The best way to pass the time in Chaung Tha is to simply relax by the beach.
The waves can swell large enough to allow for a fun day of body surfing or tubing. The water however isn't very clear so don't expect snorkelling to be remarkable.
Pokala Island is a small island to the south of Chaung Tha beach easily accessible by a five-minute ferry ride. A trek around the island's coast takes about 45 minutes and includes small secluded beaches, volcanic shoreline and dense jungle. The island is home to a small village of wooden huts that house local fishermen and their families. This is not a must-see destination but a decent trek for those looking to escape the beach for an hour. The trip is inexpensive and will cost no more than 2,000 kyat per person, including transport to and from your hotel.
If you need a break from the beach, Shwe Hin Tha Hotel offers various activities at fair prices. A fishing trip is possible from 8:30 to 13:00 and is 25,000 kyat total for up to five guests. Additionally, an eight-hour guided jungle trek is available for 30,000 kyat for up to four guests.
Scooters are available for hire for 5,000 kyat per day in the low season (10,000 kyat per day during high season but including petrol). Bicycles are available for 1,500 kyat per day.
By Matt French
Last updated on 4th November, 2013.