An insider guide to Ngapali: 5 ways to explore Myanmar’s top beach getaway

Hilton Ngapali Bay of bengal
Hilton Ngapali, overlooking the Bay of Bengal

With its turquoise blue waters and stunning sunsets, Ngapali, Myanmar’s most popular beach, is thriving as a holiday spot. It’s countryside vibe, well-preserved culture and local attractions cater to all manner of travellers from wedding parties and business guests to FITS and backpackers.

Here are five tips on how to visitors can make their most of their stay on Myanmar’s idyllic coastline.

I do

Bride and groom share vows on the beach at Hilton Ngapali

Sharing wedding vows against the backdrop of the Bay of Bengal, is an incredible way to embark on one of life’s greatest journeys and Hilton Ngapali has one of the best seaside locations in the region. Able to easily handle events of up to 100 guests, the property is a great spot not just for weddings but for gala dinners, formal receptions and casual get-togethers.

On top of weddings and social functions the resort has a 30 sqm meeting room, which can  swiftly converted into a range of different permutations including, classroom, board room and conference arrangements.

Up close with gentle giants

Ta La Nal Elephants Camp in Mynamar, 5 elephants

Wake up early and take a car to the nearby town of Thandwe, where you will be ushered into a small wooden boat traveling upstream for about an hour. The journey is worth the wait as you will arrive to see elephants taking their morning bath at the Ta La Nal Elephants Camp.

After enjoying bath time and the sanctuary, join the elephants on their trip back to their home up the hill. By the time you’re done, you’ll have whetted up an appetite to enjoy the local farmer style lunch that is included in the tour. Head back to the hotel and spend the rest of the day by the infinity pool.

Spend a day at a fisherman’s village

Student and chef at Jate Taw fisherman’s village

Start the day early with a trip to Jate Taw fisherman’s village. Watch wooden boats unload fish by oxen and cart after an evening of fishing. If you plan ahead, you can sign up at Hilton Ngapali for a chef-led cooking class where you will get the chance to be as involved as you want, from choosing your own fresh seafood at the market to preparing it for lunch on your own back at the resort!

Make sure you keep the recipe so you can recreate it for your loved ones back home.

Local living

2 tuk tuks in Myanmar

Visiting Ngapali is almost akin to stepping back into simpler and more relaxed times. To explore and experience the town like a local, take a short bike ride to Zabagyi village where you will meet welcoming locals and witness their well-preserved way of life.

They openly invite tourists into their homes where you might notice vintage radios or appliances. Zabagyi also offers beautiful views of the beach and farmland, making it a perfect location for photos.

Fly over

A bucket list-experience: wake up early and enjoy the sunrise in a hot air balloon floating over the town of Thandwe. Plan ahead and purchase your ticket from Oriental Ballooning.

The balloon ride lifts off right next to a hilltop pagoda, you’ll feel the gentle breeze as you float over the bucolic landscape below. Fly low across  Thandwe river, peek down to see locals greeting you with waving hands and a friendly ‘Mingalabar’ – local wishes of fortune. Climbing high, you can take in the 360-degree panoramic view of the river, rice fields, and villages while you enjoy the tranquil silence.

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