Ngapali Beach - Rakhine State
Do you like peace and tranquility, and visit places "far from the madding crowds?" As many of us now live in crowded cities with the stress and strain of over-population, we need periods of relaxation away from urban areas, and go back closer to nature. Situated about 7 km away from Thandwe (Sandoway), one of the ancient Rakhine (formerly Arakan) towns. It is said to have been named after the Naple of Italy by a homesick Italian. It is famous for its natural and unspotted beauty up to this day. The beach stretches about 3 km with soft white sand fringed by coconut palms. It serves as the best ground for sunbathing and recreation such as beach strolling, cycling and so on. Unlike today's beaches of Asia, it is free of noisy beachside bars, crowded people and hawkers persuading you to buy their things. There are only natural scenic beauty of the blue sea, white sand and the lovely sun. The sea is cobalt blue, without any dangerous marine animals and clean.
The water here is transparent and the sea is tranquil. Bicylce tours are arranged to visit the nearby villages. The villagers usually sun dry their fish, shrimp and coconut. These products are transported to Yangon and and over the country. The best time to visit this beach during October and May of every year.
Undoubtedly one of the best places for a relaxing holiday is Ngapali Beach near Thandwe (Sandoway) in Rakkhine (Arakan) State,on the Bay of Bengal. Ngapali Beach is one of the loveliest places in Myanmar; it is also one of the most unspoilt beaches in the world, with miles of pure white sands skirting the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Actually, Ngapali is not one single beach. but a series of beaches interspersed with small fishing villages stretching from Mazin where the airport is located, to Lontha on Mayo Bay where coastal steamers dock in a sheltered anchorage.
A small winding tarmac road snakes its way along the coast for about twelve miles from Mazin to Lontha, passing through Ngapali village, Shwewa Gyaing, Myabyin, Lontha and several other small villages nestling between the beaches and the hills along the coast. A golf course next to the road near Ngapali village is being upgraded. The road is also being widened, from two lanes to four lanes, and the airport will be extended to take bigger planes. A new terminal building has already been constructed. The private Mandalay Air and the government Myanmar Airways fly to Ngapali on alternate days throughout the week. It takes only 45 minutes flying time from Yangon.
After resting on the beach under the clear blue skies, the more energetic tourist or traveller has the option of exploring the range of hills behind the Strand Beach Hotel.Once you are on the small hills you will find a peaceful lake, which is actually a reservoir with blue waters where you can fish but not swim. In the winter months this lake is the haunt of migrating water fowls, wild ducks, teals and others which come down from the far north, beyond the borders of Myanmar. Ponies are available for riding along the beaches. Fishing boats with motors can be hired for trips to some of the islands off the coast or just to fish near the reef. Some travelers like to go on what is known as" side cars ", trishaws, peddled by local village men with two back to back seats for passengers at the side. Local buses ply between the villages and also to Thandwe, the district centre about seven miles away from the hotel. The best and cheapest way is to hire a bicycle to go around.
Ngapali is accessible by flight which takes about 45 minutes from Yangon, by car about 14 hours drive along the Rakhine Yoma mountain range. Ngapali has an international 18-holes golf resort, where you can relax. Ngapali Strand Beach Hotel has about forty-four single-storey bungalows, with comfortable two bed-rooms with bathrooms attached in each building. There are also three modern double -storey buildings. The hotel which first opened about thirty-five years ago is now being upgraded with modern facilities. If you are looking for a peaceful holiday with time to read and reflect, Ngapali with its lovely beaches is the place to visit. There you will find serenity and peace of mind amidst beautiful scenery.