name "Ngapali", has no meaning in Burmese, but comes from the Italian "Napoli" (the city of Naples).
 
Ngapali Beach has been promoted as a major tourist destination in Myanmar. Several resorts and hotels are located in Ngapali, usually of the high end - such as Bayview Ngapali, Amata Resort, Amazing Ngapali and also the government owned Anawa. Ngapali used to have private bungalos, but these were torn down in the late 1990s to make way for the development of hotels. The hotels and small tourism industry helps to provide income for the villages around Ngapali and also Thandwe. There is also a golf course nearby.
 
The beach is served by Thandwe Airport. All of Myanmar's internal airlines, Myanma Airways, Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, Air KBZ and Air Bagan have frequent flights to Thandwe from most of their destinations. Ngapali's isolation means that few people are able to afford the airfare, thus making it more popular amongst tourists as an unspoilt and private beach.
Ngapali climate and best time to visit
Ngapali has 2 types of climates prevailing, namely the tropical monsoon climate and moderate climate.
The best time to visit Ngapali in Myanmar is from January until May and September until December, when you will have a warm temperature and none till mediocre rainfall. The highest average temperature in Ngapali is 32°C in April and the lowest is 28°C in January. The water temperature is between 27°C and 31°C. The weather and climate of Ngapali is suitable for a sun vacation.
Ngapali Transportation
By Air
Thandwe Airport is located about eight kilometres north of Ngapali Beach and is a 10 minute car journey away from most of the area’s resorts and hotels. Daily flights connect Ngapali and Yangon — the journey takes about 50 minutes.
Thandwe Airport is a domestic airport with no international flights. If you’re travelling from any other Southeast Asian country, you’ll need to travel to Yangon first before making your way to Ngapali Beach.
 
By Bus
Ngapali Beach is accessible by bus from Yangon. The journey takes about 14 hours and can be quite bumpy and comfortable due to Myanmar’s road network. Most travellers to Ngapali Beach travel from Yangon to Thandwe by air due to the far shorter travel time.
Things to do and see in Ngapali
Ngapali is about relaxing and enjoying the sun, but other activities include taking trips on local fishing boats; kayaking; snorkelling or scuba diving amongst the brightly coloured fish; and cycling or motorbiking down the beach and around some of the local villages.
 
Go bird watching
Bird watchers well catered for in Ngapali Beach as this is an excellent spot in Myanmar if you want to check out a range of local birds as well as other avians that migrate to the area.
 
The best place to see the birds is at the Hget Pyaw Chaung Lake and here you can expect to find as many as 30 different species.
 
Take a boat trip along the Thandwe River
The main waterway through Ngapali Beach is the serene Thandwe River and there is no better way to check it out than by taking a scenic boat trip upriver.
 
Visit Zalun Monastery
One of the best known attractions in Ngapali Beach is the Zalun Monastery which is famous as it still contains the mummified body of a Buddhist monk.
 
Kinmaw Village Clay Pottery
The delightful Kinmaw Village is located on the outskirts of Ngapali Beach and this is the ideal place to come if you want to find out all about traditional arts and crafts in Myanmar. The village has made a name for itself thanks to its clay pottery, particularly its pots, bowls and drinking vessels.
 
Shop at Thandwe Market
When you visit Ngapali Beach, you may want to get out of the center of town and head to Thandwe which is four miles outside of Ngapali Beach proper. This is one of the prettiest towns in the area and if you come here in the morning then you can check out the local market when it is in full swing. Some of the highlights of the market include locals selling fruits and vegetables as well as mounds of dried snacks and textiles.
 
Explore Nandaw and Sandaw Pagodas
The charmingly named Nandaw and Sandaw pagodas are located on hills on the outskirts of Thandwe village and actually consist of three pretty golden pagodas. The pagodas are known as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhist worshippers in the region and are scattered across several hills around Thandwe. The tallest pagoda is called Nandaw Paya and this is also the most famous as it is said to be the home of a section of one of the ribs of the Buddha.
 
Climb Amata Mountain
One of the most important Buddhist sites in Ngapali Beach is Amata Mountain which is located on the outskirts of Jade Taw Fishing Village. The mountain is known in the area for its large and dominating state of a Standing Buddha and you can also take in scenic views here over the rest of Rakhine State.
 
Take a hot air balloon ride
On boat tours you can ask to go to the fishing villages; islands just off the coast; go snorkelling; or visit the Tilawkasayambhu Buddha, situated on a hilltop at the far end of the bay to the south of Ngapali, offering panoramic views over the bay and out to sea.
 

Ngapali Travel Tips
Whether you’re looking for a five-star hotel or a budget hostel, Ngapali has accommodation options for every need. The first thing to decide is which area of the beach you want to stay in, the northern part near the airport, or the southern end closer to the town of Gyeiktaw. No matter what you choose, there are plenty of options available. Here are some of recommended spots to stay in Ngapali beach.
 
Yoma Cherry Lodge: This hotel on Kiplings Bay has just 15 rooms, but offers lush scenery and excellent service.
 
River Top Lodge: For a great budget-friendly option, this hotel in the south stays around $50 USD per night, but still boasts high quality and a variety of amenities.
 
Ngapali Bay Villas and Spa: If you really want to splurge, this all-out resort has everything from a private pool to spa facilities and top-tier service.
 
Whether you’re looking for adventure or just wanting to relax on the beach for a few days, Ngapali beach doesn’t disappoint. The toughest is part is getting there, but once you’ve arrived, you won’t want to leave!
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