Ngapali Beach in detail

Sights

South of the hotels, and easily reached barefoot by the beach, is the rustic fishing village of Gyeik Taw, where small fish dry on bamboo mats across the beach. Even further south is the bigger village of Lontha and an inlet of the same name, backed by a sweeping curve of mangrove and sand facing south.

On a bayside hill east of Lontha is a modest white stupa. It’s worth seeing for its glorious panoramic views – and for the adventure to reach it. To get there, turn left at the town junction (near the market). The road runs parallel to the boat-filled bay and quickly degenerates into a path too sandy to ride on; if you’re on a bike, leave it with a local. About five minutes or so after passing a small bridge, you reach the hill steps to the stupa.

Thandwe

Located about 4 miles inland from the northern end of Ngapali Beach, Thandwe (သံတဲြ) and its low-key streets occupy a valley. It’s been a key Rakhine town for many centuries. When the British stationed a garrison here around the turn of the 20th century – the former colonial jail is today Thandwe's central market – they twisted the name into Sandoway.

While not an essential destination, Thandwe makes for an interesting visit if you fancy a change of scene from the beach.

Three golden stupas stand on hilltops around Thandwe, each offering excellent viewpoints of the town’s tin roofs peeking out of a sea of palms and hills. The tallest is Nandaw Paya, followed by Sandaw Paya and Andaw Paya.

Frequent pick-up trucks to/from Ngapali run from 6am to 6pm (K500).