Published/Last edited or updated: 25th June, 2016
The forested hills of the scenic Dawei Peninsula separate Dawei town and its eponymously named river from the Andaman Sea and coast. From Maungmakan, a weekend picnic and bathing spot highly popular with the locals, a string of superb and largely untouched sandy beaches stretch north and south. If someone was making a movie set in 1970s Phuket before the resorts and tourists arrived, this would be a shoe-in for location.
Snack vendors and inner-tube renters dot this section of beach while to the south lies a small fishing village and above stretches the casuarina-lined sand of north Maungmakan, interrupted only by the occasional longtail pulled up on the beach.
At the far northern end, a rocky outcrop separates the beach from less popular and less accessible beaches further up the coast, including the spectacular white sands of Nabule Beach around 15 kilometres north. In the other direction, a reasonable, partially sealed track follows the coast south to more bays and fishing villages. The first rocky headland south also holds a small pagoda, Myaw Yit, reached by a footbridge connecting it to the mainland.
From the Maungmakan beach area, head back to the village and take a right turn on what passes for the main road. Continuing south, you’ll get glimpses of the pagoda and rocky outcrop from time to time, so just look out for a dirt track on the right. This takes you a kilometre or so past a tiny but very picturesque fishing village to a small carpark for the pagoda.
The small pagoda, popular with local visitors, contains the usual collection of nat shrines and chedis and offers some fine sea views as well as ones back across the bay to Maungmakan. For more great views and excellent seafood dishes there’s a small restaurant on stilts right at the land end of the bridge. Back past the fishing village, which does have a couple of very friendly tea shops, turn right again and a short hop will find you at the stunning wide bay of San ... 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.