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“Nice enough beach and hotel, awful food.”

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Amazing Chaung Tha Resort
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Chaungtha
Reviewed 20 November 2012

This is a beautiful locale. The hotel is on a bay facing an island and reef in the Indian Ocean. The sea water appears fairly clean, the temperature refreshing, a few degrees below ambients, which right now (November) are moderate, perhaps low 30s C. There was an on-and-off breeze that helps with the heat.

This area is fairly recently opened to Westerners, and we are certainly a small minority of guests in the area. Other guests would seem to be well-off Burmese, Chinese and other Asians of various nationalities. English is very limited.

We booked an ocean-view villa, and it was that. We overlooked the beach through coconuts and landscaped walks and gardens. The hotel's stretch of beach is kept clean without beach businesses except a few hawkers, who are not overly persistent.

Bad pop music, loudly amplified, is a negative feature of this resort. The sources are mostly outside the premises, but can start as early as 7:30 AM, and the karaoke runs well into the evening. Hawkers sell fireworks on the beach, so every night is fireworks night, and the locals can get a bit rowdy and drunk.. This is a place where the local liquor, ounce for ounce, costs the same as beer - opiate of the masses and all. Overall, not entirely a "peace and quiet" place, but not unpleasant.

The rooms are not new, but the facilities are adequate and clean. One thing to note is that there is no grid electricity (if there is a grid at all) from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The complex is wired to allow the hotel to power up the water heater and AC at siesta time, presumably from a generator. Our bed was a queen mattress on a king bed frame. It was short-sheeted - they seem to have used a twin sheet sideways, which means your feet are touching a rough blanket not often washed. Rugs are rolled up and replaced rather than cleaned in-room, I guess because there is no room power for a vacuum cleaner.

There is a wireless hotspot near reception but it is extremely slow, barely usable for e-mail. TV is minimal, with a couple of movie channels showing films well, well down the movie food chain.

Do not come here without a big supply of insect repellent. The sand fleas are numerous and voracious and will follow you into your room and bed. Mosquitoes and nasty biting spiders are also hard at work, and this is considered a malaria risk area. The hotel sprays the bed, but this is inadequate. We saw no repellent on sale in town - you need the kind you can spray on your clothes as well as skin. You can buy mosquito coils however - we used them on our porch, they keep the fleas away quite well.

We ate supper our first night at the hotel. It was decent but unremarkable and fairly expensive. Breakfast was a different story - it was truly awful. There was power for a toaster and coffee warmer, and fans on some days, but they are mostly ill-used. "Toast" is barely-warmed bread. Coffee and tea were luke-warm at best.

The breakfast food probably came out of the kitchen as decent stuff but is grossly mishandled thereafter. The buffet is served in a mock dug-out boat. The food is transferred to the usual steam-tables, but there are no lids and no water or heat under them, so everything, including congee and soups, is dead cold, and anything starchy like noodles becomes a glutinous mass. The egg station makes fried eggs in advance, so they, too, are cold. Much of the buffet food sits out uncovered so long as to be inedible, cold or hot. The whole thing is quite disgraceful, any competent food service manager would be ashamed.

The one saving grace is a big ceramic crock of mohinga, that wonderful Burmese fish soup/breakfast noodle dish. They have enough respect for this to keep at least that one pot covered and warm over what is, I presume, a traditional smoldering wood fire, and it kept us fed for mornings for the most part.

The beach thing is all there is to do here. There is a small town, but it offers nothing more than a few restaurants, a bar or two, and dried fish or trinket stands. We found a bar that serves cheap (and surprisingly cold) draft beer later in the day. Beyond that, it's the beach or pool. I must say, the beach hawkers have come up with a top-shelf goofy beach hat to sell, but it's not one you'd want to wear on the plane home, unless you are extrovert in extremis.

The road from Yangon deserves special mention. All Myanmar roads we've seen outside central Yangon are terrible, the newest ones often being the worst, because someone has thought it a good idea to build with asphalt over broken concrete or stone (hand-broken, that is) covered with sand - the sand sinks, the stones push up through the asphalt, and all that wasted effort produces an instant disaster of a roadway.

From Yangon out the road is bone-jarring, and it degenerates past Pathein into a one-lane paved logging road, snaking in dangerous blind switch-backs through low mountains, which themselves are very beautiful, where not logged out. The trip takes 6-7 hours.

This road is unpleasant but tolerable in a full-size highway coach, provided it still has its suspension, but in a mid-size or smaller bus it is simply brutal, not recommended at all if you have back trouble or are otherwise physically limited, and people will be sitting and standing on your luggage all the way. Don't let your agent lie you onto the smaller bus, as she did for half of our trip. Many of the guests did not look like they would tolerate a instant's inconvenience to get to Chaung Tha, so that's a bit of a mystery. A private car would probably be a worse ride. You have choices of daytime or overnight bus, but I can't see anyone sleeping on an overnight bus, the road is far too rough.

We booked four nights, at least one too many for us as we're not really beach people. The trouble is, a couple of nights at the beach would come at the cost of two very uncomfortable days on the bus. We don't regret the experience, but would not likely come back.

An interesting sideline is the current (November) Buddhist fund-raising drive, apparently all over the country as we were hit up many times in Yangon and the aluminum collection pots were at every slow-down on the road to Chaung Tha and back. It's like a giant PBS beg-a-thon.

In Chaung Tha the campaign ranged from drear money-collecting carts with unspeakably loud and very, very cheesy pop music. Better are the ones that try to entertain, so it's more like busking. There were dressed-up motorized floats, some with dudes in monster costumes dancing and mugging, some in papier-mache all-body creations. Best of all was a hilarious guy in drag leading, quite skillfully, a troupe of pop-dancing children while doing a humorousy lascivious dance bit, compete with flashing "breast" regularly from his kleenex-stuffed dress top. Left us with at least one really good laugh from Chaung Tha.

Room Tip: Bug spray - don't forget the bug spray - we're still itching from spider, mosquito and flea...
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Rick_1051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 October 2008

We decided to spend some time in Chaung Tha on this trip after reading about how, even though it was not at all affected by Nargis, tourism was virtually zero here since the cyclone because to get there from Yangon you need to travel through the delta region, which was affected.

We decided to splurge a bit and stay at the swankest place in town; after wandering up and down the beach a bit, I think we can say for certain that the Hotel Max is the top end in Chaung Tha.

We stayed three nights here in an oceanview suite in October 2008. For the first time this trip, we were offered a double bed instead of two singles!

The room was fresh and clean, nice crisp clean sheets. Electricity, we were told, would be on from 1-3pm and from 6pm-6am daily; in reality, the early afternoon electricity almost never happened, and the generators would be turned on later and go off earlier than advertised each day. Can't blame them, though; we were one of three bookings we saw at the hotel at any one time. Still, it afforded us the ability to sleep with the AC on to avoid the mosquitoes that come out at night, and also to get the water heater warmed up so that when we woke up in the morning, even without power, there was still some warm water to shower with.

During the days, the nice strong breeze off the ocean would cool down the room just as well as AC would. The windows and doors all open to catch the breeze in the front and there's a back door to insure complete circulation.

The staff were lovely, and after the first day remembered how we liked our breakfast each day, and did little things like made sure "our" table was prepared for us each morning. Food at the hotel was not the best, but certainly not bad; and they did have a few "westernized" offerings available, but done up with a little more flare; for example, the ubiquitous "cheese sandwich" available in Southeast Asia virtually everywhere: theirs comes with mayo and cucumbers and tomatoes on the sandwich instead of just butter and processed cheese. Small but appreciated flourishes like this we kept discovering here.

We had laundry done at the hotel and it was the best-smelling fresh laundry we got back on the trip!

The beach is very shallow and wide; we found lots of shells and crabs on our daily beachcombing walks. The ocean was refreshing in the morning, although it's not exactly crystal clear water. There is a nice cold water pool on site which was great for a late afternoon dip. There are vendors on the beach selling things like palm frond hats and squid on a stick, even freshly caught prawn and crabs if you dare. They were never pushy and always took our "no, thank you" with a smile, and they moved on. We even made friends with one of the little vendor girls, who would bring me great shells each morning that she had found on the beach.

Chaung Tha is not a "tourist" beach, but a place where the Myanmar people will come to vacation -- at least those who can afford it. Several travel agents tried to steer us away saying it was not "as nice" as Ngapali or Ngwe Saung; while this may be true we wanted to experience the beachside vacation spot of the Myanmar people which is why we went here.

The village is an interesting place to visit, and we were greeted with surprise and smiles as we wandered down the dirt lanes -- really to be expected anywhere in Myanmar, though we got the impression that seeing Westerners, especially recently, was somewhat surprising to the locals. Beware if the air is still as you walk through the village, however: the smell of air-drying fish is quite powerful.

The Hotel Max was a lovely place to end up our stay in Myanmar this trip. Warning, however: the drive from Yangon is draining. The road to Pathein was badly damaged by Nargis; the 150-mile drive took us 7 hours each way, and this was by private taxi. Still, it was worth it to get to this out-of-the-way resort. If returning to Chaung Tha this would definitely be our top pick!

  • Stayed: October 2008
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10  Thank thebeerhunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: January 2017
Thank Jude A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amz R, Guest Relations Manager at Amazing Chaung Tha Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2017

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Reviewed 28 September 2016 via mobile
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Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank rayaschmid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amz R, Guest Relations Manager at Amazing Chaung Tha Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2016

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Reviewed 11 January 2014
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank 伴陽
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2013
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jacques6938
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Amazing Chaung Tha Resort

Address: Chaung Tha Beach | Pathein, Ayeyarwaddy Division, Chaungtha 11121, Myanmar (Formerly Hotel Max)
Region: Myanmar > Ayeyarwady Region > Chaungtha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Chaungtha
Price Range: £30 - £114 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Amazing Chaung Tha Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Amazing Chaung Tha Resort Timeless sophistication and the ultimate in relaxation, Amazing Chaung Tha Resort features beautifully decorated villas with scenic garden that is set on the tranquil part of Chaung Tha beach. Have an escape from busy town and get a glimpse of paradise at the hotel where utmost services and facilities are waiting for you. Play tennis, hit karaoke and swim in the infinity edge pool, or simply unwind at Spa Thukha with a range of renowned signature treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amazing Chaung Tha Resort Myanmar/Chaungtha

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