Ngwe Saung is the location of several beach resorts and a small village in the Irrawaddy region of Myanmar.
You can take a bus from Pathein or Yangon. The roads are better now , so for the about 260km from Yangon it will take about 5 hours, depending what bus you take. There are morning buses (i.e. 6:30am and 7:30am depending on demand, 10000 kyat) that depart from the western Yangon bus terminal (Hlaing Thar Yar Bus Terminal) which is 45 minutes by car taxi from the city centre. There is a bus service (4000 kyat) departing Pathein for Ngwe Saung at 2:00pm again depending on demand, if you miss that hire a moto taxi or jump in a jumbo for 5000 kyat or less (bargain hard!).
Hiring a car is only worth it if you have missed the morning bus and do not want to ride by night. The difference in time is not big. It will cost around 120$.
If you're travelling from Pathein, you can also catch a minivan. It departs from the bus station near Shwezigon Pagoda, the same bus station the local bus leaves from. It's a dark green Toyota Minivan with 'Beach Express' written in red writing on the front and sides. It leaves at 9am and 1pm and charges 3600 Kyat.
There is no longer a requirement to remit a copy of your visa and passport prior at a military check point on the way to Ngwe Saung.
Passports were handed to the bus operator who did have to show them to guards on the way to Ngwe Saung.
Cash & Credit
Since January 2017 there is a KBZ Bank with working ATM in town on the opposite of the Ngwe Saung pagoda (KBZ Bank). More ATMs are in front of Eskala Resort (AYA Bank), at Emerald Sea Resort (KBZ Bank), Yamonnar Oo Resort (KBZ Bank) and Marina Yacht Club (KBZ Bank) south of town.
The majority of the large hotels accept Mastercards and Visa. All the guesthouses and budget places do not.
You may rent a bicycle, scooter or take up the services of nearby bicycle, moto and car taxis.
Moto taxi trips within the township cost 1000 kyat and 1500 kyat to the resorts to the North and South (up to a 5 minute trip).
Motorbikes (Honda Wave clones from China) can be hired for the day from most hotel receptionists for 10,000 kyat or less, there is no insurance and it is in most cases the hotel staff's own bike so take care of it and be sure to get it checked out prior to hiring if there are any known issues with the bike. The closest international standard hospital is Yangon's General Hospital which is at least 5 hours away.
The endless and quiet white sand beach. There is also an 'elephant camp' in between Ngwe Saung and Pathein.
Several comments conclude that snorkeling in Lover's Island is rather a disappointing experience.
Trips to Bird Island are available but there have been reports of strong, dangerous currents. Snorkelling there without a life jacket is not recommended.
Go to the beach, see the local village. There is not much to do in Ngwe Saung, that's the idea. Just relax and enjoy the quiet time. However, there are few options you can choose. You could visit to a fishing village at the Southern end of Ngwe Saung Beach and stay overnight there, or you could take an excursion trip to nearby islands and enjoy light snorkeling there, or you could ask your hotel to arrange an elephant ride along the small stream across the jungle at the elephant camp. Last, but not the least, you could enjoy good birding experiences at the Ngwe Saung Dam and its surrounding areas if you are a birder.
A walk to Lover's Island when the tides are receeding. The island is rocky so barefoot or flipflops are not comfortable. You can also climb a few stairs up to see it from above.
Painted umbrellas made in town or in Pathein.
- Bay of Bengal If you happen to stay at a place that is not located on the beach, the Bay of Bengal is your best bet. Perfect service and setting. Note that for 5,000 kyats a day, you can use the swimming pool facilities.
- Jasmine Restaurant Best value in town for meals US$2-5. Dare to escape your beach resort and try this cafe. BBQ fish or squid are delicious as well as other things (seaweed salad, seafood salad). For a quiet and romantic setting there are front row seats. Wifi access
- See Sar restaurant in town for meals US$2-5.
- Sunny Paradise restaurant at the resort for US$5-10. Good fare.
- Golden Myanmar, (16.85936N, 94.38844E, 100m from bus station towards town). Recommended restaurant within the township specialising in seafood. Have fresh lobster, fish, crab, eel available on demand. Prices are moderate for seafood and cheap for non-seafood items (pork, chicken, etc.). Electricity is on from 6pm till close (10pm). Draft beer! (16.85936N,94.38844E)
- Silver Blue Sea A family run restaurant with quick, attentive service and plenty of choice on the menu. They have a vegetarian section and will cater to your culinary preferences. The tempura comes highly recommended. Most vegetarian dishes are under 2500 Kyat and the remainder under 5000 kyat. It's located 200 metres before Emerald Sea Resort south from town.
- Umo bar has western and japanese dishes along with alcoholic drinks, music and fire show. Can stay open until around 2am.
- De Evening Spectrum (Resturant), Emerald Sea Resort (South of Ngwe Saung Town), ☎ 9595200740, . 6:00 Am to 11:00 Pm. US$ 1 - 50.
- Soe KoKo Restaurant. Open from the early morning until midnight. Delicious local Chinese and Thai food as well as Seafood and Italian Pasta. Breakfast time: Mohinga, Fried Rice, Western Style with Coffee/Tea, Fruits and Juice for only 2000kyat, Pancake. Cheap Beer, too. 1500-6500.
- Sunset Pool Bar. Tasty with decent priced asian/western food with the best view of the sunset and lover island. Plenty of vegetarian options. Comes with the only "backpacker vibe in the village." Managers are a couple of english guys who are creating a backpackers vibe, worth it for the atmosphere and the sunset. 2,500-6,000.
There is no disco, however the very modern and stylish Bay of Bengal hotel has sometimes disco like events.
Local 'tea shops' have popped up within the township and to the North which offer cheap Myanmar brewed lager and stout beers and are busy throughout the day with local customers.
A bottle of Mandalay Rum can be purchased within the township for 1,500 kyat, 4 cans of coke will cost you 2,000 kyat (bargain for bulk purchases).
Bar 'Umo' not far from resorts like Shwe Hinta has a fire show from 7.30pm onwards. The bar has some Japanese and Western food. Drinks are a bit pricey for local alcohol and bottle of Myanmar beer is 3.000 kyat. The place also rents motorbikes (10.000k a day), bicycles and snorkeling masks.
- Sunboxx Beach Party is a bi-annual beach party being held at 'Eskala Resorts', featuring DJs playing international electronic/house music, lots of activities on the beach, and all-night partying (music playing all day from lunch until 06:00 Am!). It will be held on 28 - 30th October 2016 (2017: March 17th). Weekend festival passes are $35/50 (early-bird/regular).
- Sea Eagle Bar, Emerald Sea Resort (South of Ngwe Saung Town), ☎ 954240247, . 11:00 Am to 11:00 Pm. US$ 2 -30.
Several hotels are closed during the rainy season. And the prices also go up during the high season.
- Emerald Sea Resort, (South of the village), ☎ +95-42-40247, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00 noon. With a small Restaurant and Spa inside the resort which is on the beach in the center of the whole beach. US$ 90+.
- Soe KoKo Beachhouse & Restaurant, Myo Pat Road (Located on a sidestreet at the northern end of the village, 3 min walk to the beach), ☎ +9595001025 +9595132440, . checkin: 1:00 pm; checkout: 11:00 am. [email protected] 5 new, clean and carefully built bamboo bungalows with 7 rooms, run by a charming family and staff. They have 3 ecomony rooms, too. Great breakfast included (Mohinga, Fried Rice or Western Style). Soe KoKo's restaurant serves tasty local, Chinese and Thai dishes. And their Spaghetti are the best in town. Their 24h-electricity comes mostly from solar panels, not from noisy generators. Open during the rainy season! $13 to $35.
- Myanmar Treasure - US$90+
- Ocean, (Next to the Sunny Paradise Resort). Same owner as Sunny Paradise Resort. More like a "deluxe" dormitory rather than a resort as the breakfast at the back of Sunny Paradise resort (5mn walk). No direct access to the sea. No restaurant (in-room service only). No swimming pool and usage of the Sunny Paradise's swimming pool is 5000 kyats. $75.
- Pearl Beach Resort, (16.84090N 94.38262E, Around 2 miles south of town, taking motorbike from the town costs 1000Kyat.). Wooden built beach huts, with a double bed are 25US$ ensuite with a mosquito net and fan. Brick built rooms are 35US$ with fan. Brick built huts with AC are 45US$. The wooden huts are located closest to the beach, hut 100 is the nearest to the water, however gets rather as its not sheltered from the sun. The wooden huts vary a lot in term of condition so have a look at a few before choosing. If you're a light sleep, pick a hut a little further from the beach, the sounds of the waves can be loud at night and early morning as the tide comes in.. (16.84090N,94.38262E)
- Shwe Hin Tha, ☎ +95 (0)42 40 340, . checkout: 12:00 noon. The beach of Shwe Hin Tha is quite good, bungalows are very closed to the sea. The staffs are friendly, the bathroom is basic but clean. Around 2 miles south to the town, taking motorbike from the town to Shwe Hin Tha costs 1000Kyat. There is a restaurant nearby (500m) renting motorbike. US$33 for fan bamboo bungalow and US$60 for a/c concrete bungalow.
- Ngwe Saung Yacht Club & Marina. US$D 100-240 with different room types with best facilities including comfortable chairs, amazing internet and the best services by friendly and hospitable staffs). Although it is located at furmost side of ngwe saung beach and it may be seen a little far to ngwe saung village, it is very suitable and unique place for visitors who would like to stay peacefully and quiet..
- Silver Coast Beach Hotel ~US$ 25/50/60. The hotel is next after Shwe Hin Tha. They have bungalows at the waterfront and the second row (cheaper)as well. Decent bungalows with nice private front porch and a balcony. A lot of trees and greenery around and this place has more character even if it looks a bit older. Hot water, toiletries, towels, deck chairs, breakfast. Electricity between 6pm and 6am (in most places). Wifi at the Jasmine cafe nearby. They also can book a bus to Yangon. Tel: 095200575.
- Luxer Deluxe Hotel - it's located in the village and the room prices can vary from 40$ to 50$. The rooms are small and to access the beach you need to pass the local houses and rubbish dump behind. Wifi (6pm-6am) Still it has towels, toiletries, aircon (from 6pm to 6am), breakfast. The rooms have thin walls so you can hear staff very well. It's good when you need to drop bags for a night and decide about a nicer place next day.
- Lover View Pool Bar and Bungalows. Private bungalows close to lover island offering the best view of the sunset in the village. Rooms are cheap $15-$30 depending on season but include breakfast, wifi, air-con and swimming pool. They also run there own boat and bike tours, ranging from 7,000-30,000. Young Foreign managers (English and Australian) create a perfect backpacker vibe. Great restaurant too.
To/from Chaung Tha beach, hire a motorbike/scooter driver for a 2h ride (16000 kyat (January 2018)) along the coast with crossing three rivers with small wooden ferries. Scenic!
Much faster than the 75km detour.
Busses from Yangon to Ngwe Saung depart from the western bus terminal Hlaing Thar Yar in the morning at 6:30am, 7:00am, 7:30am and 8:00am, operated by various bus companies (Shwe Pyi Lwin, Myint and Kan Htoo Aung). They arrive in Ngwe Saung between 11:30am and 3:00pm, depending on the bus and seasonal road conditions.
Buses from Ngwe Saung to Yangon depart in the morning at 6:30am, 8:00am and 10:00am. Tickets can be purchased at the bus companies ticket shops in Ngwe Saung town, some hotels and guesthouses.
As of November 2016, a one-way ticket to/from Ngwe Saung costs 10,000 kyat.
Note that the Hlaing Thar Yar bus terminal is about 45 minutes to a 1 hour drive north-west of the city center by taxi, which is about 8,000 kyats.
There are also some night busses, departing around 9:00pm from the city center of Yangon near the central train station (Asia Dragon, Golden Star). They arrive in Ngwe Saung in the middle of the night between 2:30am and 4:30am. To make a reservation in a hotel/guesthouse for the rest of the night is a good idea. Otherwise you may end up sleeping on the beach, when your hotel/guesthouse, that you booked for the next night, is fully booked.
These busses return to Yangon around 10:00am in the morning.
There are no afternoon or night busses from Ngwe Saung to Yangon.
Alternatively a private taxi Yangon - Ngwe Saung should cost approximately 130,000-160,000 kyat and take 5-6 hours depending on the time of day, as of November, 2016.