A new beach
Ngwe Saung 's beach has been open quite recently to the foreigners.
It is a very nice beach, sea is really good (much more than
at Chaung Tha few kilometers away up north), sand is white
and there is almost nobody. Ngwe Saung is a 9 mile beach and
only the first 4.5 mile (southern part) is occupied by hotels.
Currently, Ngwe Saung looks like what Chaung Tha village used
to be, few but excellent restaurant, dust road and local people.
How to go to Ngwe Saung ?.
This is the main "problem" (as for all the other beach in Myanmar).
Basically, you have 4 solutions :
- Bus. It is cheap (8000 kyats). You have to take the bus
at the new Yangon bus terminal (north of the airport) to Pathein.
Arrived in Pathein, you have to cross the river by ferry or
local small boat and you hire a taxi (or again a bus) on the
other side of the river (takes 1 hour to reach the Beach from
Pathein). The total time is around 5 hours. Be careful, the
new bus terminal in Yangon is far north of the city, take
a taxi and allow at least 30 minutes from downtown. Bus is
a very convenient solution, especially if you consider the
- Private car : It is expensive or let say very expensive,
cost you the same than going by plane to Ngapali (more or
less). It can cost at 100 USD per way for a good car and almost the
same price for a 6 seats Toyota hiace. Try to travel in group. The advantage is that you will have the opportunity to visit Pathein on the way.
Driving from Yangon takes 5 to 6 hours (more probably 6h)
- Boat : You can use the public daily local boat to Pathein, and then rent a taxi or take a local bus (not confortable) to go to Ngwe Saung or Chaung Tha beach.
- Plane : The aiport in Pathein is new, with a long runway, but sadly, we do not have clear information (septembre 2013) on when it will be really and practically possible to come to Pathein by plane.
Chaung Tha - Ngwe
There is no road from Chaung Tha to Ngwe Saung. If you want
to reach one village from the other one, you need to drive
back in direction of Yangon at least one hour before you can
turn to go to the beach. Not a very good idea.
When to go to Ngwe Saung
You have three period :
- June to Septembre (monsoon season): It is raining , almost every day (but really less than in Ngapali). Most of the hotels are closed, especially in June, but in July and August, you may find some small hotels open (the best hotels are usually closed until 1st october).
In Septembre, you will rain and sunny days, could worth try to come to Ngwe saung (but it is still officially monson time).
- Octobre to May : This is the hot, dry season (even very very hot in March, April, May). This is the best time to go, especially from Novembre to February (except if you like very hot weather like in April and May).
- Xmas - new Year (and Buddhist New Year 12-17 April). Hotels are usually full and prices are skyrocketting. It is the "Peak Seasons" and if you like to have a room in some of the finest hotels like Treasure or Palm beach or Aureum. You have to book long time in advance (and be ready to pay 30 to 50% more). Nevertheless, it is a very good time to go, weather is fine or even very hot in April.
More detailled weather data :
Specific problems at Ngwe Saung.
Unfortunately, since 2-3 years, some "problems" that may spoil your holiday (especially in you are with your familly and young child) start to appear in Ngwe Saung and unfortunately nothing is really done by the hotels or the village to control them.
- Jet Ski : Some hotels, especially in the northern part of the beach, but also the villagers, rent jet ski to local users (mostly) who clearly do not care at all about security and use the jet ski at full speed, sometimes less than 5 meters from the beach (to play with the waves...)
- Moto taxi : Motobike are supposed to be forbidden on the beach. Unfortunately, all day long, you have moto taxis going up and down the beach. If you have children playing, it is making you quite nervous.
For this two specific points, Ngapali is much more relaxing and quiet than Ngwe Saung.
Motobike at Ngwe Saung
Jet ski Ngwe Saung Beach
Hotels at Ngwe Saung beach
There is actually 19 hotels or spot for hotel (some are not
built yet) along the first 4.5 miles. The government is planning
to open 19 additional hotels on the remaining 4.5 miles. We
have to say that it is almost impossible to see the hotels
from the beach. They are very well hidden below the trees (except in the northern part of the beach).
The northen part of the beach is less green, less relaxing than the southern part, there is more rock and the hotels are less in harmony with the beach (or even not at all).
You will find in the northern part some hotels which unfortunately do not fit at all with the beach and the environment.......
For us, the best part is the southern part of the beach which has some fine hotels such as the Treasure and Palm Beach. The beach is very very long (5km), with a small island nearby where you can do nice snorkling.
At the southern part of the beach, you will find a coconut plantation and a small fishermen village.
Hotels list and pictures of the hotels