After the serene waters of Inle Lake, it was time for me to head to another body of water and get my first taste of the Indian Ocean. In the three months I’ve been away I’d only spent three days on the beach, so was excited to spend some time on the coast.
My original beach plan had been to get the night bus to Yangon and then a day bus out to Ngwe Saung, but with my fragile insides, I couldn’t stomach the 20 hours of bus journey (it’s getting very boring writing that I’ve been unwell, and I can imagine it’s getting very boring to read, so my apologies!). Instead, I opted to throw money at the problem, and flew to Ngapali, about 150km further north than Ngwe Saung. Ngapali isn’t really a backpacker hangout; there are a few very nice boutique resorts and a selection of guest houses as opposed to hostels. I treated myself to a private room to recover in, and really can’t speak highly enough of the owner of my place, May 18 Guesthouse. Her English is very good and she was incredibly kind and helpful throughout my stay when I was sick, making me special soup and taking me to the clinic to see a doctor. The rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable, and a three minute walk from a beautiful and deserted beach.
I wandered down to the beach after I checked in and there was no-one else in sight – I had that end of the beach to myself! I popped some music on and lay soaking up some rays and enjoying the soothing sound of the waves in the background.
The next morning, I headed out for some more beach time. Outrageously, there were two other people on my beach, but I let it slide as I still had plenty of space to spread out and sing along to my tunes without anyone overhearing! I sunbathed for a couple of hours, then wandered down the beach towards the slightly busier area (by ‘busy’, I think the most people I saw at any one time must have been about 12) to a restaurant I’d been recommended by the guesthouse owner. It’s well-known for its seafood but sadly that was not going to fly with my stomach, so I had a very plain lunch as I soaked up the beautiful ocean view. The best places to eat round Ngapali Beach are Seagull, Green Umbrella and Excellence, all of which have a variety of fresh seafood and local dishes.
I unfortunately spent my last day in Ngapali in bed as I was too sick to leave the room, so that brings this very short blog post to a close! Ngapali was a bit of a splurge location for a backpacker but was really beautiful and tranquil. There are boat trips, snorkelling and diving for those so inclined, but just sitting on the beach is hugely pleasant too (not something I usually enjoy as much) given how quiet it is in comparison to many of the beaches in South East Asia! It wasn’t really a place for meeting other solo travelers, but was great for relaxing and recovering in peace.
Until next time,
Number of strangers I’ve spoken to today: 2, including an older Italian guy who had the world’s hairiest shoulders and no qualms about describing to me in depth his problems with IBS.
Interaction was: undesirable given the state of my stomach, but nice to have a friendly chat all the same.
One Woman and her Backpack x
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