Lounging by the Bay of Bengal and casting a lazy glance over its turquoise water, Ngapali Beach takes after the elegant strait of Naples (which it is named after) without adopting the hubbub of the trading city.
Imagine waking up to the rhythmic whisper of waves caressing the sandy beach. Under the bright sunlight, the water turns to the shade of a top-notch sapphire, contrasting perfectly to the uncontaminated white sand. One can choose to let one’s skin be pampered by the temperate waves, or stride along the beach under lines of swaying palm trees. Or simply laze on the sun-loungers under the makeshift umbrellas – beautifully crafted from palm trees’ trunks and dried fronds – watching as oxcarts chug through. That’s Ngapali – Myanmar’s premier beach escape one hour flight from Yangon. The classy beach can only be reached by flights from the four most renowned tourist attractions of Myanmar but have propelled to popularity thanks to its impeccable beauty and posh-looking hotels that are levels above the country’s average.
The above-average quality calls for extra budget: Ngapali is not the destination meant for shoestring travelers. As a result, the beach is never truly crowded to the extent of suffocation. Once stepping on Ngapali, even Goldilocks cannot complain about boredom. The range of outdoor activities is impressive: kayaking, snorkeling and scuba-diving among cheerful fishes, surfing and cycling. A walk along the beach may bring about encounters with smiling locals – touts selling fresh fruits, cowboys maneuvering their oxcarts, fishermen carrying their day catches, women drying the fishes. For the curious, a visit to a local village gives a taste of local life that distances from the glitz of groomed hotels and bungalows. For the daring, a trip on fishing boats is challenging and rewarding at the same time.
Having meals on the beach is not a bad idea – who can resist the swelling appetite for fresh seafood, a coconut’s throw away from the beach? Put aside the loungers, settle on with stray logs or stones for table and chairs and dip into the flavorful fish dishes by a bonfire. That is an experience worth craving for, be it a honeymoon couples or seniors looking for some detachment from noise hazards of the city.
For some observant, a glimpse through the far end of the bay reveals a hilltop Buddha statue, which stays loyal to the tradition to put Buddhist monuments in vantage points. A trek to reach the top of the hill is physically demanding, but the panoramic view over the Bay of Bengal could be enticing enough.
Ngapali- Myanmar’s premier beach, with its unique blend of tradition and tourism, gives tourists a touch of luxury in serenity.