Ngwe Saung is an aggregation of resort and other hotels stretched along 9 km of beach with a small village at the northern stretch. In addition, the beach is spoiled a little by the local motorbike and sometimes quad-taxi drivers going along the beach and offering tours and transport to tourists. Nevertheless, the beach is nice, and in case you are the beach resort type or want to take a timeout from the busy rest of Myanmar, this would be the ideal and, compared to Ngapali, inexpensive place to do so.
Buses stop and start at the 1 main junction right before the village.
- Yangon – There are many buses to Ngwe Saung per day, many in the morning, with prices ranging from 7,000 to 12,000 kyat, depending on the company you go with and the location that you start from, e.g. Dagon Ayar Highway Bus Station or the city centre. Dragon Asia bus line, which can be booked in Yangon near Parkroyal Hotel (not inside the hotel), costs 25,000 kyat for a return ticket. Or try Shwe Pyi Lwin Travel Co (09-43040480, -4200319755, -8550147, 042-42202) for 10,000 kyat one-way, 06:30 and 07:30. from Dagon Ayar Highway Bus Station. The roads are not that good but have improved in the last years, so for the 222 km from Yangon it will take about 5-6 hours including lunch break and bus breakdown. In high season there are also night buses (Asia Dragon, Golden Star) at 21:00. They start in the city center and arrive Ngwe Saung in the middle of the night at about 03:00. So it would be better to make a hotel-reservation for the same night to be sure to get a bed and good sleep for the rest of the night. Buses are generally air-conditioned. The last 1.5 hr of the journey is made over a series of steep and winding hills, which can cause motion sickness. If you are susceptible to motion sickness prepare ahead of time with some medication.
- Pathein – Some buses and smaller pickups/vans, 1.5 hr to Ngwe Saung for 4,000 kyat. Try the city bus station near Shwemokehtaw Pagoda – there is a green Toyota with the words 'Beach Express' leaving around 09:00 & 13:00; or hail for passing by vehicles at the northern end of Min Gyi Road, which leads to Ngwe Saung. There are also private taxis for around 30,000 kyat available. If you are not traveling with a lot of luggage, it's also possible to do this trip via a motorbike for around 10,000 kyat per person. Pathein can be a hub for trips from Yangon but also cities like Pyay or Ngapali.
- Chaung Tha via coast and motorbike taxi for about 8-13,000 kyat one-way. This includes at least two river crossings. Reported durations vary widely between 45 min and 4 hr, so clarify beforehand.
As the roads have improved, there is no longer a ferry service to Pathein – from where you would then take a pickup – from Yangon, but double check in case you long for a boat trip.
You may rent a bicycle or take a motorbike taxis. However, renting motorbikes is probably not a good idea, otherwise the unspoiled place will soon become like an overcrowded Thai beach resort. Walking along the beach can be an option, but can take time. Otherwise, opt for the local motor- or quad-bike taxis, 1000 kyat within the village and 1,500 kyat to either end of Ngwe Saung beach.
- 1 Lover's Island (Bugwe Kyun) (At the southern end of the beach). Walk across a sandbar at low tide to reach Lover's Island. This island is small and consists of a concrete statue of a Mermaid, a small religious site at the base of the island, and steps leading up to a small circuit of trails. Bring shoes due to the rocky underground. If you can get snorkeling gear, you can try it here instead of hiring a boat to Bird Island.
- 2 Beach Pagodas (1.5 km before Lover's Island). In Myanmar pagodas can be found in even the remotes places, since every person with a little bit of money wants to erect and distributes its own one. Hence, find another two on top of two rocks right here at the beach. 25,000 kyat for snorkeling trip.
- Bird Island. This island is located hours from shore and is nothing more than a rocky outcropping in the sea used by local fishermen to dry fish. The rocks are extremely sharp and there is not much to see. Reputed to be the worst island in Myanmar. However, since there is not much to do in Ngwe Saung, it is popular for excursions and bird watching. You can also organise a snorkeling, e.g. trip with "Mr Win", a local boat owner. Bring a life vest as currents are very strong.
- Elephant camp (30 minutes from Ngwe Saung towards Pathein). This is also a school for children, and has 32 pupils aged between 5 & 14 years. Get your ticket at the 2 north end of the town just after All Seasons Hotel on the other side of the road. US$5.
There is not much to do in Ngwe Saung, that's the idea. Just relax and enjoy the quiet time.
Bring enough cash because there are not many options to obtain money: there is one ATM at Ngwe Saung Yacht Resort, one at Yamonnar Oo Resort Hotel and another one at Emerald Sea Resort. Sometimes all three of them are out of service. Having said that, resorts usually accept all major credit cards. Also KBZ bank opened an office in late 2016.
- Painted umbrellas made in town or in Pathein.
- Fresh coconuts sold on the beach
- Grass sun hats: You will see locals walking along the beach with stacks of these bright green hats. Buy one for 500 kyat and you will have sun protection for a few days (they're not meant to last).
There are some roadside restaurants across from Yazuna Resort and Pearl Hotel and generally along the road parallel to the beach for US$2-4 per dish. In addition, many resorts (e.g. Sunny Paradise, Bay of Bengal, Emerald Sea Resort) have their own restaurant open to non-guests, with slightly inflated prices which however is compensated by the pleasant setting. Finally yet importantly, numerous restaurants are available in the village itself.
- 1 Golden Myanmar Restaurant (Middle of town). 6-10PM. Seafood shack with local specialties.
- 2 Jasmine Restaurant. They have BBQ seafood and meat including delicious side dishes. Good value for money. 3-4,000 kyat.
- 3 Royal Flower Restaurant (In the village, near the junction and school). Live music & cocktails.
- 4 Soe KoKo Beach House & Restaurant, 2. Quarter, Myo Pat Road (At the northern end of the village take the road right), ☎ , . 8AM-midnight. The restaurant serves a delicious variety of Myanmar, Thai and Chinese dishes as well as fresh seafood in a relaxing atmosphere, indoors and open air. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tea, coffee, beer.
- 5 Silver Blue Sea (Ask the locals or taxi driver). This is a very pleasant and well located restaurant with a vast menu including vegetarian options. 2-4,000 kyat.
- 6 UME Japanese Restaurant & Café (On the small hill in the south part of the beach). Until 2AM. Nightly fire shows. Japanese and western menu. Beer and Music.
- See Sar (In town). US$2-5.
There is no club, however the very modern and stylish Bay of Bengal Hotel (see below) has disco-like events. Otherwise, try one of the many restaurants and teashops in the village, which serve beer, coffee and tea throughout the day.
Not many budget options exist in Ngwe Saung. Your best bet would be Pearl Ngwe Saung Resort Hotel or the guesthouses near the main junction where the bus stops for about 20,000 kyat.
- 1 New Shine Guest House (at the main junction). Shared bathroom but central location. 15,000 kyat.
- 2 Min Chan Myae II Guest House (30 m in town from the main junction).
- 3 Pearl Ngwe Saung Hotel (in the middle of the 9 km beach). Prices are highly negotiable and quality varies widely. Having said this, there is an option for everyone, from cheap & dirty to pricey & beach view. US$25-50.
- 4 Soe KoKo Beach House & Restaurant, 2. Quarter, Myo Pat Road (at the northern end of the village take the road right), ☎ , , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 11AM. 24-hour electricity! The rooms are all newly constructed in a classic wooden bamboo style architecture holding seven rooms: 4 Twin Rooms in double bungalows, 3 Double Rooms in private bungalows, For low budget guests they have 3 Economy Rooms above their restaurant. Includes breakfast and 10% tax. Room occupancy is assumed for 2 adults. US$13-35.
- 5 Shwe Hin Tha Hotel (at the southern stretch of the beach), ☎ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Bamboo huts and stone bungalows. Nice location but there are complaints about the cleanliness of the bamboo huts. US$30-60.
- 6 Silver Coast Beach Hotel (at little further from Schwe Hin Tha Hotel), ☎ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. They offer a wide range of quality and prices. The cheap options are not pleasant but they can offer a cheap way to stay in Ngwe Saung. Waterfront & non-waterfront. Breakfast, WiFi, hot and cold water, Sat TV, Hair dryer, air-con, coffee and tea making facilities (suite & grand suite) , 24 h. US$25-60.
- 7 All Seasons Hotel, 3. Quarter, Myo Pat Road, ☎ , , . 5-storey hotel with 41 spotless and decent rooms. No direct beach access. Coffee bar, 24-hr service, WiFi. Good value for money. From US$3.
- 8 Yazuna Resort, ☎ , , , ✉ YUZANAHOTEL@mptmail.net.mm. 40 rooms classified into 2 categories: budget and luxury. Each of the 40 suites and deluxe rooms have a sea-facing balcony in addition to all necessary facilities. Guests have complaint about the lack of cleanliness of the beds and floor. From 30,000 kyat.
- 9 Luxer Deluxe Hotel, No (7), Myo Ma St (in the center of the village), ☎ , ✉ email@example.com. No beach access. Air-con & WiFi. The rooms are poorly soundproofed, a bungalow at the beach can therefore be a better option. US$35-50.
- 10 Emerald Sea Resort (2 km south of the village), ☎ , , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: noon. Emerald Sea Resort was opened in 2003, and offers restaurant and spa. Also try email@example.com . From US$75.
- 11 Yamonnar Oo Resort Hotel (100m south of UME), ☎ , . The resort has several bungalows at the beach front with views of the ocean. From US$60.
- 12 Sunny Paradise Resort, Myo Ma St (Just north of the village), ☎ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Has good in-house restaurant. Also try email@example.com . From US$70.
- 13 Bay of Bengal, No 1 Qtr, Zee Maw village Track (At the very north end of the beach), ☎ , , , , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Offers a wide range of activities, like every other resort. Also try email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org . From US$70.
- 14 Myanmar Treasure (Just 100 m south of the main junction), ☎ , , ✉ email@example.com. Also try firstname.lastname@example.org . From US$70.
- 15 Ngwe Saung Yacht Club & Marina (At the far south end of the beach), ☎ , , , ✉ email@example.com. If money is no object, this is the place where you will want to stay. They offer luxurious accommodation with an extensive range of activities and services. US$45/55/120/135/190/230 (tent/std/garden view/sea view/villa/villa suite).
- All star Lovely guest house with modern rooms with air condition, close to the beach in the main road. Rooms rates start from US$25. Contact number +09422506097
- Chaung Tha – Like Ngwe Saung, famous for its beautiful beaches. It can be reached via Pathein by bus, 7-8,000 kyat, 3-4 hr. Or you can hire a direct motorbike taxi along the coast for 8-13,000 kyat, which is much more exciting, picturesque and probably better for your stomach. The latter includes at least two river crossings. Reported durations vary widely between 45 min and 4 hr, so clarify beforehand.
- Pathein – Famous for its handcrafted umbrellas. Pickups and buses take 1.5 hr and cost about 3,500 kyat. Private taxis are around 30,000 kyat. You will most likely get dropped of at the city bus station in the center. Take a motorbike taxi to the highway bus station or start from there, depending on where you want to go. Possible onward destinations from Pathein include Ngapali and Pyay, but also Yangon.
- Yangon – Buses start at 06:30, 07:00, 08:00 and 10:00. 8-12,000 kyat. For tickets ask around the guesthouses or in the village.