Dawei

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Dawei (Tavoy) is the capital of Tanintharyi Division, in Southeastern Myanmar. As this area has been closed for tourism until early 2013, it is largely undeveloped and unexplored and makes for a very authentic and rewarding experience. Don't expect to find any packaged tours or trips yet.

Get in[edit]

By Bus[edit]

Road trip takes 18 hrs from Yangon and 7 hrs from Kanchanaburi in Thailand through Thai-Myanmar border (Phu Nam Ron Border Crossing - bus or minivan from Kanchanaburi bus station 70/80 TBH). The unpaved road from Thai border to Dawei seems to be now mostly in good condition (as of September 2016). Joint minivan ticket from Thai immigration to Myanmar immigration and from there to your hotel in Dawei costs 800 THB. From Yangon Aung Mingalar bus station, daily 3-5 buses at 14 PM and 5 AM, 13000-15000 kyat (aircon), 14h (as of Oct 2015).

From Mawlamyine buses depart from the Zeigyo bus station (NOT the main bus station where buses from Yangon, Hpa An, etc., arrive) at 6:30 PM only (Jan 2016) for 12000 kyat (Jan 2016) and arrive at 3 AM at the bus station behind the airport. 1-1500 kyat moto taxi into town, ca. 3000 kyat Tuk-Tuk.

From Ye there are two daily buses (6 am and 10 pm, 4 to 5 hrs, 8,000 MYK). The early morning bus leaves near the market.

By plane[edit]

Air KBZ has flights during tourist high season (beginning October to end of April ONLY on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun) which fly from Yangon to Kawthoung (and return) stopping in Dawei and Myeik. Myanmar Airways flies twice daily from Yangon, once direct (1h) and once with a stop in Kawthoung (3h).

Myanmar Airways and Apex Airline are flying daily with the same routine as Air KBZ.

Nowadays it is easy to book a flight through local agents or your hotel. Most likely agents deliver the ticket to your hotel or thanks to Internet print it straight away.

By train[edit]

From Mawlamyine to Dawei or Ye foreigners are allowed to use the local train. There is one daily train from Yangon to Dawei via Mawlamyine and Ye, which takes just over 24 hours. It departs Yangon at 18:25, departs Mawlamyine at 04:30, departs Ye (where you change to a different train) at 10:25 and arrives in Dawei at 19:00 (at least according to the schedule - delays are common).

By boat[edit]

Ferries to Myeik and Kawthoung leave from about 35km (21 miles or about one hour's drive) south of Dawei at around 04:00. You will need to be at the jetty by 03:00 as they will leave early if possible. It takes around 4 hours to Myeik (USD25-30) and about 10 hours to Kawthoung. The coastal ferry does not operate during the rainy season.


As of Jan 2016 - From multiple travellers accounts, the ferry only runs once a week at most, and is never on a set date. From locals accounts, in their own words: something has "spooked" the locals with the ferry and as such it hardly runs anymore. Use with caution as the suggestion is that the trip has possibly become unsafe.

As of March 2016 - Ferry is running infrequently! Locals did not recommend using the ferry!

Get around[edit]

There are plenty of pickups, motorcycle taxis and trishaws in town to comfortably get around for just 500 to 2000 kyat. Another option is to rent a motorcycle and go around at will, most hotels can arrange one for 7000-10000 kyat a day.

See[edit][add listing]

Please dress modestly (cover shoulders, knees etc) in temples and pagodas

  • Shin Motehti Pagoda, a few miles south of town.
  • Shin Datweh Pagoda, in the north.
  • Shin Maw Pagoda, on the Dawei promontory.
  • Lawka Tharaphu Pagoda. Houses a 75-metre long reclining Buddha image.
  • Myaw Yit Pagoda. On the small island visible approx 10km south of Maungmagan beach. Coming from Dawei, take the first road left out of Maungmagan town and continue on this road, keeping left at the fork with the big Coconuts Guesthouse sign. The road degrades in quality and seemingly goes past the destination, however note that if you continue it curls back and you will reach your destination, after passing a small fishing village with many flag-adorned boats moored. Continue up the steep dirt hill and keep right and you will come to the foot of the boardwalk where there are a few shops and decent small restaurants.
  • Maungmagan Beach, (12 miles from Dawei City, about MYK5000 by motorbike taxi), [1]. (,simple beach with very good seafood, lots of accommodation springing up. very popular with locals at the weekend but quiet during the week) edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Hunting for undeveloped beaches by motorcycle (6,000-10,000 kyat per day, rented via most hotels) is a fun way to explore the peninsula to the west of Dawei.

It is very easy to get to the beach at Maungmagan, it takes about 30 minutes and during high season there are many restaurants at the beach that serve excellent seafood dishes. However, first check the kitchen of the place you want to sit down at.

A little rougher is continuing north on the road towards Nabule. It soon becomes a dirt road and requires better bike handling skills. A few kilometres before Nabule there is a straight pebble road to the left, which will take you past the (seemingly abandoned) Dawei Sea Port project site, towards a giant undeveloped beach.

It is also possible to take coastal road southwards from Maungmagan to Panyit village and all the way to Launglon, and then turn back to Dawei, or go to San Hlam or Teyzit beach. Take direction to Boa Say from Maungmagan town and continue towards San Maria Bay. Before San Maria Bay Beach is a small village where you need to turn left at crossroads with a sign with a picture of a pagoda (this is likely the same as the way to Myaw Yit Pagoda described above). The road is in quite good condition up to Panyit, although you need to cross a couple of shallow water streams in the rainy season. At Panyit take left turn and keep left at the end of the village, but it is better to ask the locals which direction is Launglon (it is easy to lose right direction here as there are few small crossroads without any road signs - but you could as well go exploring and find your way to Panyit beach while there). The road right after Panyit village is quite demanding with a steep rocky ascent but manageable for moderately skilled scooter driver, and gets much easier when you reach a stretch of concrete road. The scenery towards the sea is very nice at this part and you will meet a lot of local villagers on your journey trough idyllic country side, highly recommended.

Really tough and adventurous is going to the south, and taking a dirt road westwards out of Langlon. These 'roads' are rocky, steep and require top motorcycle skills to navigate. At the end you will find different beaches where only a few curious local fisherman families reside. They will gladly invite you to take a swim with them. There is also a path towards a small empty beach and a golden rock. From Launglon, take the first intersection left, then a few km further continue straight when another path goes left up a hill, and park your bike at a little shrine at a 3 way intersection. From there take the path to the right that leads up (not the smaller one going down), cut through the fresh overgrown bushes to the end, and climb the rocks to the golden rock with the Buddha statue and on towards the beach. Study satellite imagery beforehand to prepare for the trip.

Oct 2015: the road is under construction, in 1-2 weeks will be more easy to go there. On the left side (150m) of Buddha statue, if you climbe (very easy) the beach rocks, you will find a very beautiful your own beach. 😊

  • Hire a bicycle or motorbike in Mountain King shop and explore surrounding, No 371 Arzarni Road, beside Ayeyarwady Bank. Bicycle is for 3,000-8,000 kyat for 24 hours or motorbike for 8,000 for 24 hours. Cheaper option available with return at the same day before 6 pm. Motorbikes also in Focus rental shop near Shwe Moung Than Hotel at Pakokku Kyaung road. Manual 6,000 and automatic 8,000 for 24 hours.
  • Play snooker with locals. In the neighbourhoods there are many snooker places that open at night. Rent a table to challenge some locals, likely they'll beat you with a giant smile on their faces.
  • Mall rooftop. There is a mall near Zayar Htet San Hotel (big luxury hotel) which has a rooftop with a coffeeshop on it. It makes a nice option to get a view of the city.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

ATM's CB Bank down the road from New Light Hotel on Arzarni Road has a functioning ATM. Also, Ayeyerwady Bank on the same road but nearer the river--can't miss the sign-- has one.

  • Longyi (a sarong) is a famous local product.
  • Cashew nuts and betel nuts are grown for export as well as a variety of tropical fruits including durian ("the King of Fruits").
  • Zin thi (in local language) is only found in Dawei and surrounding areas. It is sweet and slightly sour.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • QQ. Excellent thai food. Right next to the main street, near the big hotel.  edit
  • Sawatdi Restaurant. Malaysian food, very good rice and chicken for 1500 kyat with delivery ph: 05922534, 09250833323 or 0949735117  edit
  • Pale Akari, Ye Yeik Thar rd. Great little place on grounds of hotel with the same name just down the road from Hotel Zayar Htet San. Variety of good Asian dishes with excellent selection of seafood. Bonus is the large outdoor garden area for kids to run around in.  edit
  • MK5, No. 8 Arzarni Rd. Nice pastries and some shakes, juices and coffee.  edit
  • Tavoy Kitchen, Payar Rd. Delicious and very affordable food (from 1,500 to 4,000 kyat) in a small restaurant.  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Shwe Moung Than Hotel is new, central location all room AC. The cheapest rooms are on the 4th floor, double/twins, bathroom inside (no hot water), breakfast included, 20,000 kyat. The rooms on the lower floor are more expensive, double 37,000 kyat, and a triple which comes with a bath tub, hot water and fridge 57,000 kyat. Prices as of September 2016. No. 655, Pakokku Kyaung Street, tel. 059 23764
  • Sein Shwe Moe Guesthouse. Familiar place with comfortable beds. Wifi. No breakfast. Cheapest in town!(Feb 2016): s8000k / d16000 (fan rooms with shared bathroom). Near to Swe Moung Than Hotel. 577A Ye Yeik Thar Street, Myauk Ywar Quarter. 05924073 / 098740208. 14°04′28.89″N 98°11′46.48″E
  • New Light hotel 1-1.5km from centre, AC, double 27000Kyat. No29 Arzarni Rd, Dawei. Tel. 059-23951
  • Dream Emperor Hotel is in a good, central location and has simple but comfortable rooms for MYK20,000 (twin or double). There are several other hotels within walking distance. AC and own bathroom. 20$ at Okt.2015
  • Golden Guest Hotel, no 59, Myotedwin street, Anauak quarter, is a decent newer option in town with rooms from US$45.

For hotels closer to the beach, you need to transfer to Maungmagan:

  • kanbouk tide hotel, right on the beach. singles 20000 or special isolated room with double bed 15000. No WiFi, no breakfast. 14.1328357, 98.0963109
  • Coconut Guesthouse, location: 14.1385543, 98.0978126. Tel: 09 8752293
  • Maungmagan Beach Resort, 09 422201819, tddpcdawei@gmail.com
  • Sin Htauk Beach. White beach with some basic bungalows.

Get out[edit]

  • Train to Yangon, Bago, Mawlamyine, Ye, 5:30 am. Sometimes there is no Upper Class until Ye, where you have to change trains. The station is in the south end of Dawei. A motor taxi from/to the center costs 2000 kyat (because of early morning surcharge), in daytime 1000 kyat.
  • AC bus to Ye and Mawlamyine three times a day at 5 am, 1 pm and 5 pm (check times from your travel agent). Road has been improved and should take less than 4 hours to Ye (as of September 2016). 8,000 kyat. Also minivans run the same route at about the same price, pick up from hotel included to the price.
  • Mergui / Myeik. Normal bus leave at 6 am, 6,000 kyat. AC bus leave at 8 am, 8,000 kyat. Minibus leave at 4, 6, 8 am and 4 pm, 10,000 kyat. 6-7 h to Meyek

The bus station is far from the city centre, 15min with car or with moto, behind airport. 14.107064, 98.205830 GPS

  • Onward to Thailand

Several companies run minibuses from Dawei to the Thai border town of Hteekee departing daily in the morning between 8 and 9 am. Hotels in Dawei and Coconuts Guesthouse at Maungmagan beach can easily arrange tickets, price 20000 (at sein shwe moe guesthouse).

There is a minibus station located close to the southern end of the airport not far from Kyat Thadiang Pagoda. It isn't clear if it is any cheaper to purchase tickets directly from the minibus companies at the station.

The trip to Htee Kee takes around 4-5 hours . The road takes you over some beautiful terrain with forested mountains. The road passes through Karen National Union (KNU) controlled territory and there are 3 Myanmar government checkpoints and two Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) checkpoints. After an hour, there is a passport check. Then the road becomes rocky and bad for 3 hours. Then there is Myanmar immigration in Htee Kee (a small village with nothing of interest), where you will also pay any overstay fines (only $3 / day as of March 2016). After this you must get another bus across no man's land between Myanmar and Thailand, the price of which is highly negotiable (aim for 50 baht/person). It is a short 5-10 minute ride. Then you reach Thailand entrance immigration. Note: there are no visa on arrival facilities at this Phu Nam Ron checkpoint so those nationalities that do not have visa waiver agreements must have a Thai visa to enter Thailand. From here, buses to Kanchanaburi are 70 baht (the big Wi-Fi bus) or minivans 80 baht.

The last bus to Kanchanaburi leaves at 4 pm.



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