Ngapali Beach is a great place to relax and recover after a busy tour of Myanmar's cities and cultural heritage sites. Its palm-fringed sandy beaches and crystal clear waters are as good as (if not better than!) any of its more famous Thai counterparts. This is definitely paradise!

Highlights

  • Walk along one of Southeast Asia's less-developed, pristine beaches
  • Ride a bicycle to fishing villages and witness local rural culture
  • Enjoy a cocktail and fresh grilled seafood by the sea
  • Snorkel, dive, or kayak at the untouched Pearl Island

Overview

A few days at Ngapali Beach are a great addition to any longer Myanmar tour. The country is chock-full of interesting cities and ancient heritage sites, but you may end your trip feeling a little tired from the rushing around and in need of a second vacation!

You can recharge at Ngapali Beach, with its white sands, sparkling waters, fresh seafood, and gentle adventure activities like cycling, snorkeling, and boat rides. It's said to resemble other Southeast Asian beach destinations before the tourist hoards descended (encouraging rampant development), so enjoy this little piece of paradise now.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Thandwe

Thandwe
Thandwe

From most of Myanmar's cities, it's only a short flight to the seaport city of Thandwe. There, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to Ngapali Beach, approximately 20-30 minutes away.

The rest of the day is for you to spend as you like, either relaxing at your hotel or exploring your surroundings. Many hotels here offer spa treatments, so unwind from your travels with a massage or other beauty treatment. If you'd prefer to get moving, you can grab a bike and ride along the quiet streets of Ngapali to the nearby fisherman's village.

Days 2–3: Ngapali Beach

Ngapali
Ngapali Beach

The next couple of days are yours to continue exploring, although there are definitely some recommended activities. You will want to spend plenty of time on the beautiful beach, but there are more active things to do in the area if sitting on the beach all day isn't your thing.

You can go diving in the clear waters, take long walks along the sweeping stretch of sand, visit the neighboring fishing villages, tour local religious sites, check out pottery and weaving workshops, or borrow a bike to explore (if you didn't do this on your arrival day).

Be aware, though, that foreigners are not allowed to ride motorbikes, even with an international driver's license. There's time for all these activities, as well as relaxing and watching the local life along the beach.

If you want to explore the marine life a little further, join a boat trip and snorkel, dive or kayak close to one of the many islands off the coast. The underwater life is very colorful here. The pristine Pearl Island is especially worthy of a visit. The sands are sparkling white, the water amazingly clear, and the water warm. If you already thought Ngapali Beach was chilled out and unspoiled, you're in for a treat on Pearl Island! There's only one restaurant/bar on the island, but you should make time to enjoy a drink there.

Day 4: Ngapali Beach - Thandwe - Yangon

Grilled tiger prawns in a restaurant in Ngapali
Grilled tiger prawns, Ngapali

After a leisurely breakfast, drive back to the airport for your domestic flight to Yangon.

Enjoy some leisure time in Yangon, especially some last-minute souvenir shopping. Bogyoke Market – also known as Scott Market – is a good place to head. Here, you can find longyis (traditional clothing), jewelry, wooden items, paintings, lacquerware, and other handicrafts from around Myanmar. If you've been lucky enough to tour some craft-making facilities in Myanmar, you'll recognize a lot of the items, as goods from around the country can be found here.

Take the opportunity to walk around Yangon's colonial-era downtown area, with its beautiful and colorful architecture. If you haven’t had the opportunity yet, head to the spectacular golden-spired Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset, the symbol of the country. It's an incredibly holy place for the people of Myanmar and you will certainly feel the sacred atmosphere.

For dinner, you can enjoy one of Yangon's more upmarket restaurants or follow your nose and snack on some street food. With the latter, the trick is that if somewhere is busy with locals, the food is likely safe to eat!

Day 5: Yangon Departure

Yangon
Shwedagon pagoda, Yangon

After breakfast, do as you please in Yangon until your departing flight.