Ngwe Saung Travel Guide – A Beach Destination Near Yangon
Ngew Saung or Ngewsaung is a lesser known beach destination in the Irrawaddy region of Myanmar that is easily accessible from Yangon. The name Ngwe Saung means silver beach in Burmese language and is a suitable description. Yes, Ngapali Beach is the most popular beach destination of Myanmar, but I had something else on my mind. I really wanted to visit Ngwe Saung because of its low key vibe.. and also because I saw a of a picture of THIS spot.
Seriously, Ngwe Saung offers more than just this spot.
How to Reach Ngwe Saung, Myanmar
We booked Asia Dragon’s night bus from Yangon to Ngwe Saung that departed at 9 pm and arrived in Ngwe Saung just before 4 am. Unlike most of the other buses that depart from outside Yangon, this departs from downtown, so it’s possible to walk to the bus station from the hotel. Moreover, this bus also dropped EVERYONE directly outside their hotels. If you’re traveling in peak season, I’d strongly recommend you book ahead of time. We booked last minute and got the last two seats. The bus was comfortable but we got woken up many times throughout the night because the bus conductor would start announcing things on his microphone after every hour. If you decide to take a bus from Yangon to Ngew Saung, carry noise canceling headphones and eye mask so that you can sleep. Return bus tickets costed us around USD 30 per person.
Places to Stay in Ngwe Saung
We stayed in Oceanfront Campground because it was the most affordable place to stay that we found online. Most of the people had informed us that Ngwe Saung has more budget accommodation options compared to Ngapali Beach but because we traveled in peak season, we didn’t find anything cheaper than this. The friendly staff at Oceanfront Campground let us check in at 4 am, which was 8 hours before the check in time. Any other hotel would have charged us an extra night for this.
Our tents were super luxurious and were right on the beach. I wouldn’t really call it camping, it was more like “glamping”. The shared toilet had many stalls and was massive. This was the first time where I received free to use toiletries, a super clean towel and free water stayed on a camp ground. After exploring the nearby areas, we were very happy that we booked this place because it has the most amazing part of the beach area. Oceanfront Campground is actually a part of a very high end resort called Ngwe Saung Yatch Club and Marina, so they had an excellent swimming pool and other facilities. Their breakfast buffet is served in an open air restaurant that overlooks the ocean. I fell sick on my first day here and one of the staff members walked me to an in house doctor in this complex. Seriously, I cannot recommend this place enough!
Cash and ATMs in Ngwe Saung
Carry enough cash to last you a for few days. Even though there are two ATMs in Ngwe Saung, we were informed that they can be a little unreliable. Most of the high end places accept credit cards but they charge a 3-5% transaction fee.
Things to do in Ngwe Saung
01 | Enjoy The MASSIVE Beach of Ngwe Saung
We were pretty sleepy eyed when we reached Ngwe Saung, but our sleep deserted us when we saw the surroundings. The beach here is spectacular! It’s perfect for a good swim and the sandy part is massive – so plenty of room for sun bathing. The main white sand beach of Ngwe Saung stretches for many kilometers. No wonder WikiTravel calls it an “endless” beach!
02 | Walk on a Sandbat to reach Lovers’ Island
If you walk a little north of Ngwe Saung Yacht Club, you will see a little island in the distance. It’s called Lovers’ Island and a little sandbar emerges when the tide is low so you can walk to this island. As you walk on the sandbar to reach Lovers’ Island, you will notice a Buddha temple on your right and a little mermaid statue on your left. Climb on top of the Buddha temple to photograph the entire sandbar.
This island has many trees and a few viewpoints, so be sure to wear flip flops while exploring the island. We visited during the peak season so this part was a little too crowded for our liking.
03 | Admire the Pagodas on the beach!
In Myanmar, we saw pagodas everywhere. Even on the beach! If you’re curious about the exact spot of this picture, it is just outside Silver View Resort’s beach bar. For a local, the pagodas are a usual sight but to me they made the beach more beautiful. I could not stop photographing them from different angles because they made my sunset pictures special.
What else? Is there anything more to do in Ngwe Saung?
Not much! Chill on the beach, enjoy the laid back vibe of this place and sip some fresh coconut water. If you have a scooter, head to the North side of Ngwe Saung to check out the village area.
Should you wear a bikini on Ngwe Saung beach?
Even though I didn’t see even a single local woman wearing a bathing suit on this beach, I think it’s perfectly okay if you want to wear a bikini as long as you carry a sarong to cover up. Most of the local women were fully dressed in jeans / longyi and shoes on the beach.
Burmese people are extremely polite and will never want to make anyone uncomfortable so none of the locals stared at the handful of tourists that wore bathing suits.
Getting Around in Ngwe Saung
While most of the things in Myanmar are highly affordable, the hotel and scooter rental prices are shockingly high. The hourly rate of scooter rental here is same as the usual per day in most of South East Asia. However, I highly recommend you rent a scooter for a few hours to explore the area around.
To my surprise, I saw many people riding on the beach with their scooters, so we did the same and it was an amazing experience. We saw many interesting sights such as bullock carts on the beach with many hand painted paper umbrellas, which is a special handicraft of the nearby town – Pathein.
Food in Ngwe Saung
Some of the most popular places to eat in Ngwe Saung are Bay of Bengal restaurant and Ume Café. We ate a delicious meal of chili garlic crab and squids at Blue Sky Seafood Restaurant. If you head towards the village area towards the North, you will find cheaper places to eat and a few beer stations. (Bars in Myanmar are called beer stations).
Nightlife in Ngwe Saung
There’s not much to do in this sleepy beach village except having a drink at Ume Café and Bar where they sometimes have a fire show at 7:30 pm in the evening.
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Have you visited Ngwe Saung, Myanmar already and have a few tips to share? Let me know in the comments section.
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A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Sonal Kwatra Paladini