Mawlamyine's top beach
Published/Last edited or updated: 25th June, 2016
Setse is Mawlamyine’s prime beach destination. Until recently, its kilometres of casuarina-backed golden sands were very much a local domain only. But now, with accommodation for foreigners available, curious tourists and public transport allowing access, Setse Beach makes for a great little diversion from Mawlamyine’s historical and cultural sights.
The long beach is book-ended by two rocky outcrops. The northern one, close to Paradise, is topped by a wave-washed pagoda. (The famous Yele Pagoda is a short distance up the coast.) You can enjoy the best of both worlds at Setse: soak up some local flavour and hang out with picnicking families by the wooden beachfront cafes in the busy central part of the beach, or soak up a poolside cocktail at Paradise while savouring an uncluttered view across the ocean.
The central stretch is typical Burmese seaside. It’s not as rough as, say, Ye’s very local style Bin Le Wa Beach but it’s certainly some way off Ngwe Saung or Ngapali. Needless to say, it gets very lively at weekends and public holidays, and you’ll see the ubiquitous inner tubes, banana boats, bicycle hire plus pony rides along the beach. Snack vendors swarm the sands and bamboo shacks sell seafood, tea and coffee and Myanmar beer under the casuarina trees. Early morning or late afternoon, before or after the crowds and heat, make for a great time for a stroll along the beach. At low tide you can wade out to the rocky pagoda at the northern end of the beach. (Watch the tides though to time ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
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