Chaung Tha Beach (ေခ်ာင္းသာကမ္းေျခ) is the closest thing Myanmar has to a holiday resort for ordinary folks – it's where the locals come to play. At this very Burmese beach party there's bobbing about on rubber rings, plodding along the beach on ponies, endless guitar playing, boisterous beach-football games, happy family picnics and evening fireworks.
Just 25 miles west of Pathein and six-odd hours from Yangon, Chaung Tha gets especially busy at weekends and on holidays. It's not the most awe-inspiring coastline – parts of the beach can get dirty in high season – and the resorts are not aimed at foreigners. But if you're looking to squeeze some sand and sun into your visit to Myanmar, it's a relatively convenient and affordable option and, unlike Ngwe Saung Beach further south, a fair few places stay open year-round.