The long golden beaches along the Rakhine coastline are among the most beautiful in the world and attract more and more tourists every year. Ngapali, near Sandoway, in the south of the state, is Myanmar's most popular beach destination, and yet this remarkably unspoilt spot manages to retain an almost empty exclusive feel in sharp contrast to the many crowded beaches of neighboring Thailand. Here, dreams of idyllic palm-fringed beaches, lapped by crystal clear tropical waters, merge with reality.
The hotel complexes in particular which are heavily promoted by the travel agencies are designed to fulfill visitors' very possible desire. Often only the well-off Myanmar people are to be found here. Every now and then oxcarts can be seen meandering along the beach and have become a popular photo opportunity among tourists, especially at sunset.
At the southern end of the beach there is a little fishing village where you can wander around freely and watch all the comings and goings. In the morning there is a flurry of activity as the weary fishermen return and unload the day's catch. All around the village you will see the small fish laid out on plastic tarpaulins to dry in the sun before being sold at the market.
Another landmark is the bizarre rock formation at the northern tip of the beach which looks like solid lava and juts out into the sea. Keen snorkelers will enjoy exploring the rich, colourful sea life, and it is also possible to take boat trips to the surrounding islands.