Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Destinations’ Category

Perfume Pagoda or Huong Pagoda has long been regarded as the most famous pilgrimage site when you travel Vietnam tours and it also attracts non-religious tourists because of its beautiful scenery called: “Supreme cave under the southern sky”.

Located nearly 70 km southwest of Hanoi, in My Duc District where is the junction of the Red River Delta ends abrubtly with the steep-sided limestone hills rising from the green paddy fields, Perfume Pagoda is an ideal day trip for anyone to enjoy fresh and peaceful atmosphere out of the busy city.

Image result for chua huong

The panorama of Yen Stream leading to the Huong Tich Cave during festive season of March

Unlike any other religious sites, Huong Pagoda is a complex of pagoda, temples, associated with mountains and forests that brings the harmony of natural and artificial beauty. The center of the complex stays inside the Huong Tich Cave where the Inner Pagoda locates. From the 1st to the 3rd lunar month or from early February to early April is when the Huong Pagoda festival takes place, there is a huge number of pilgrims flow to this site to pray for their happiness and prosperity for the new year. Also, gathering in this spring festival, young people have a lot more chance to join in traditional activities and to find their partners because the legend tells that this magical site is an ideal place to begin a romance. It can be said that Perfume pagoda is a must see place not only because of the religious site but also a stunning place for sight-seeing and photo-capturing lovers.

As Huong Pagoda is a large complex of pagodas and temples along the Yen Stream, tourists can choose to spend 1 day, 2 days or up to a week to discover this natural wonder depending on your time. Normally, there are four possible routes for visiting Huong Pagoda:

  • Huong Tich Route: Trinh Temple, Thien Tru Pagoda, Tien Son Cave, Giai Oan Pagoda, Huong Tich Cave, Hinh Bong Pagoda
  • Thanh Son Route: Thanh Son Pagoda & Huong Doai Cave
  • Long Van Route: Long Van Pagoda – Long Van Cave – Sung Sam Cave
  • Tuyet Son Route: Bao Dai Pagoda – Chua Ca Cave – Tuyet Son Cave

From my real experiences to Huong Pagoda twice, if you only have one day for sight-seeing, you are highly recommended to visit Huong Tich Route to two sites: Thien Tru Pagoda and Huong Tich Cave.

Now let’s start the pilgrimage to this fascinating nature drawing with the most highlights of Huong Tich Route:

Duc Pier

The very first starting point of Huong Tich Route is Ben Duc (Duc Pier). During the annual festival months, Ben Duc is packed of thousands of row boats used for shuttling visitors from the Pier to the base of Perfume mountain where people can start climbing to the cave.  This one-hour boat ride on the Yen Vi Stream from Pier Duc is actually the most romantic and scenic moments in the trip to Perfume Pagoda.

ch1

Duc Pier where boats gather to welcome tourists

Yen Stream

While traveling along Yen Stream, the boat men will sail tourists pass by stunning landscape of blazing green rice paddles with jagged limestone mounts to the base of Huong Mountain. Your “local guide” that is the boat men may tell you about many legends and stories relating to the mountains at the two sides of Yen Stream and with your own imagination, you can easily see on your left the image of Phoenix Mountain, Cat and Turtle Hill and Elephant Mountain. Before boarding Tro Wharf, do not miss to take photos of stunning landscape of the blue sky and green water in the peaceful atmosphere where you can only hear the sound of water sailing.

IMG_0913

IMG_0918

Relaxing on the boat trip along Yen Stream during autumn

Thien Tru Pagoda

After leaving the boat to step inland, you may not ignore a visit to Thien Tru Pagoda (chuà Ngoài – Outer Pagoda), which was under King Le Thanh Tong dynasty since 18th century. “Thien Tru” literally means a heaven kitchen, derived from the imagination of the locals in this region, of which the rock formations in this area look like chefs busily working in the kitchen.

Image result for thien tru pagoda

Thien Tru Pagoda

Huong Tich Cave – Inner Pagoda

To the right of Thien Tru Pagoda, there is a small path leads to the steep uphill for 4 kilometers to the main Perfume Pagoda that dedicated to Quan Am (Woman Budha). For this route, depending on your physical health and interest, you can choose either walk up the mountain for 1 hour or get in the cable car for just a few minutes.

In fact, the hike is hard going and hot due to the high and steep steps and can be highly treacherous for the way down during wet weather and when you are already tired after climbing up. However, the chance to challenge yourself and to enjoy the sceneries along the route especially when on the top, it is actually rewarding.

Otherwise, while getting out of the Thien Tru Pagoda, you will find at your right side the cable car station that runs all year round even when in the low season and the panorama from your seat is rather spectacular.

IMG_0935

The way down to Huong Tich Cave – the most sacred part of Perfume Pagoda

After climbing up hundreds of stone steps, and then down 120 stone steps to Huong Tich Grotto whose name literally means “traces of fragrance”, you will be cooled down by the winds and the moisture in dim light along the path to Huong Tich. For any first-time tourists when reaching the grotto, a big “Wow” by magnificently luxuriant landscapes will not be stopped. Behind the natural huge grotto looking like the Budha, the little wet path may take you to discover numerous stunning stalagmites and stalactites inside the cave such as Dun Gao (Rice) rock, gold and silver trees, Nui Co (Girl) and Nui Cau (Boy) Mountains (in the shapes of a girl and a boy) and the most scared place of the whole complex with the statue of Quan Am and Lord Budha.

IMG_0946

We could not hide our surprise to see the stunning grottoes

IMG_0957

The wonderful view from inside the cave

As the festival season falls for the spring time from February to early April, my advice is to avoid this time of the year, instead, you can visit in low season for the autumn and the winter to enjoy pleasant weather and peaceful atmosphere. Especially during October and November, you can easily see lovely water lilies booming up with bright color floating on the Yen stream while on the boat.

To enjoy your trip the most, whether you are not planning to walk but do the cable car for driving up, do not forget good walking shoes, a hat and plenty of water, especially in the hot summer months. If you do not have time to prepare them on your own, you can buy mineral water, food and fresh fruits along  the way to Huong Tich cave.  A good camera is always a must!

I hope my sharing will be useful now for your getting started. Let’s enjoy and share with us your great moments.

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Our team had a very interesting experience exploring on our trip to Lao Cai province in October 2017 and would like to share some pictures to you.Our train starts from Hanoi station at 10.pm on Friday and arrives Lao Cai Station at about 6am on Saturday morning. The weather in the early morning is still warm with a bit misty. Our group is welcomed by our drivers and tour guide at the station. We had light breakfast with Chicken soup at a small rest stop near by and then head up to Simacai District.

It takes about 2 hours to transfer from Lao Cai Station to the place where the market is situated. The road sometimes so craggy cause we have to cross over some landslide area from the flood few days ago. Arriving the market at about 8.30 am, the time when the market is most crowded, we jumped out of our car and be impressed by many sounds and smells that can only be found at a fair in the northern Vietnam.

Please click Indochina tours to get more information

The market can be divided into 3 main areas: selling foods, cows and buffalo, clothes and other housewares. Spread in front of our eyes are a living, interesting, unique activities. In this corner, a woman selling some vegetables is talking with another woman carrying a baby on her back by their own language and laugh out loud. Whilst another man is trying to lead his buffalo. It seems like the buffalo is not so happy, it keeps shaking its head, so the bamboo bell on his neck makes some noise. Under some wooden roofs, some people are cooking special dishes made from organs of pigs, cows or buffalo. In another corner, some men is making BBQ with beef and vegetables. An old woman is cooking a big pan full of a white mixture that they call tofu. Some people are selling special wine made from tao meo – a special type of fruit in the jungle. Some children is gathering by the pannier full of hot colorful sticky rice. The color is made from 100% natural ingredients. Some teenage girls are trying the handmade dresses. In a lower land, cows and buffalo is gatherings and their owners are trading. All things creates a vivid pictures.

The words can not describe enough, so you would better come and experience by yourself. The market is not fit with all people, but it is a great choice for someone who really like to see local things. Just a tip is the Can Cau Market will be finished at about noon, thus you better arrange your time well, so not to miss the most interesting part of the market. Also, don’t forget to check the weather and bring your warm coat cause at that night the weather changed dramatically, temperature cool down to just about 12-13 Degree.

P1160376

wine selling area

P1160377

Colorful sticky rice

P1160403

Chatting in ethnic language

P1160391

H’Mong women in their costume

P1160361

Noodles for breakfast, who’s willing to try?

P1160359

“Tofu”

P1160370

People trading buffalo

Read Full Post »

I decided to book air tickets to return Hoian for the 3rd time on a day of mid-October. However, this is the first time of mine to visit the enchanting town during its rainy season and especially when reading the weather forecast news warning that if central Vietnam would be anyone’s travel plans over the next few days, they may want to consider delaying the travel — or, at least, keep updated to the latest information pertaining to the weather due to the effects from Typhoon Khanun.” (Boarding Area).

Please click indochina tours Vietnam to get more information

Having been kept updated by the local weather forecast channel about the weak influence of this storm and believing that the daily rain will not dilute the beauty of this region, I still started my trip as planned and was so lucky to enjoy Hoian without rain or storm but with a pleasantly sunny and cool weather throughout my chilling days.

IMG-1445

After strolling around the old streets of Hoi An, I thought of doing something else near the town for more fun experiences. My great day was to rent a bike and ride around on two wheels to visit Thanh Ha Pottery Village, Bay Mau Palm Forest and relax by An Bang Beach.

  1. Thanh Ha Pottery Village

Finishing a nice breakfast with Mi Quang (Quang Noodle with shrimp and pork), I headed 3 kilometers out of Hoian town to Thanh Ha Terracotta Park and Pottery Village to see the historical village and made a pottery on my own as a souvernir.

The Thanh Ha village was famous for its pottery, bricks and tiles. You will be amazed to know the unique Yin – Yang tiles which can still be seen on many roofs in the old city of Hoi An were made from this old village. Coming to the terracotta museum, you will have a chance to see the whole building of red bricks and clay in the region.

I must admit that I was lost in the World Square garden of miniature of iconic monuments from all over the world. This was really a great way to learn new places and to check my memory. Besides world famousTaj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, Stonehenge, Sydney Opera House, Pyramids, the Whitehouse, the Angkor Wat, I figured out the little  replica of Hoi An Old Town with lovely old houses which were all made by clay and by the artisans in village.

IMG_1203

Though the indoor exhibition was quite attractive with objects and images about the long history development of 500 year history at Thanh Ha, I could not stand going down to the outdoor area where I can see the nice hand-made pottery products and made one by myself. Needless to say, this is an ideal site for both adults and children where you can create any masterpieces of your imagination.

Having made the pottery without previous knowledge and experience but thanks to the great help of the nice artisan, the vase/pot came out surprisingly nice and it cost only 30,000 VND for this worth.

  1. Bay Mau Nipa Palm Forest:

Leaving the Thanh Ha village, I continued my day trip to Bay Mau Nipa Palm Forest where is regarded as the Little Mekong inside Hoian.

Related image

Located 5 km from Hoian and surrounded by water of 3 major rivers in Hoian: Thu Bon River, Truong Giang River and De Vong River, the hidden coconut forest is really a wonderful destination for tourists to sit in the basket boat and go through the natural coconut waterway. In the past, the forest was an important historical where the guerrilla force relied on coconut forests to cause more damage to the enemy in wars and became a place of shelter, refuge to many officials. Nowadays, it is really nice place for people to explore the tranquil coconut palm while seeing the sunset at Thu Bon River.

Welcomed me on boat, the friendly boat lady gave me an amazing gift made of the coconut leave, that is the ring with shape of a grasshopper! The rowing boat went through the forest and along the river for around 30 minutes. At the end of the ride, I was astonished again by the unique performance of a boat man right in his basket boat while enjoying a great round by my boat’s old lady that was a little dizzy but so much fun.

  1. Relax at An Bang Beach

The end of my day trip today was An Bang Beach, a lovely beach that is only 3 kilometers from the town and it is where you will find less vendors, more peace with clean water, smooth sand, gentel waves and pure atmosphere.

While the Hoian ancient town is peaceful, the beach is somehow vibrant by the pace of life showing on a huge number of bamboo basket boats along the beach. Like in Bay Mau forest, these boats are still used as a mafor means of fishing for daily life.

IMG-1338

As the ideal time for swimming at Hoian beach is from April to September during the summer of Central, I just stopped at An Bang Beach to have a big fresh seafood dinner that definitely satisfied a hungry soul like me.

Though the trip was taken during the rainy season, I enjoyed myself very much in a great weather. So my best advice for anyone who is planning to Hoian these days would be to get updates from local weather channels, book accommodation through any channels that allows for late cancellations or for last-minute delay until the weather is better and take advice from locals where living right at place. It is certain that you can even still had good days while during rainy time. Therefore, I believe you may also have a lot of fun experience to Hoian and do not hesitate to share with me your great time there!

Happy traveling!

Read Full Post »

Sapa is not only famous for the colorful mountains, terraced rise fields, passes up and down, but also well – know by The Medicinal bath of the Red Dao Ethnic

Coming to Sapa where is not only famous for the colorful mountains, terraced rise fields, passes up and down, but also well – know by The Medicinal bath of the Red Dao Ethnic. This is a long-time medicine that the local people here, every day they go into the forest and cut the medicinal plants to use for bath because according to their experience, these plants can treat many illness.

According to legend, on the last day of the year the Dao boiled leaves from the forest for medicinal bathing before welcoming the new year in. As this practice proves both effective and salubrious, a majority of Kinh people have considered it a unique feature of Red Dao culture. The Red Dao’s medicinal bathing has become one of the northern mountainous province‘s attractions, even though it is still a mystery to foreign tourists who first set foot in Sapa.

After a long day trekking, it’s good chance to go to the bathhouses of Ta Phin village. We went to Dao’Spa – Sapanapro, one among a handful of Dao women in Ta Phin who offers the service. Take this chance, I would like to share about a must-try experience while visiting Sapa:

How to make herbal water of the Red Dao

The number of ingredients in Red Dao herbal water can vary from 10 to 100, depending on the purpose of the users and how experienced the bath maker is. Nonetheless, there are some crucial types of herb. According to local people’s guidance, wild fokienia wood, also known as “Pemou wood”, is believed to be the best material to make the tub used in herbal bath since Pemou wood aromatic essential oil will be extracted by hot water, making it a wonderful scent which may last for even a few days.

You can click: Indochina tours to get more information.

Based on the number of users, the amount of herbs used will be different. Normally, herbs is washed carefully and boiled for 3 hours until the water turns into red color with romantically typical scent.

They will boil these dried plants and bark in a water filled giant wok, over a charcoal fire, of course will take takes several hours to prepare. After several hours of brewing, the water is transferred to a wooden barrel tub. Taking this herbal baths, having just entered the bathroom, you will immediately caught a whiff of fragrant herds, enjoy the beautiful smell of these natural medicines. You can relax and soak your bones in traditional bath and wash away your aches, pains, worries and woes all at once in the privacy of our bathhouse.

According to local people here, for this herbal bath in Sapa, each herb remedy for bathing includes approximately 120 kinds of herbs, plants and bark used for the baths. But of that total there are 39 which are popular and about 10 which are indispensible. The herbs are boiled for 3-4 hours in 30-37oC to extract the essence, and then mixed in water to serve tourists. Average time to take herbal bath is 30 minutes.

The forests in tranquil Ta Phin, Vietnam, are lush with medicinal plants which are a valuable resource to the resident Red Dao ethnic minorities.

Like the sound of a warm herbal therapy bath in the lovely Sapa. With a grant, social enterprise Sapanapro was able to upgrade its spa facilities, allowing the ethnic Red Dao people to better commercialise their herbal remedies and improve their livelihoods

With a grant, social enterprise Sapanapro was able to upgrade its spa facilities, allowing the ethnic Red Dao people to better commercialise their herbal remedies and improve their livelihoods

Positive effects of using Red Dao herbal bath

According to the wisdom of the Red Dao people, an herbal spa is especially helpful for physical and mental fatigue, as it relaxes your body and renews your energy by enhancing overall circulation, soothing your daily tensions. For women, the herbal bath promotes skin beauty by opening pores, removing dead skin and impurities, and leaving the skin soft, clean, and silky smooth. The bath also relieves some chronic illnesses including rheumatism and joint pain. Herbal bath can help customers, with essential oil of local herbs, reduce negative effects of alcohol in the body, musculoskeletal pain, rheumatism and improve their health. On top of that, Sapa herbs can also a simple natural treatment for skin disease such as ulcer, acnes and psoriasis, etc.

Such a beautiful view from bathroom ^_^

Instruction for bath with traditional medicines (or herbal bath):

First Step: Please soak slowly your feet into water get familiar with temperature, and then put slowly your body until the water surface touch your chest. (Effects of traditional medicines will decrease if you put more water to decline temperature)

During bath time: You can use small bucket or towel to pour water to the part of body above water surface. (Eg: head and shoulder). You can use bathing water to wash your face and hair. You will sweat after 5-7 minutes to soak into water, especially in period 7-10 minutes. (Don’t worry, it’s normal sign)

Final Step: After 15-20 minutes, when your heartbeat and breathing rate increase. Please out of the bathtub, dry your body. (Don’t bath again by other water because it will decrease effects of traditional medicines).

Note: Careful control of temperature and time herbal bath in the following cases:

– You have gotten heart diseases or high blood pressure.

– You get drunk or drink too much alcohol.

– Pregnant women

If you soak your body in bathing water too long (more than 25 minutes), you can lose your balance in some minutes or being sleepy. This phenomenon is called “medicines drunk”. In this case, just call receptionists or staffs to help you. After 5-10 minutes, you will be fine.

Made from longstanding types of herb in Sapa, this service of Red Dao people is a must to any tourist. If you have a chance to visit Sapa, consider giving this amazing bath a try. It’s relaxing indeed.

 

Read Full Post »

It’s hard to find anywhere in Vietnam that is as diverse, colorful, and easy-going as Hoian. For hundreds of years, it has remained the same, sitting on the banks of Hoian river, with its ancient mossy roofs and peaceful pace of life.

If you interest, you can click: Vietnam travel and tours

Hoian is an extremely safe for solo traveller like me and you won’t be lonely in this ancient city. I like to roam the streets, try dozens of foods or sit for hours in a small café to watch people across streets, and activities. Wander around one of the local markets to shop for leaf hats, wooden clogs, silk, sand pictures, embroidery items, bamboo flutes, and other handicrafts and souvenirs. After a fun day of activities, savor such delightful Vietnamese cuisine as fresh local seafood, noodle soup, and prawn pancakes, which are served at a variety of restaurants.

Overview from Cua Dai Bridge in Hoian

Follow the river, and head down to Cua Dai bridge to enjoy the sun and the wind, visit Tam Thanh fishing village on the coast of centre Vietnam. Riding about an hour south from Hoi An (42 kilometers from Hoi An) along the coastal road, I arrived in Tam Thanh village, the Mural village of Tam Thanh now is a home to some quaint mural village, which tell stories about ordinary villagers and their way of life in the mountains and coastal regions of the country. Coastal people are always generous, they will spend hours showing you around the village. They will show you every mosaic on the walls, tell you about their boats, the sea, the net and their family.

You can see more:

The beauty of Hoian in the flood season

Early morning – Hoian ancient town

Road into Tam Thanh Village

Tam Thanh explodes out of pastoral sepias into pinks and blues, yellows and deep violets. The main street is a regular kaleidoscope where every house has its own unique color and character. Murals of local people decorate the larger walls and smaller paintings trail down the alleyways inviting visitors to explore.

With the tagline ‘art for a better community,’ the mural village project has started an important discourse in Vietnam about the accessibility of art in everyday life regardless of one’s socioeconomic background. Inspired by Korean mural villages, the Tam Thanh Mural Village is a joint initiative by the Korean Community Art Exchange Program and the Vietnamese People’s Committee of Quang Nam Province to bring art to the people.  The murals are meant to reflect the local culture, people, and nature. With the blessing of the local people, the volunteer artists have been able to turn garden-variety construction into a cohesive work of living art.

On the other than that, I loved the beach here which is the home to untouched seaside, local villages, and amazing countryside landscapes. That is a great place to just sit down, chill and relax with a bicycle ride around the beautiful Tam Thanh Mural village. If you like, you may stay one night here to avoid the crowds of beaches in Hoian and Danang. Tam Thanh Beach Resort and Spa will provide nice accommodation with the natural living by the peaceful of beach. Offering the view of Tam Thanh beach, a-step-to-the-beach restaurant, front beach bar, swimming pool with sea view, spa services are completely near by.

Explore natural landscapes that have retained their untamed beauty!
_Lucas_

Read Full Post »

Hanoi in September, the weather seems to be more comfortable. Temperature is down and it is less sudden heavy rain with the thunderstorm as in August. It’s also time the Hanoians enjoy the speciality that only available in Autumn. If you have the chance to be in Hanoi in September, we highly recommend giving these dishes a try. Let’s explore Hanoi to enjoy special dishes with: Indochina tours Vietnam

Hat sen – Lotus Seeds

Lotus seeds are harvested when the seed head of the lotus is ripe or nearly ripe and the latter is harvested when the seed head is still fully green but with almost fully developed seeds. At harvest, the bitter-tasting germ of most seeds is removed using a needle.  It is a healthy ingredient with low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and are a good source of protein. The Hanoians have many ways to use the lotus seeds in cooking.

Related image

Rich & tasty pumpkin & lotus seeds soup for starters

Pumpkin and lotus seeds soup is a perfect starter for your dinner. For the main course, you can order the lotus rice. Rice mixing with lotus seeds, wrapped in the fresh lotus leaves then steamed to be well-done. The fragrance from the lotus leaves that brings comfy feelings. It is also sure going into the favourite list of vegetarians.

Image result for cơm hạt sen

Healthy steam rice and lotus seeds for vegetarians

Chicken, mushroom and lotus seeds slow cooked is a high nutrient receipt that is considered good for the recovering patients and helps to have a beauty sleep.

Related image

It will be a mistake if the desert from the lotus seeds does not come to this list. Fresh lotus seeds stuffed inside the fresh, peel-off longan, that makes the dish looks like the real fruit but with eatable seeds. Added with ice, sugar syrup and a bit fragrance from jasmine flowers, you feel like you’re eating not a dessert, but the spirit of Hanoi.

Com – Green young rice

Though Hanoi is a busy city, it is surrounded by beautiful green fields of rice. Immature rice kernel is harvested and roasted over very low heat then pounded in a mortar and pestle until flattened, then to be served with coconut. In a more rustic way, people eat cốm with ripe banana. Cốm is also used to make other dishes such as xôi cốm (steam sticky rice), chè cốm (sweet soup), chả cốm (the green young rice mix with pork paste, flatten shaped then fried).

Image result for cốm hà nội

Cốm Hanoi

Hanoi is very famous with bánh cốm ( the green rice cake). Steamed, mashed green beans mix with fresh shredded coconut, sugar and covered by the rice flour. It tastes sweet but not too much, quite sticky and will be a perfect match with a cup of Vietnamese hot tea in the afternoon.

Image result for bánh cốm

Bánh cốm – the green young rice cake

Moon Cakes

The Mid-Autumn Festival is coming, and Moon Cakes is essential. The cake has round shape looks like the full moon with many options of filling flavours inside. There are two types of the pastry: baked or non-baked

The traditionally baked moon cake has about 10 ingredients inside: cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or almond, chicken floss, Chinese sausages, lime leaves, lotus seeds, winter melon dried jam, etc. The non-baked version is usually going with vegetarian ingredients, such as taro, lotus seeds, green beans, young rice cake, coconut, etc.

Image result for nhân bánh nướng

Many ingredients for the baked moon cake fillings

The moon cake nowadays has been upgraded to a more luxurious version with salted eggs inside. Is has been not only for eating, people are using the moon cake as a gift for their family and friends.

Related image

Favourite modern style moon cake with salted eggs inside

Read Full Post »

Myanmar, stretching 2,500 kilometers from the eastern Himalayas in the north to palm-lined beaches of the Andaman Sea, Pagodas are encountered at every step. Not only Yangon’s 2500-year old Shwedagon Pagoda or ancient Bagan with more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments tower over green plains, but also beautiful Ngapali destination (pronounced Napally and said to be named after the Italian city of Naples).To get further information, you can click: Indochina tours Myanmar

With its pristine, palm-tree-fringed white sand, the clear waters of the Bay of Bengal, and a host of sophisticated accommodation, Ngapali is premier beach getaway

With its pristine, palm-tree-fringed white sand, the clear waters of the Bay of Bengal, and a host of sophisticated accommodation, Ngapali is premier beach getaway

Ngapali is located on the Bay of Bengal coast in Rakhine State, its main feature is an idyllic stretch of white sand and palm tree-lined coast, with a number of resorts spread out next to traditional fishing villages. The beach stretches about 3 km with soft white sand fringed by coconut palms. Unlike today’s beaches of Asia, it is free of noisy beachside bars, crowded people and hawkers persuading you to buy their things. There are only natural scenic beauty of the blue sea, white sand and the lovely sun. The sea is cobalt blue, without any dangerous marine animals and clean.

Do you like peace and tranquility, and visit places “far from the madding crowds?” As many of us now live in crowded cities with the stress and strain of over-population, we need periods of relaxation away from urban areas, and go back closer to nature. We just take a short 45-minutes flight from Yangon and 9 km (6 mile) drive by private transfer from Thandwe Airport to Mya Pyin Village. Renowned for its beauty, Ngapali Bay offers a warm tropical climate throughout the year. Escape to paradise on the soft white sands of our vast beach facing the bay of Bengal, with dark green forested hills as a patchwork backdrop of paddy fields. It serves as the best ground for sunbathing and recreation such as beach strolling, cycling and so on.

Ngapali is pronounced Napally and said to be named after the Italian city of Naples

Ngapali is pronounced Napally and said to be named after the Italian city of Naples

The best time to visit  

The best time to go to Ngapali beach is from October to May. From June to September (monsoon season): It is raining a lot, really a lot. During the monsoon season the weather can be very rough, the sea is not very quiet and the rain can be also 24hours. Most of hotels and small restaurants are closed during this period. Please be aware as well of the limited flight schedule between May and September.

How to Get to Ngapali Beach

By Air: Thandwe Airport is located about eight kilometers north of Ngapali Beach and is a 10 minute car journey away from most of the area’s resorts and hotels. Daily flights connect Ngapali and Yangon — the journey takes about 50 minutes.

Thandwe Airport is a domestic airport with no international flights. If you’re travelling from any other Southeast Asian country, you’ll need to travel to Yangon first before making your way to Ngapali Beach.

By Bus: Ngapali Beach is accessible by bus from Yangon. The journey takes about 14 hours and can be quite bumpy and comfortable due to Myanmar’s road network. Most travellers to Ngapali Beach travel from Yangon to Thandwe by air due to the far shorter travel time.

Ngapali Beach is in Rakhine State, Western Myanmar. This is flight from Yangon to Ngapali

Where to stay

Ngapali has the biggest number of luxury beachfront resorts. Room-renting services here are diverse. You can choose from a small hut on the beach to luxury villas. The number of mid-range or budget beach hotels is now shrinking as the new international tourism boom entices owners to redevelop older hotels to meet the more exacting standards of the international market – and thus collect the much higher room rates. Both room rates and standards in Ngapali are already well above other beaches in Myanmar and as this beach continues its up-market march, it is destined to remain the country’s premier beach destination for some years to come.

There are many hotels, resorts in Ngapali with prices ranging from luxurious to budget for your choice.

Here is the map of Ngapali beach so you can get an idea of where each hotel, resort is.

Activities

Ngapali is about relaxing and enjoying the sun, but other activities include taking trips on local fishing boats; kayaking; snorkeling or scuba diving amongst the brightly coloured fish; and cycling or motor biking down the beach and around some of the local villages. This place offers a wide range of activities and adventures, including private boat trips to Pearl Island, snorkeling, e-bicycle rentals for exploring nearby villages, excursions to Kin Pun Chone Village where the Elephant camp is located, visits to local art galleries and Thandwe Market.

Scenic view on Ngapali beach at sunset

• Relaxing: Indulge yourself by sitting back and unwinding with ice cold beer or a tropical cocktail while enjoying the sun. You also can take a traditional bullock cart ride along the beach.

• Kayaking; snorkeling or scuba diving: Explore many bays and mangroves, dance along with large schools of brightly colored fish.

• Bird watching around Nghet Pyaw Chaung Lake. There are 30 species of birds in this area.

• Playing golf: Ngapali has a beautiful 9-hole golf course located some kilometers North of the beach, between main beach resorts and the airport.

• Visiting fishing villages: There are two fishing villages here; one in the South of the hotels, and another further South into the next bay. You can delve into traditional local life in these villages. The first one can be reached by foot; you can explore the other by using a bicycle, motorbike or being in a fishing boat tour.

• Visiting Thandwe: If you like some time away from the beach, then visit Thandwe. Located 7 km from the beach, this little town has 3 interesting pagodas, a bustling market, a traditional longyi-weaving factory.

• Visiting a dead monk: Salone Monastery is the home to a late Buddhist monk who put himself in the meditative state of death over 10 years ago. Since then, his mummy has been kept under glass.

• Have hot air balloon ride: You can get on a hot air balloon for amazing views of Myanmar’s wildest and least-known reaches.

Fishing Village

Local women in fishing villages on Ngapali beach

Travellers called Ngapali Beach “a touch of paradise,” rating the stretch of sand for its relaxing atmosphere, gorgeous sunsets, and local village feel.

Come to see its charm where you will find serenity and peace of mind amidst beautiful scenery.

_lucas_

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »