Ngapali Beach: An Introduction
Just thinking about Ngapali Beach is enough to make you relax. The tension in your shoulders, that preoccupation with your 'to-do' list... they loosen & crumble away as you realise that this is that tropical beach - the quiet one, that none of your friends have been to; that still has fishermen pottering about on it, & vast stretches of pure, soft, white, empty sand. An uninterrupted 2 km stretch of heaven.
Ngapali isn’t untouched by tourism, but its margin of rustling palm trees is punctuated by little more than a few high-end, bungalow-style resorts. The facilities available seem like 'just enough', & never 'too far gone'. There’s great snorkelling, a reasonable golf course, boat trips to uninhabited islands & several nearby villages where you can observe traditional artisans in action - clay pottery in Kinmaw, & hand weaving in ancient Thandwe, Ngapali’s closest town. There’s a lovely variety of restaurants, too, both in the hotels along the shoreline & along the road inland. They all serve excellent, ultra-fresh seafood.
Thandwe is a small town but definitely worth a ramble; it has 3 modest stupas which all offer fantastic views across the community. Its thriving market is held in what used to be a British jail, & sells all manner of regional produce, clothes, fabric, & even some locally-produced souvenirs.
During the south-west monsoon which runs from June - October, all of Ngapali Beach actually closes. Throughout the remainder of the year you can expect some of the finest sands in all of Asia.