Why Ngapali is one of the Best Beaches in the World By June Franco Imagine lying on a beach chair under the shade of a coconut tree with pearly white sand surrounding you as the soft sound of waves lapping the beach serenades you. Cocktail in hand and your thoughts far, far away…. Yes, this is exactly what awaits on Ngapali Beach. Ngapali Beach is one of the best beaches in the world. In an article published in Forbes in December 2018, Ngapali Beach was featured in the list of 50 Best Beaches with high ratings on parameters such as sheer untouched beauty, sand and the cleanliness of its waters. The Story Behind the Name It is believed that once a homesick Italian mentioned that the beach looked like Naple Beach, in Italy. The name Ngapali seems to have been derived from the word ‘Naple’. The ‘g’ in Ngapali is silent, hence it is pronounced as ‘Na-pa-li’. Ngapali started as a small fishing village with a few thatched houses and fishermen families going about their day. Over the years, the beach has grown by leaps and bounds to house posh resorts, sophisticated restaurants and happening bars. The good thing is, this development has not affected the soul of the place as Ngapali remains home to fishermen who go out into the ocean daily in their colourful boats. Today, Ngapali is the most popular beach destination in Myanmar, yet it does not look like other beach destinations anywhere else in the world. Quiet and serene, it is where you can spend a few days enjoying the tranquillity of nature. Where Peace Resides The fine white sand of Ngapali Beach extends for more than 7 kilometres with three bays — two large and one small. The resorts overlook a beach that is lined by coconut trees. The longest stretch of the beach is between Ngapali village and Geiktaw village, where most of the resorts are located. The texture of the sand there is unbelievably fine and light. If you walk northwards, you will come across a rocky portion which is ideal to enjoy the gorgeous view of the sea. The beach in the north overlooks the airport, however, this does not lead to any noise disturbance since the airport does not have that much of air-traffic. It is quite relaxing to watch flights taking off and land against the backdrop of the white sands and sounds of the waves overlapping on the shore. Ngapali has a decent nightlife due to the presence of swanky bars and pubs on the beach. The nights continue to be peaceful where people meet for a few drinks during happy hour and take their time to relax on the beach. Since Ngapali is oriented westwards, it is a tourist favourite to sit on the beach and enjoy the sunset while sipping on their favourite drinks. Giving you that Happy Time Ngapali is all about taking that well-deserved break from life to relax and enjoy nature. There are a lot of activities that you can do here. Take a trip on a local fishing boat, enjoy cycling around the beach, go for kayaking, snorkelling or scuba diving — life will surprise you when you are here. During monsoon, the water is ideal for surfing. The line of resorts are interspersed with fishing villages, which you can visit and enjoy a glimpse of the life of the locals. You will see a side of traditional and rural Myanmar living side by side with modern Myanmar, both existing in perfect harmony. There is also an 18-hole golf course located between the airport and the main beach resorts. At the south end, you will find Tilawkasayambhu Buddha overlooking the bay from where you can catch a panoramic view of the surroundings. Love seafood? You will be spoilt for choice here. Gorge on the freshest seafood available from squid, prawns, lobsters, fish, crabs and mussels. The hotels, restaurants and shacks take only fresh catch from the fishermen and whip up delicious dishes that will excite your taste buds. You can choose from a luxury dining experience to budget-friendly food — there’s something for everyone here. Several independent beachside restaurants are located midway from the main beach, which is open during lunch. They are highly recommended for enjoying hot, simmering seafood at affordable prices. Ngapali Beach offers a holistic experience to travellers with an exclusive peek into the life and culture of the local people. The beach is unpolluted and is the perfect example of the perfect beach that you can only find here in Myanmar. A few days here will better for your health and leave you refreshed and raring to take on a new adventure.