Ngapali Beach is situated on the Bay of Bengal in the South of Rakhine State and is 175 miles North West of Yangon and a similar distance South of Mrauk U.
The airport is Sandoway (SNW) the English derivative of Thandwe, the main local regional town.
Ngapali Beach is the premier resort of Myanmar but development has been discrete and although there are some 20 hotels (with 4 more being built) all are small by international standards and all are low rise, in the tree line, making them virtually invisible from the sea. Many of the hotels have less than 30 rooms and even the largest, Amata , has only 80 which means that even at peak season the maximum visitors, spread over the 3 beaches including the main Ngapali 3km beach front, are never more than 1500 so the beaches can seem deserted.
The sand on all three tourist beaches is soft and golden, the beaches gently sloping and the sea warm and clean
The main tourist season runs from mid October to the end of April at which time most hotels close and are boarded up and mothballed for the monsoon season.
A couple of small hotels in Linthar village stay open all year for business or NGO guests.
The monsoon can be very vicious,it is the same weather that devastates Bangladesh most years and sometimes the local fishermen cannot go to sea for months on end.
Whilst the locals may use the bus service from Yangon, via Pyay (Prome), to Thandwe it is not for the faint hearted as it a 12-14 hour trip on very bad roads through the jungle of the Arakan range. The cost is 10,000kyat single, much less than 10% of the cost of the air fare. More recently the transport has been upgraded to a modernish Chinese coach which is comfortable but because of the road conditions can be very slow.
So, unless you are keen on a long coach journey, flying is the only option. Out of season there may only be one or two flights a week from Yangon, and are subject to cancellation -who wants to be in an ATR in the monsoon!
In peak season there can be up to 5 flights a day from Yangon at prices of about $225+return.
There are also daily flights in peak season from Nyaung U (Bagan) via Heho for about $150 single. The airport is an old WWII strip suitable for small aircraft and there are no International flights.
There are four airlines operating flights to Thandwe in 2014
Airkbz, Airbagan, Airmandalay and Yangonair.
Some now take online bookings by CC with etickets, others take email bookings with payment and collection of tickets on arrival. Local agents can be cheaper than booking direct.
There is loads of information on Ngapali Beach here on TA.
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