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Ngwe Saung, Myanmar’s Silver Coast, is an idyllic 13-mile stretch of sand on the Bay of Bengal, a 5-6 hour bus journey from Yangon through the alluvial Ayeyarwaddy Delta. Where once locals inhabited the land just beyond the dunes, today a stretch of hotels line Ngwe Saung Beach. Towards the north you will find tranquil stretches of sand disturbed only by gushing creeks and scuttling Sebastian-coloured crabs. Down south, games of touch rugby and volleyball are usually in full swing, and at dusk, if it is low-tide the young men working in the hotels play fast-paced and scrappy games of football. From this end of Ngwe Saung you will be able to see Lovers’ Island, fit with Buddha image and a reclining mermaid on its eastern rocks. At low-tide one can walk out to this rocky clump and go snorkelling to gawk at the vibrant coral life. When it is good weather, day trips to Bird Island for keen twitchers can be arranged. Renting a motorbike for the day will allow you to explore the surroundings at your own leisure.
At the nearby villages of Thazin and Sinma you will be able to see locals fishing off the beach with enormous nets. Outside of the monsoon season, arriving at these villages before 8am offers the chance of seeing the fishing fleet return home after a night on the seas, with catches of tiger prawns, baracuda, and tuna. Alternatively you can head further north to Chaungtha Beach, the closest thing Myanmar has to a party beach scene.
Ngwe Saung Village
Ywama (aka ‘Ngwe Saung village’) is a little fishing village slowly adapting itself to its new role as the second most popular seaside town in Myanmar (the most popular being Ngapali). As this transformation takes place, as yet none of its charm has diminished. It hosts a wide selection of restaurants serving fresh, steamed and sauteed fish and seafood. Its sandy roads and collection of quirky souvenir shops may remind one of any seaside town in Europe, albeit with the added Myanmar flavour of monks ringing bells for alms and local pupils heartily bellowing out their lessons from the school at the centre.
In the village one can visit the monastery to the north and a pagoda to the south. There is a wood and coconut carving workshop and store called Kokonuss which is well worth a visit. One can walk back along the beach after dining out in Ywama, possibly catching one of the beach fire shows that take place in high season. Off-peak, one can attend a fire show at Ume Restaurant along the Myo Ma Road, taking place every evening at 7.30. For a more local Ngwe Saung dining experience sans-fire show, we would recommend the Tine Yin Thar restaurant along the same road just opposite the Emerald Sea Resort.