Thandwe is a seaport city in Rakhine State, Western Myanmar.
The drier, cooler season starts from November and finishes around April, which is the ideal time to go.
Thandwe is the transport hub for Ngapali (Beach).
- 1 Thandwe Airport (SNW IATA) (10 km north of Ngapali Beach). Many airlines (Myanmar National Airline, Air KBZ, Air Mandalay, Asian Wing Airways, Golden Myanmar, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines, FMI Air, Yangon Airways) have regular flights from Yangon and other city in Myanmar, sometimes including a stop in Sittwe.
Bus trips from the (south)east take long and are exhausting due to bad road conditions, especially the last 200 km through the hills and along a road that sometimes barely fits the bus. This bit of the trip will easily take 6 hours, and you should take care of your stomach in case you easily suffer from motion sickness. Tourist buses will most likely go into Ngapali, but buses for local people stop at Thandwe Bus Station. Buses for local people can be equally comfortable, just the place and way you obtain a bus ticket mostly decides which bus you will be on.
- 2 Thandwe Bus Station.
From specific destinations:
- Yangon – Many direct buses. 18-20 hr, leaves at 03:00, 12-16,000 kyat. Inquire at your hotel or travel guide of choice in Yangon. Simply turning up at Dagon Ayar Highway Bus Station can leave you with an uncomfortable bus or long waiting time. The last 6-8 hr of the trip can be very exhausting, because they are through hills and on serpentines mostly only the bus will fit on.
- Pathein – Via Ngathaingchaung and Gwa. 12-21 hr. 8,500-12,000 kyat. Take a bus to Ngathaingchaung from Pathein, which takes 3 hr, starts at 09:30 and costs 1,500 kyat from the Highway Bus Station. There are smaller pickups from the bus stop just west of Paradise Hotel between Zay Chaung St and Myay Nu Rd that bring people to the Highway Bus Station for the Ngathaingchaung bus. In Ngathaingchaung, walk across the large bridge and about 300 m west until the end of the town, from where you can catch a direct AC bus to Ngapali. There are many passing by from Yangon, just hail at them.
- Mrauk U – The (mini)bus will stop in Thandwe. Most start in Sittwe 2 hr before. 15 hr, 18,000 kyat. In 2017 peak season the big bus took 15 hours and left Mrauk at 16:00.
- Taungup – Many buses or pickups/vans per day from the bus station in town. Taungup can be a convenient hub for trips from Mrauk U and Sittwe, by boat for example. 2-3 hr, 3,000 kyat.
- Pyay – 8-12 hr, 8-15,000 kyat. In addition, shared taxis/vans that leave in the evening exist—same price.
Boat trips from and to Mrauk U are available. The trip is US$80 including meal and takes 7 hr. The boat goes Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets are sold at the Bayview Beach Resort .
- 1 Nan Daw Pagoda (Thandwe) (walk about 1 km by Thandwe bus station towards northwest). This pagoda on top of a hill 50-60 m above the surrounding area offers a great view of Thandwe and the river. Recommended for sunrise, but you have to get up early.
- 2 "Dead" Monk, Salone/Zalun Monastery (17 km south of Thandwe at the highway). This monastery houses a monk which is said to be in a state of death through meditation for since the 1980s. The "mummy" is kept under glass and cannot be touched. A second monk has "joined".
- 3 Kinmaw village (18 km north of Thandwe at the highway).
- 1 Thandwe Government Market (200 m southwest of the bridge). Local products ranging from food to clothing.
- Hand weaving works of Rakhine longyi are based in Thandwe
There is no tourist accommodation available in Thandwe itself.
- Ngapali Beach – One of Myanmar's most pristine beaches. Because it is unknown to the masses, it is in almost unspoilt condition. This is probably the reason why you came to Thandwe in the first place.