Ngwe Saung is a near endless stretch of whitish sand and bluish waters found on Burma's Bay of Bengal coast just south of Chaung Tha. It's a beach for serious beach lovers -- that is, those who seek a beautiful beach and nothing more as there's nothing much else to do.
The resorts located in Ngwe Saung are very spaced out, with certain areas having an almost deserted island feel. Take a long walk along the coast and you're sure to run into the Kyauk Maumghnama Pagoda ('brother and sister rocks'), twin pagodas set upon boulders located on an especially photogenic area of the beach. Locals riding archaic bullock carts and cows who seem to enjoy sunbathing as much as us are a few of the other sights to be seen along Ngwe Saung beach.
Accommodation options on Ngwe Saung range from a few flashpacker options to fancy resorts with swimming pools and private beach villas. It's being developed (in theory) as a beach for honeymooners and couples seeking a quiet romantic getaway.
Small restaurants serving traditional Burmese cuisine such as mohinga are scattered throughout Ngwe Saung, with a few offering seafood and Chinese cuisine with English menus located near the bus station. It's a small town that's especially sleepy during rainy season, so options are quite limited. Having a few drinks in your resort's restaurant is the only form of nightlife that exists, so don't expect any beach parties or wild nights.
The Ngwe Saung twin pagodas are located towards the southern end of the beach – a good place to take some photos and enjoy a stroll along the beach. An elephant camp is located on the road to Pathein – trips cost 10,000 kyat per person. Our receptionist told us of a tour to a local fishermen's village for 15,000 kyat – but was unable to elaborate on exactly what this involved. Tours can be booked in town or at your resort.
A good way to spend a few hours is to hire a bicycle and take a ride to town. It'll give you a good chance to interact with the locals, rather than just being cooped up in your private resort. Bring books, sunblock and your bathing suit – the beach is the main attraction.
Ngwe Saung is easily accessible by bus from Yangon or Pathein.
By Matt French.