We arrived in time in the airport to catch our flight to Ngapali that left before the scheduled time! The heat wave struck the second I went out of the airplane. After we cleared immigration (! weird, we were not coming from abroad) we headed to the Amata resort, a short twenty minutes ride. Ngapali is probably the most popular beach resort in Myanmar but it is far from crowded. The beach is on par with the best of the south east Asia: a long, wide stretch of white sand and blue calm waters. We spent the rest of the day soaking sun and enjoying the sea.
We chose the Min Thus seafood restaurant, following the Tripadvisor recommendation and did not regret it. Simply cooked, fresh and tasty fish, caught daily by the owner’s boat. Highly recommended. The way back to the hotel was 1km long and we did not meet any other tourists walking. But it feels – and is – absolutely safe to walk in Ngapali.
The next morning, we rented a boat for snorkeling, without great expectations. Nevertheless, the waters were clear, mostly blue and the fish in good numbers. It does not compare to the Maldives, but it was very pleasant and definitely better than many other places I have been. I made a mental node to visit the fishing village we passed and ended up on Pearl island, a small strip of earth close to the beach.
The next morning was cloudy and rainy, but the sky cleared before noon. I grabbed the opportunity to visit the neighboring fisherman village. It was one of the most pleasant couple of hours during this trip. Fish drying under the sun, men repairing their boats, kids playing on the beach, fishermen returning with the day’s catch. Obviously the people are poor with western standards, but it does not feel like in many other places in southeast Asia where poverty is predominant and intense. It has most likely to do with Ngapali being a tourist destination, so there is a good market for the fish and jobs for the rest.