The South of Myanmar: one of the less explored areas by foreigners !
Reaching here I get the feeling of being out of the beaten track while sleeping under the stars in one of the only two guesthouse of the whole peninsula.
The access point in the tiny town of Dawei reachable by flight or with frequent buses travelling here daily from Thai borders and from the rest of Myanmar. If coming from Yangon I would suggest to stop in Hpa-An to explore the near by caves and to make a night break from the otherwise 14 hours bus.
Dawei is a good hub where to spend a night if you have an early bus or flight out and where to rent motorbike at Focus rental.
If sharing the motorbike in two or people (or more) you better spend a thousand of Kyat more (8000 Myanmar Kyat daily, approx 5/6 euro daily) to get the more powerful and spacious semiautomatic bike: you won’t regret it while climbing on a steep unpaved dirty road in the wood 😉
Many and many more the beaches to explore, but only two offer a solution to sleep: Paradise beach and Sin Htauk.
It takes us almost two hours to reach Paradise beach, whose name couldn’t fit better!
After two hours driving through remote villages we finally reach our right turn into a dirty unpaved road that soon start climbing uphill to penetrate in the wood becoming a walking track more than a road. It takes an additional half an hour up and down a couple of hill and zig-zag between trees to reach this amazing sandy beach surrounded by green dense threes.
Few bungalows, five tents and terrace serving as restaurant are the only constructions here.
Even if travelling with my hammock, camping out of the only licensed structure is strictly prohibited and we are extremely lucky to find the last tent available and not reserved only for that single night!
Couple of hundred meters till the end of the beach to enjoy a good snorkelling spot around colourful corals and fishes, beach volley matches and bonfire are the main activities together with good talks with other fellow travellers.
A pleasant place where to spend few days relaxing and chilling out if you’re looking for a relaxing paradise.
We will find an even more hidden beach at Sin Htauk.
To reach her a 45 minutes drive on an unpaved road out of main road end in a walking path that cross a mangrove plain that gets flooded during the full moon high tide. The walk under the sun (bring a hat!) is rewarded by the sandy wider beach and the welcoming group of travellers and hosts that we find at the Sin Htauk guesthouse that just received its first guests six months ago in late 2016. Originally from Germany, Olaf is helping the guesthouse’s local owner to set up the business and promote it. Everything changed for him and his wife an year ago while visiting Dawei where after having dinner with a local just met in the hotel they went visiting the beach and ended up being the partner and counsellor of the beach bungalows’ project. They now own a small land and plan to retire here in this corner of heaven!
Snorkelling, a 10 minutes walk to the next grandfather beach and a small hike for a beautiful view of the beach from the hill are the main activities waiting to share travellers’ stories around the bonfire.
But the best comes with the night swim under an amazing sky filled with stars when every movement of our body is celebrated by luminescent plankton lighting up all around us!
A spectacle I’ve seen before only from a boat during my Atlantic ocean crossing in 2016.
If I were you I would not miss:
– Grandfather beach (accessible through an unpaved road just before Paradise beach exit from main road). You can easily ride with the motorbike on the sandy beach.
– Golden rock on top of a mountain (similar but less touristic to the famous one in Mount Kyaiktiyo)
This rock, not as famous and touristic as Mt. Kyaiktiyo’s golden rock, offers an amazing view of the sandy beaches below and a good fun riding the motorbike up the steep dirty road to the top!
There are also other beaches that might worth to explore in a day trip, but unless you want to try camping illegally and being chased and searched for locals the whole night you may want to head back to Dawei or the two above beaches before sunset 😉
Rent a bike:
- Paradise beach: Myanmar Paradise Beach bungalows (tent 20k Kyat with breakfast for 2, bungalows from 40k Kyat)
- Htauk beach: Sin Htauk guesthouse (same as above but without breakfast)
- Dawei: Sein Shwe Moe guesthouse or Shwe Maung Than Hotel
How to reach:
Daily buses connects Dawei with Yangon (14 hours leaving around 3pm from Yangon and 5 pm on the way back), minibuses to Hpa-An (6 hours), Thai border (8 am), Myeik (6h 3 times a day) and few more destinations.
Daily flights connect the local airport directly with Yangon for a little bit of cash more.
… mostly Gopro this time while fixing mobile and Canon cameras ;( bad times for photography ;(