Burma’s Beaches for Christmas

IMG_8867This year (2013) instead of going to France or the Isle of Man for Christmas we returned to Ngapali beach where we met up with my parents. Not only is it a beautiful four kilometer crescent of powdery packed sand, but it is also where my grandfather spent his Christmas seventy-nine years earlier in 1934! Please see my post from last time (one and a half years ago) here to see his sketches and old photographs. Although the beach is now lined with resorts, they all take the form of low rise bungalows and so the beach still ends up looking very pristine even in peak season.

The beach at dawn shortly before my run

The beach at dawn shortly before one of my runs. To the point in the distance and back was a perfect 5k or 7.5k to the both ends and back.

Some things about Ngapali have probably changed little since my grandfather’s days – from the fishing village at one end to the antiquated ice factory at the other. One of the reasons he chose Nagapali as a holiday destination, even back in the 30s, was the availability of well iced gin and tonics!

IMG_8384

IMG_8419

IMG_8427

Loading up the tractor engine lorry with bags of ice

The village remains starkly poor in contrast to all the tourist accommodation, however, I hope there is some trickle down effect and benefit through the extra employment that the hotels must bring. The main activities in the village included processing fish to be sent on in ice to other parts of Burma as well as drying smaller fish absolutely everywhere. Children of all ages were having a fabulous game of what appeared to be some version of coconut dodgeball – the rules weren’t entirely clear!

The fishing village

The fishing village

old houses

old houses

a young kid and his pup

a young kid and his pup

coconut dodgeball

coconut shell dodgeball

Not sure on the rules but one seemed to need to add one's coconut to this stack without being hit...

Not sure on the rules but the kids seemed to need to add their coconut shells to this stack without being hit…

Huge tuna drying

Huge tuna drying in the sun

ox carts on the beach

ox carts on the beach

Blissful boxing day relaxing at a restaurant on a little island

Blissful relaxing on boxing day at a restaurant on a little island across from Ngapali beach

Ice cold myanmar beer - perfect!

Ice cold Myanmar beer – perfect!

The weather was wonderful – not a cloud in the sky for five days and mid 20s in the day followed by cool evenings. The seafood was delicious – coconut prawn curries and grilled squid in particular.

The beautiful beach

The beautiful beach

A monk who when I asked if I could take a photo got posing as if he was on a Vogue shoot!

A monk, who when I asked if I could take a photo, got posing as if he was on a Vogue shoot!

IMG_8532

sunset

Good news - this dog who we met on our last visit was still happy, healthy, and friendly!

Good news! – this cute pariah dog who we met on our last visit (photos here) was still happy, healthy, and very friendly!

After seeing this guy canter along I did manage to take one of the ponies out for half an hour but only managed a few canters as he was pretty stubborn!

After seeing this guy canter along, I later managed to take the pony from the first photo in the series out for half an hour, but I only managed a few canters as he was pretty stubborn!

IMG_8912

Super friendly (and strong!) fruit ladies – always around but never harrasive

IMG_8915Her final words as I bought my last coconut of the trip were: ‘I hope you come back!’ I hope so too! Burma is only a two hour flight from Hanoi and then the beach is a one hour flight from Yangon.

Has anyone been to any other beaches in Burma?

About these ads