This beach resort is expanding fast and you can now find many beach side resort hotels along the beach front. Step from your chalet straight onto the beach. Although there are not so many foreign visitors, the number is growing and the hotels are upgrading their facilities to accomodate them.
The beach itself is a long expanse of golden sand. Each hotel tries to clean their own beachside daily. Many beach vendors ply their trade but are not pushy. Some carry fresh live seafood and will barbecue it for you upon request. Inflatable rings and dinghys are available to hire.
Buses leave Yangon at 6am and 9pm (only in high season), and despite the short distance take 5-6 hours to reach Chaung Tha. The buses make 2 to 3 scheduled stops along the way at roadside cafes. The journey costs around 8000 kyats. Return buses leave Chaungtha at 6am and occasionally 10am. The roads are very basic and deteriorate the further from Yangon. There is a constant upgrade of roads taking place as you get closer to the coast, but the going can still be slow.
Travelers departing from Yangon should set aside an extra hour for travel between the city centre and the outskirts bus station. Expect to pay 5000 kyats from the centre to the bus station.
From Pathein there are busses from the city center bus station at 16.78786N 94.72700E (close to the river)
You can negotiate with any Yangon taxi driver to take you by taxi (some have air-conditioning) so if youre travelling in a group of 3 or 4 and you split the cost it can be worthwhile. But remember the taxi will be returning empty, so you have to consider this when agreeing the price. If your trip is for just a few days, it may be better to negotiate with the driver to stay in town (he'll probably sleep in his taxi) and then he'll be able to bring you back also.
From or to Ngwe Saung beach, hire a motorbike/scooter driver for a 4h ride (8000kyat) along the coast with crossing two rivers with small wooden ferries. Scenic!
The main strip is located directly by the beach, meaning all eating and relaxing needs can be satisfied on foot. Motorbike taxis are available for trips to the beautiful Pokala Island, which also requires a short boat ride (1000 kyats return).
The motor bike taxis wait outside most of the hotels and are plentiful. Expect to pay 500 kyats per trip, although nothing is very far. Sidecar (a bicycle with a sidecar of two back to back seats) are also available at a more leisurely pace for the same fare.
Pokala Island is particularly beautiful, and just a short motorcycle-boat trip away from the main beach street.
Interact with the locals; it inevitably leads to the best adventures.
Characters you may meet on your travels include Tun Wai, an educated motorcycle driver only too happy to take you on shoestring-priced tours of the Chaungtha surrounds, and a deaf gentlemen the locals refer to as "The Good Man", who likes to take foreigners on similarly inexpensive fishing trips.
The beaches and scenery to the north of Chaung Thar are not to be missed. Either rent motorcycles or hire one and head north up the road to the right at the entrance of town. The road can be bumpy at times, so to avoid a particularly bad section of road, veer left at the fork about 1 km north of town, at the sign that says 'Golden Bay Resort' then make an immediate left down onto the beach itself. Drive another km by the water and aim for the coconut tree grove on the far side of the beach. You'll enter into a compound, surrounded by coconut trees. Soon, you'll come upon a 'cold drinks' stand with several beach chairs aside a beautiful beach. Continuing northward, at about 8 km north of town, is another 'cold drinks' shop (they have an English sign out front) with shaded chairs on a secluded beach. You'll likely be the only ones there. They've got salads and sandwiches too. Great escape from the crowded Chaung Thar proper.
Numerous shops and street stalls exist along the beach road. Here you can buy souvenirs, local snack foods and beach clothing. Go into the village for the local's market of fish, vegetables and provisions.
Numerous restaurants exist on the main beach road, serving delicious and fresh seafood in addition to the typical Myanmar cuisine. Most serve mango or delicious traditional desserts as a complimentary after-dinner treat.
Please try to avoid eating at the larger hotel restaurants, as locals complain that they stifle competition by buying up all the freshly caught seafood and locally grown potatoes from the town's markets.
Because there is no electricity during the day, it's difficult to buy cold drinks (no electicity = no refrigerator) unless you find a bar with either it's own genrator or a large ice box. Try 'TOP' bar beside the bus terminal, it has draft beer from a keg pumped thru an ice box. An ice cold beer for 600 kyats.