With no electricity during the day, sitting on the bungalow balcony directly on the beach you could hear only the sound of waves, little jingle bells (from the horses) and motorbikes. Going up and down and up and down the beach on a motorbike seems to be a very popular local tourist activity.
It’s a nice beach for doing nothing, as there really is nothing to do. But that is a good thing, after having felt so rushed around since the moment of arriving in Myanmar.
Fishermen and normality surrounds you here, I saw one man walking his pig on the beach, and another doing his ironing whilst watching Aung San Suu Kyi and Obama on the old television set.
There are still touts trying to sell you things, but not the annoying kind. Guys on motorbikes selling coconuts, women selling dried fish (you smell them before you see them), some horse ride sellers trotting up and down the beach, old men lazing about in the shade ready to rent out inflated rubber rings for the local tourists that don’t know how to swim, and taxi motorbikes, they are annoying as it gets, which is actually not very annoying at all and they were never pushy or to in your face, mostly waiting for you to approach them. Coconut motos completely leave you alone, just hovering in your periphery for 5 minutes before getting the message that you aren’t interested in a coconut right now and moving on.
Walking to Lovers Island, a tiny island at the south of the beach that you are able to walk across to during low tide is as active as it got during the days spent in Ngwe Saung. Walking back to the bungalow felt like crossing the Sahara desert even with the sea breeze.
A highlight of a day would be finding somewhere that sells cold drinks during the day! or Peanut brittle at a fair price.
Even when all the accommodation is full, which is seemed to be, the beach still feels relatively empty, of foreigners at least.
Lots of locals arrived on the Saturday, 6 young Burmese men sharing a 1 double bed bungalow became new neighbours. I never saw them without a bottle of rum in their hands.
This beach is for them, less ‘white’ tourists, more a young rich Yangonites weekend party place – they had a blast with karaoke on the beach outside the bungalow ALL night!
For foreigners the nightlife is nicely limited to hotel restaurants or a lovely Japanese style restaurant/bar called Ume set back on the only main road in the jungle area. A nice local drinking hole run by a Burmese/Japanese couple, Nice cocktails with a lovely ambiance and good company, although the food wasn’t so great, but it isn’t really anywhere in Myanmar.
Also, according to the owners, during the wet season you can find Elephants in the jungle surrounding Ume restaurant. The only nature I encountered however was a Scarab beetle getting stuck in my hair. Myanmar is full of weird bugs.
Here I met Steve, a retired Aussie science teacher with crazy stories who was on his way to try and cross to India regardless of whether he was allowed to or not, he was a laugh, also met a French couple who were a wealth of knowledge about Myanmar. It can be in the unlikeliest of places, that you can meet the most interesting people.