A lot of travelers ask, “Do Yangon have beaches?”, or “Is there any Yangon beach?” I can answer that although Yangon Region is bordered by the Gulf of Martaban to the south, it does not any tourist beach; instead, there are several commercial beaches here. However, if you want to know some of beautiful Myanmar beaches near Yangon, we will recommend Chaung Tha beach and Ngwe Saung beach.
Ngwe Saung beach
Ngwe Saung beach is located in the Irrawaddy region of Myanmar. In Burmese language, Ngwe Saung means “silver”, so Ngwe Saung beach is also called Sliver beach. The beach consisting of 15 kilometers of white sand and blue sea, bordered by tall, green palms swaying in the breeze is a wonderful relaxation spot. Compared to the more developed Ngapali beach, Ngwe Saung beach has fewer luxury hotels and resorts and also less touristy; however, this makes it more tranquil and peaceful.
Ngwe Saung beach is also an ideal place for fantastic seafood as well as beach and sea sports for your Myanmar travel. It hosted the beach volleyball and sailing events for the Southeast Asian Games in December 2013.
How to get to Ngwe Saung beach from Yangon
Being one of the beaches near Yangon, Ngwe Saung beach is easily accessible from Yangon. The best means of transportation is buses. It will take 5 hours to complete 260-kilometer journey from Yangon to Ngwe Saung beach by bus. Morning buses depart from the western Yangon bus terminal (Hlaing Thar Yar Bus Terminal) at 6:30 and 7:30, costing 10000 kyats per ticket. Note that the bus station is 45 minutes by car taxi from the city center of Yangon.
Another option in case you miss the morning bus is to hire a car. It’s less time-consuming and more pleasant. The fare is around $120.
Chaung Tha beach
Chaung Tha beach may be the closest among the beaches near Yangon. Unlike Ngapali beach and Ngwe Saung beach, Chaung Tha is more local; it’s popular with the middle class of Myanmar. You can float, paddle and ride up and down the beach on ponies. The most typical activities you can do on the beach are to buy souvenirs, play beach football games, and have family picnics.
Chaung Tha beach is very similar to these types of beaches in other parts of the Southeast Asia; it may not be the most stunning coastline. However, the beach provides an enough convenient and affordable option for those whose travel on a budget and need a quick hit of sand and sun.
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How to get to Chaung Tha beach from Yangon
Similar to Ngwe Saung beach, it’s quite easy to reach Chaung Tha Beach from Yangon. Daily buses leave Yangon at 6:00 (and 21:00 in high season and take 5-6 hours although the distance is shorter than that of Yangon and Ngwe Saung beach. The buses 2 to 3 scheduled stops at roadside café during the journey. The ticket price is around 8000 kyats. Return buses leave Chaungtha beach at 6:00 and sometimes 10:00. As the road condition remains not good (in spite of a constant upgrade), the buses are quite slow.
Note that it will take an hour to travel between the city center of Yangon and the bus station on the outskirts by taxi. The fare is about 5000 kyat.
Traveling by taxi from Yangon to Ngwe Saung beach is a much more expensive option. To save money during your Burma tours, it’s better for you to travel in a group of or 4 and split the cost.
A visit to Ngwe Saung or Chaung Tha, two beaches near Yangon, will be an additional “strange wind” to your Yangon tour or an interesting journey by itself. Come there, immerse yourself in fresh breezes and enjoy mouth-watering seafood.