The christmas jingle bell sound of horses woke me up, and also Philipps elbow in the face.
If you can be bothered and have the time it’s nice to have an early morning walk around the tiny village. You’ll see monks collecting donations (not the fake monks either they wont even look at you if you’re a woman), women with enormous Watermelons on their heads accompanied by another lady who’s purpose is to carry an umbrella for the Watermelon.
It’s a nice place to people watch and just embrace the normality of Myanmar without being constantly hassled to buy something. Its busy and bustling in a small village, charming, way.
There are shops selling normal priced drinks (don’t expect chilled tho! as there is only electricity certain hours a day), souvenirs and snack type food. If you can find the man with the food trolley, buy a load of peanut brittle from him. It’s not only yummy but also the most fair price you will find as he is the wholesaler ;).
Being the hypocrite that I am I didn’t actually bother to get up and have an early morning walk (except to 5 meters in front of the bungalow where the sea started). But I wish I had. The only chance I got was the 20 minutes before the bus left to Yangon in the morning.
Despite the village normality, I don’t recommend staying within the village itself. Yes it has a lovely modern-ish hotel slap bang in the middle of it right by where the bus comes and goes, so it would be super easy to just give up there. But you are here for beach, and to relax after being hassled and beaten down by the rest of Myanmar. Go further south towards the Pagodas, its nicer, and smells less of sewage and you get the nice sea breeze. Don’t get despondent when you have walked for what seems like millennia down the beach looking for accommodation and only finding pricey resorts, the ‘affordable’ stuff (read huts) will come further down.