Ngapali Beach, one of the best known beaches in Myanmar, located 7 kilometers (4 miles) from the town of Thandwe (Sandoway), southwest of Myanmar (Burma), has become one of the major and popular tourist destinations in this country.
With the increasing attention of the government of Burma to the tourism industry, more and more hotels and resorts are being built along the beach in Ngapali. These will let you have a good accommodation experience as well as enjoying the sunshine and the beach.
Ngapali Beach and Thai Beaches
As one of the famous beaches in Southeast Asia, Ngapali Beach will inevitably be compared with Thailand's beaches by travelers before or after their visit. Because of the relatively earlier development of tourism in Thailand, tourism facilities in Thailand’s beaches are more improved compared with Burma’s.
Of course, Ngapali Beach is still good. There, you can not only get away from the noise of the traffic and enjoy the rare quietness but can also take a look at the most primal rural surroundings.
Similarity and Difference
Here are some comparison results of the beaches in Ngapali and in Thailand. You can clearly see the similarities and differences of the beaches in these two places.
|Ngapali(Comfort)||Thai (Phuket, Koh Samui, etc.)(Luxury)|
|Price||Generally high||From low to high|
|Water||Warm and crystal clear||Some quiet beaches are good|
|Sand||Soft sand and calm waves||Sand on some beaches with stones (not good for walking)|
|Activities||Few choices: fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving||Many choices: island boat trips, surfing, motorcycling, cycling, diving, snorkeling, evening shows, bars|
|Transportation||Some domestic flights from other cities. Myanmar only departs to Yangon.||Many domestic flights from Thailand and international flights from Asian countries|
|Resorts||Most are 4–5 stars, direct access to the beach||From hostels to luxury resorts|
|Food and restaurants||OK||Many choices|
|Local people||Very nice||Nice, many people are not ethnically Thai|
|Travel type||Read a book, relax||Have fun, enjoy sports activities|
98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
Excellent planned and executed Myanmar excursion
Asia Highlights and their local Myanmar partner "mAsia" did an excellent job in planning and execution of a one week trip to Myanmar.The various tour guides and drivers had good knowledge and good command over English.More
Gerd, Jan 2018
In addition, I want to specifically mention the guides provided in certain locations. Rum, in Siem Reap, made the most memorable experience possible. His positivity was contagious - even when it felt like 1000 degrees and we were tired. He brought it all to life, and created a couple days of Ankor Wat, etc. that we will never forget! He heard my daughter's request for specific Cambodian food, and changed our itinerary to go to a village and eat at a locally known shop. He brought the dessert she asked about to us in the car! Overall, he and his driver "Lucky" were a reason to go to Siem Reap. In addition, the other guides (minus one which was switched out immediately) were stupendous. Mon in Bangkok was friendly and provided a great day there; Eak in Chiang Mai gave us a world-class food-tour and day touring the city and its surrounding temples with lots of laughs; Tommy in Hanoi kept us from getting killed in the traffic and gave a stupendous food and architecture/history tour - so very friendly and funny; the fishing village tour in Hoi An, as well as the side-car tour in Saigon, were both unforgettable! Thank you Sharon, and Asia Highlights. Would definitely use again for future trips!More
Teri Simpson, Apr 2023
Cambodia and Vietnam adventure!
Our guide in Cambodia, Meas Darapolaith (Pol), was absolutely amazing. He was knowledgeable, friendly and so helpful. His English was excellent and he shared important insights about history and the magnificent sites we visited. We highly recommend him!More
Jennifer Roth Krieger, Apr 2023
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE…
My daughter and I wanted to discover SE Asia. Being the first in that region, we wanted to use a tour service company. We ended up using Asia Highlights. From the beginning we were impressed with their services. We left home with of mind because all the pre-travel arrangements were taking care and communicate to us efficiently. All our questions were answered promptly. Once in the countries, we were welcome by our excellent tour guides. Everything was taking care for us. We did not have one issue. They selected the right tours guides for us, they were highly knowledgeable and so much attentive to our needs. We had Dhat in Vietnam and Borin in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I highly recommend Asia Highlights. I came back home so much rested, and with plenty of wonderful pictures and memories. I will definitely use Asia Highlights again for my next trip to Asia.More
Isabelle Dessaux, Apr 2023
Fabulous tour and guide in Cambodia
We have been touring Cambodia, guided by Borin ( and driver 007) for the last 2 days. What a fabulous experience! Borin has been a wonderful guide, the best so far in Southeast Asia, explaining the history and culture of Cambodia through his tours of the temples in and around Angkor, as well as the Landmine museum. He has answered all our questions, made sure we were comfortable, and that we have had great food. 007 made sure we always had enough water and cool towels for our face/neck.We highly recommend Borin as a tour guide for Cambodia!!More
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Alisa Liu was in charge of making the arrangements and she helped us from the start to make all of the arrangements and also helped us when we had questions and requested some adjustments. Her service is of the highest professional level. We are 100% confident that our trip will be perfect. We’re also 100% confident that, if anything comes up during our trip, that Alisa will be there to guide us through and take care of us. We won’t even consider using another agency for travel around Asia and we would like to have Alisa work for us again.More
Leo Pospichal, Mar 2023
Tour of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand
The tour guides and drivers were another high point. All were very good, friendly, knowledgeable and spoke English well. There were two that I want to call out for their excellence. Chan Sovannarith in Siem Reap was our guide in Cambodia. He really made the experience special. His knowledge, willingness to answer all my questions, helpfulness and general attitude made him fun to be around. In order to praise the second exceptional guide I have to explain about an unfortunate occurrence that I had. I'm normally a very active senior, but after leaving Cambodia for Laos I was suddenly struck by the most intense back pain I've ever experienced, couldn't even roll over in bed (turned out to be sciatica). The guide, Mr. Sonophet, really went the extra mile. He went with my traveling companion and bought a back brace and medications for me. When that didn't help much he took me to a clinic where I was seen by a doctor, given a shot and pain meds. He hand-made a walking stick for me that I'm still using! He made it possible for me to somewhat participate in the activities, i.e. a bed on the boat down the river. When it was time to move on to Bangkok he got me a wheelchair at the airport. I can't thank him enough for these kindnesses! This problem lasted for the remainder of the trip, through Bangkok and Phuket and these guides were also very helpful getting wheelchairs, etc. It was a terrible disappointment to have this wonderful trip disrupted, but it would have been SO much worse without the great help that I received from the guides and my poor travel companion!More
Deb M, Mar 2023
In good hands with Sam
Sam Ol took very good care of us - lots of information, listened to and answered all our questions, was passionate about the places we visited and about his people and country. He was kind, had a great sense of humor, and made sure we felt safe and comfortable at all times. He helped us to fall in love with Cambodia in 3 short days.More
Carol Jones, Feb 2023
Best tour guide in Cambodia
When we first arrived at the airport in Siem Riep it was so nice to be greeted by Mr Sam Ol. We instantly fell at home when we saw his friendly smile. We were impressed by his great English and knowledge of the temples. On the tour to the temples Sam took care of us every step of the way. He took awesome pictures of us. It felt like we were on a tour given by our brother who is also a professional photographer. Also, we appreciate his humor as well as the fact he had an answer for every question we had. I give Sam 5 stars, best tour guide ever :)More
Len S, Feb 2023
Mr. Sam our guide in Cambodia, he and the driver out standing service they went above and beyond touring, my wife so amazed beautiful country, we're planning back here near the futures. Thank Mr. Sam,We'll feedback the whole trip next week when we be home in USMore
Pho Lover, Feb 2023
We are still in the middle of our trip, but we are just finishing up our time in Cambodia and our guide, Borin, has been AMAZING!!! He has truly made our time here unforgettable and I plan on referring all of my friends and family to come visit this beautiful country! Thank you, Borin, for everything you did to make our trip so fantastic!More
Danielle Blount, Feb 2023
Excellent service and Wonderful Guides
All of our guides have been terrific. Mr. Sam in Siem Reip was especially wonderful. Both he and our driver were polite, safe knowledgable and informative. Sam made our trip memorable and enioyable. We will definitely recommend Sam and Asia Highlights to our friends.More
Kaaren, Feb 2023
Great tour guide Charity at Siem Reap
Our experience in Siem Reap could not have been any better thanks to our outstanding and cheerful guide, Charity. Her very good English speaking made it so easy to learn so much from her. She understood and answers all of our questions.She was relaxed and very knowledgeable. She went out out her way to help us make amazing pano photos of the cotton trees at Siem Reap and on our sunset cruise. She also advised us on Chanrey Tree restaurant—what we found to be the very best vegan restaurant on our first three weeks of our Asia tour. So glad to have vegan meals with very little oil!!! We are not supposed to have oil and is very hard to find vegan with no oil. Went went back the next night.More
Barbara Cornyn, Jan 2023
Best guide and driver in Cambodia
Mr Rum takes his profession very seriously and enriches the visits with his depth of knowledge and his interesting and relevant stories. He is a great story teller. More importantly, he is a nice person who we very much enjoyed getting to know in our short time together. Both he and Thary have winning smiles. They are easy to be around and fun to spend time with. It’s not surprising that Mr Rum has maintained contact and friendships with many previous clients.More
John Mullin, Jan 2023
Charity and Cambodia were amazing!
We had a fantastic time in Siem Reap. Charity was our tour guide and was the best! She brought knowledge and enthusiasm as she took us around. She was friendly, warm and open making our tour and experience in Siem Reap so wonderful. She gave us awesome suggestions for us to do at the end of the day such as go see a dance performance or visit the night market as well as an early morning activities like watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon. It was magical and we are so grateful to Charity for making this such a memorable trip. She also gave us great suggestion for food and went far and beyond to make sure our vegetarian and food requirements were met. Our driver and car was fantastic as well. We had the best time in Cambodia and would love to visit again. We recommend visiting and having Charity as their tour guide to anyone who has the opportunity to come!More
Prema, Jan 2023
Amazing tour of Cambodia with excellent…
Amazing tour of Cambodia with excellent guide Luch.. Luch was very knowledgeable and took an extra mile to explain us the Angkorwat sculptures.. the private car was very comfortable.. well planned .. we loved Cambodia and would definitely recommend my friends.. Asia highlights are the bestMore
Koustuv Sarkar, Jan 2023
Our rep in Cambodia Chan Sovannarith…
Our rep in Cambodia Chan Sovannarith was very attentive and accommodated my daughter not feeling well by taking us to a chemist to get medication for her. I highly recommend Chan as a rep with Asian highlights he did an excellent job when taking us back to the airport he literally waited to make sure we were all set for our flight to Chang Mai in Thailand. I felt safe knowing he was there incase there were issues. Again, great rep. Thank you!!More
Karen Brooks, Dec 2022
We enjoyed our trip VERY much
We enjoyed our trip very much. Our guide, Mr. Polrith is very knowledgeable and provided insightful information about the history, culture and religions of the country. Temples of Cambodia are amazing. They are more beautiful than you can imagine. Thank you so much Mr.Polrith and see you next timeMore
Tugba Balc, Dec 2022
A truly magical experience
You measure the quality of a tour company with how they handle the bumps along the way. Encountering unexpected baggage fees from Cambodia Angkor Air in Siem Reap.Albee without hesitation agreed to cover this cost.More
Bob Bosshard, Mar 2020
Great trip with Asia Highlights
We had already booked two trips in China with China Highlights. Both trips were a great experience. So when planning our trip to Cambodia we immediately thought of Asia Highlights because they offer a trip to VietnamMore
Frank & Nadia, Nov 2019
How to Get to Ngapali Beach
Ngapali Beach is situated on the Bay of Bengal in the south of Rakhine State and is 282 kilometers (175 miles) northwest of Yangon, the capital and transportation hub of Myanmar.
Thandwe Airport (SNW) is only about 10 minutes from Ngapali Beach and most of the star hotels or resorts will provide transfers from the airport to the hotel and they also have their own desk at the arrival area to welcome their guests.
If you didn’t arrange for a transfer in advance, taxis will be available and the price will vary depending on your hotel's position but should not be more than K5,000.
Every day from 6:30am to 2pm, there are at least six flights from Yangon to Thandwe, but not all flights are direct. Some of them may stop at Nyaung-U, Heho, or Sittwe. Moreover, some flights are not daily. They will operate two to four days a week and they can be canceled due to adverse weather conditions.
From Bagan (Nyaung-U Airporst)
Every day from 7:45am to 10:40am, there are at least four flights from Nyaung-U to Thandwe, but there are no direct flights and they are frequently canceled during the rainy season.
From Inle Lake (Heho Airport)
From 8:40am to 11:45am, there are at least four flights from Heho to Thandwe. They are all direct flights without stops and it takes about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Flights are frequently canceled during the rainy season.
At 9am and 9:50am, there are only two flights from Mandalay to Thandwe and the flight at 9am is only available on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday; they are frequently canceled during the rainy season.
There is at least one flight from Sittwe to Thandwe every day.
There are only flights from Thandwe to Yangon and Sittwe, so arranging to visit Ngapali at the end of your Burma trip is a good choice.
Unlike Thailand and other travel industry developed countries, it is very unusual to travel long distances by road (including trains and cars) in Burma. Poor road conditions will erase all the travel passion.
For example, a journey from Yangon to Thandwe took 12 to 14 hours on very bad roads through the jungle of the Arakan Range, and was considered as one of the worst in Myanmar by backpackers who have undertaken this trip.
To save your time and ensure a good travel experience, traveling to Ngapali Beach by road will be the least recommended option.
Best Ngapali Beach Resorts
Ngapali Beach is a rarely-seen, pristine beach along the long coastline with limited accessibility. As such, the standard of its accommodation might be a little bit different from other places. There are about 70 mid-range to high-end hotels in Ngapali Beach (not including backpacker lodges, hostels, or guesthouses). But there are less than 20 5-star hotels.
In Thailand or other countries where the tourism facilities have been perfected, visitors can choose their own hotel in different beach areas according to their preferences. But in Ngapali, because the tourism facilities are not that perfect, the choice of the hotel, the hotel facilities, as well as the service play a very important role in your trip. It might even be the key to your travel experience.
Asia Highlights Hotel Standards
- Burma style (wood, original) with modern comforts.
- We choose establishments with between 20 and about 60 rooms. This will ensure you receive a full service in a quiet environment.
- Western management with local staff. In Ngapali, you might not have many restaurant choices like in other developed beaches, and it is likely that you will have your meals in the hotel. So a Western management team and kitchen (Western menu) can better serve you and know you better. And a hotel with local workers can help the local community with job opportunities.
We, at Asia Highlights, have handpicked five hotels according to these standards and a good cost performance to ensure you have a comfortable stay.
Aureum Resort and Spa
Star rating: 5 stars
Number of rooms: 40
Room type: cottage, log cabin
Introduction: There will be intervals between every cottage to ensure your privacy. You might be woken up by the sound of the birds in the garden, and when you open the window, a fresh breeze from the sea will blow in your face.
A restaurant and bar have also been built on the beach, so you can enjoy your meal at the sea view restaurant. Southeast Asian cuisine, Western-style food, and Japanese cuisine are all available for you.
There is an outdoor swimming pool in the hotel. Guests staying in the executive cottage have a private pool. All the rooms are more than 90 square meters and they can all accommodate an extra bed, which meets guests’ needs with a big family.
The Aureum Palace Hotels Group is a company with 20 years of history, and its hotels in Burma have the best management. They hire British and Swiss staff to ensure professional Western management and service.
The hotel can arrange all kinds of day tours, such as fishing trips, village tours, boat trips to Pearl Island, cooking classes, and more.
Recommendation: Guests who are fond of privacy and quiet should choose the Garden View Cottage. It is about 1 minutes' walk through the garden to the beach. Guests with kids can choose the Ocean View Cottage, which directly faces the sea.
Bayview — the Beach Resort
Star rating: 4 stars
Number of rooms: 45
Room type: 12 deluxe view rooms and 33 garden bungalows
Introduction: Located in a small bay, the hotel boasts a private beachfront stretching for several kilometers. The waves are relatively calm and the sand is softer than elsewhere.
The rooms are set in tropical landscapes and are wooden structures without too many overly-flattering decorations. The palm tree garden creates a natural and quiet environment.
All the rooms can also utilize a babysitting service and all rooms can accommodate an extra bed so are suitable for families with kids.
The deluxe room is 48 square meters, the bungalow is 44 square meters while the 110-square-meter executive beachfront room has two bathrooms and is suitable for a family. Each room and bungalow has its own private balcony.
There are many helpful designs (such as wheelchair access) and environmental protection designs in this hotel. The hotel can arrange all kinds of activities (for an extra cost, such as a barbecue). When you eat in the restaurant, you can not only enjoy the stunning sunset but can also see the fishermen returning home.
Asian food and Italian food are available in the restaurant. The hotel has German management with more than 120 employees who are all very attentive and pay attention to details. The staff members react quickly to guests' requests.
Recommendation: The hotel is more suitable for guests who love quietness and enjoy leisure. The children’s menu, children's recreation facilities in the pool, as well as the nanny service (upon request) make this hotel the first choice for guests with kids.
A family with less than 4 people can stay in a deluxe beach room while the executive suite will be recommended for a family with more than 4 people (two rooms only, early booking required).
Star rating: 4 stars
Number of rooms: 59
Room type: deluxe room with garden view, beachfront cottage, sea view villa
Introduction: The fabulous setting of this hotel is its key feature. The hotel is situated right on the beach. The beach is great for swimming and sunbathing. The structure is wonderfully designed and surrounded by a beautiful garden.
The villa is amazing with fantastic decor and an excellent sea view. It is so charming and cultured that it makes you feel like you're at home. Every room has its own assigned beach beds! Every detail is nicely conceived.
A beautiful salt water pool overlooks the beach. The staff light up the pool with candles at night. Spa treatments are on offer. A cinema and library will relieve your fatigue. The hotel can also organize day trips around the local area. The staff members at the hotel are incredibly friendly and very professional.
Accompanied by the sound of the waves and the warm smile of the service staff, it is a natural place to relax. Even if you don't do anything, it's the best place to recharge your batteries.
After a tiring journey in Burma, this is a perfect place to rest and recover before going home. The restaurant offers a great selection of Asian and Mediterranean flavors. The breakfast menu offers a great local flavor.
Recommendation: The beachfront cottage will be suitable for couples while guests with kids are recommended to stay in the beachfront villa.
Pleasant View Resort
Star rating: 3 stars
Number of rooms: 56
Room type: deluxe room and bungalow
Introduction: A good location facing the sea. The resort is well designed and is on one of the best stretches of beach. Some may not view it as a plus, but the resort's proximity to the fishing village to the south gives you the realization that you are still in Myanmar and it is great for taking photos.
The spa there is excellent and massages are available. You can get cheaper massages in the street at the back of the resort, but it is worth paying a little bit extra to have them at the resort.
The rooms are lovely; they are wooden and fairly contemporary in design. There is air-conditioning and comfortable verandas.
Recommendation: The rooms are about 48 square meters while the bungalow is about 40 square meters. All types of room can accommodate an extra bed. If you prefer quietness, the deluxe room with a garden view will satisfy you. Lively people will prefer a deluxe beachfront room with a sea view.
Thande Beach Hotel
Star rating: 3 stars
Number of rooms: 61
Room type: standard room and deluxe room
Introduction: After arriving at the airport, you will be met in the arrivals hall by a member of the hotel's staff displaying your name on a board. He/she will help you to collect your luggage and escort you out to a waiting a/c minibus.
You will arrive at the hotel 25 minutes later to be met by the happy and smiling reception staff. The great service will continue throughout your stay.
In general, Ngapali cannot compete in terms of value and money with beach locations in other Southeast Asian countries — but the Thande Beach Hotel offers good value for money within Ngapali. You will feel like you are getting more for your money if you choose to stay in Thande Beach Hotel.
Recommendation: If you prefer a little more privacy, you can choose a deluxe room with a garden view, which is situated at the back of the hotel.
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