Wedged in the eastern things of the Bay of Bengal, it is the secret Buddhist nation of Burma. By giving it the opportunity, thanks to its large endowment of natural resources, this country could become one of the most important tourist destinations in Asia, but due to the "State of Peace and Development Council", it has never received the right attention. The military dictatorship has renamed the nation as Myanmar, but despite being the largest geographic area in SE Asia, many Western governments refuse to recognize the new name and continue to call it Burma. The coast of Myanmar is 1900km (1180mi) long and can be divided into 3 parts: the Rakhine coast in the west, the Ayayarwaddy in the center and the division of Tanintharyi with the Mergui archipelago in the south. Although the territory is very large, finding suitable beaches for surfing is not very difficult because, due to the numerous restrictions imposed by the government, visitors know where they can go and where not. What might discourage a holiday in search of waves in this area is that despite the thousands of beaches exposed to the numerous swells, those open to visitors are very few. The Rock is a small islet just off the extreme southern tip of the island of Cheduba but is made inaccessible to tourists. Ngapali beach is the largest and oldest resort open to all, and certainly the most comfortable for surfers. The main beach receives few waves and of low quality, but just go 2km to the north that Guttaung Beach can give 2-4ft waves even quite fast at low tide. 30km (18mi) south of Ngapali, Peninsula Left is clearly visible from Google Earth, but is quite tricky to reach without a boat. Kanthaya , a new beach open to tourists, 120km (75mi) south of Ngapali, overlooks a mouth of a river which helps the formation of shallows good for breaking waves; given the slowness of the roads, it could take a long time to reach it. Continuing along the coast to Gwa, a fairly protected curved beach where it is possible to surf rather small waves, only at the southern end. Another well-known beach is Caungtha, just 5h by car from the capital, overlooking the NW and is popular especially on weekends when consistent swells enter (even in onshore wind conditions). Ngwe Saung is a newly developed area, with 9km of powerful beachbreaks, and full of hotels and beaches mostly desolate. A wonderful country that will surely amaze you: book your surf holiday in Myanmar now!
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||Grand Ngwe Saung Resort||Golden Queen Guest House||Soe Ko Ko Beach House & Restaurant|
|From 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020||€ 252||€ 160||€ 74|
Surfing in Burma is possible thanks to the influence of 2 types of swells. The first type comes from the distant southern hemisphere and is generated by storms in the Antarctic; the size of these swells does not exceed 4-5ft very often but it is extremely clean and with a lot of time. The other source of waves is the SW monsoon which pushes from mid-May to the end of September. In this period the waves are usually bigger, but given the proximity in which the wind blows, the conditions could be more active. In the heart of the summer season, there are waves practically every day but the presence of onshore wind and rain is high so it is advisable to go there at the beginning or at the end of this period when the days are on average better and the swells are still active. The tides are semi-diurnal and reach 7ft, which has a significant effect in most spots.
How to get there: The visa costs around $ 30 and is valid for 28 days. Most of the Asian airlines fly to Yangon (RGN) and from here, to reach the beaches on the west coast it is necessary to travel for about 6h either by bus or by renting a van with a driver. Note that the capital has been moved to remote Pyinmana.
How to get around: The roads are often in disastrous condition or no longer exist due to the devastating effects of the 2008 cyclone, and the distances to be traveled are long. Due to the restrictions of where you can and cannot stay, it is recommended (and perfectly feasible) to only travel by public transport or with a driver who can guide you to all the beaches where you can access and practice surfing. Internal flights are not very recommendable.
Housing and food: Avoid government-run restaurants and hotels, no matter what price they are offered. Nowadays there are an ever-increasing number of small, basic hotels where a room won't cost more than a few dollars. Each village has many restaurants that will offer you Chinese and Indian influenced food at very low prices.
The climate: The coasts of Burma have a hot and sticky tropical climate and temperatures vary very little throughout the year, but peak around April when they exceed 30 ° C (86 ° F). The rains begin around mid-May, peak in July and end around early October. During this period, which unfortunately coincides with the wave season, expect torrential rain throughout the day, usually in the afternoon or evening. The temperatures are slightly lower in these months, and the humidity rises a lot. From late October to February, most of the area is dry and sunny with temperatures around 30 ° C. The water temperature is high (especially during the SW monsoon), in fact it is possible to surf in costume all year round. Cyclones are rare, but the cyclone and tides of 2008 killed 100,000 people, devastating the entire area and leaving millions homeless.
Nature and culture: Burma is extraordinarily beautiful. The land shines in blue and green colors and everywhere you look you can see the golden poems of the Buddhist stupas. The two main ones are: Shwedagon Paya in Yangon and the ruins of the Bagan temple, very far from the coast. This country is also a frontier of global biodiversity in the world.
Troubles and annoyances: It is a very safe location with crimes of any kind against foreigners practically never heard of or happened. There are a lot of rules that are changed throughout the year about where you can and can't access it. Avoid any political speech. Don't put the locals in conditions that could compromise them, say there are government spies everywhere. Beware of snakes.
Practical advice: Bring all your surfing equipment as there is nowhere in Burma to rent it. There are very few guides available, "Lonely Planet" is the best. There are terrorist-controlled areas in Northern Myanmar.
Exchange rate 1 EUR = 1.08 USD
Changes in exchange rates with fluctuations greater than 3% will lead to an adjustment of costs. They will be communicated within 20 days of departure.
The tariff does not include