For most travelers, a beach destination is arranged at the end of a trip, since after spending a long time of seeing architecture, culture and human landscapes, a relaxing beach vacation is not only a rest for the eyes but also for the tired body.
As the most popular beach destination in Myanmar, Ngapali Beach is often arranged at the end of a trip for another logistical reason – there are fewer domestic air connections in Myanmar, compared with other countries where tourism is more developed, such as Thailand.
Getting in and Out
Ngapali Beach is only about 10 minutes from Thandwe Airport (SNW), so the preference of many travelers is to go to Ngapali.
But the only flights from Thandwe are to Yangon and Sittwe, and Yangon International Airport has the most connections to international flights, so it seems most sensible to arrange to visit Ngapali Beach at the end of your Myanmar trip, so you can fly on to Yangon and connect with an international flight.
Every day from 6:30am to 2pm, there are at least six flights from Yangon to Thandwe, but not all are direct; some may stop at Nyaung-U, Heho, or Sittwe. Moreover, some flights are not daily, but only operate two to four days a week, and can be canceled due to adverse weather conditions.
From Bagan (Nyaung-U Airport)
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 flights are frequently canceled during the rainy season.
There are only two flights a day from Mandalay to Thandwe, at 9 and 9:50am, and the flight at 9am is only available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays; also they are frequently canceled during the rainy season.
From Inle Lake (Heho Airport)
From 8:40am to 11:45am each day, there are at least four flights from Heho to Thandwe. They are all direct flights and take about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Flights are frequently canceled during the rainy season.
There is at least one flight from Sittwe to Thandwe every day.
Getting to Your Hotel
Shuttle Bus or Private Transfer
Most hotels offer shuttle bus or private transfer service from the airport to the hotel. But you should book and confirm with your hotel before you arrive. Some hotels offer free transfers to guests while others charge.
If you haven’t arranged your airport transfer yet, taking a taxi is another option. Although hotels may be located on different parts of the beach, since the airport is not far from the beach, the cost should not exceed K5000. You can change money at the airport if necessary.
Getting Around at Nagpali Beach
By Bicycle or Motorbike
There are several authentic fishing villages near the beach around two or three kilometers from the main stretch of hotels, and these can easily be reached by foot.
But if you want to explore other villages much further south, right up to the next bay, hiring a bike or motorbike might be more advisable.
Most hotels offer a bike rental service. Bicycle-hire costs around K2000 per hour while motorbikes cost around K3000 per hour. Some hotels offer free bicycle-hire to guests.
By Car or by Taxi
If you are thinking of going further afield, such as Thandwe, the town where the beach is located, or if you are traveling with a big family, then hiring a car might be safer and more economical.
Alternatively, you can hire a taxi and ask the driver to take you around. But most drivers in Ngapali can’t speak English, so language might be a problem.
The Best Way to Get Around
If you are concerned about problems of language or safety, then booking a day-tour or a half-day tour can solve all your problems in one go. Since most tours will include an English-speaking guide and all transport, you can leave all your concerns with your guide.
Besides, in Myanmar, the tour guides’ knowledge is profound. They can talk about anything and know many interesting things about the local places. So traveling with a guide must be one of the best ways for you to get to know more about the place.
There are many day-tours at Ngapali Beach including boat tours, bike tours, scuba-diving, snorkeling, and river-trips. You can choose according to your own interests and such a tour may turn out to be one of the highlights of your stay at Ngapali Beach.
Visit Myanmar with Asia Highlights
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