Chaungtha, in its native language means ‘the pleasant stream’ and thus it has got its name from the small stream which flows across the western part of Irrawaddy region in Myanmar. It’s a must-visit tourist destination for international tourists. It is also value for money getaway for the local Burmese middle income group. Being a convenient 5-hour drive from Yangon and cheaper than nearby beaches Chaungtha sees a lot of crowd during October to April. Popular for its delicious seafood and fishing villages it also houses mangrove forests and a pagoda built on a limestone boulder as the center of attraction for visitors.
To reach Chaungtha, you may board buses from Yangon, usually scheduled at 6am and 9am, costing around 8000 Kyat. If you are in Yangon city then it will take you an hour to reach the bus station and cost you around 5000 Kyat. The return buses from Chaungtha to Yangon are usually at 6am and 10am. You can also drive through the delta regions of Irrawady division, from Yangon to Pathein, taking the Bo-Myat-Tun bridge to cross the Irrawady River, and then from Pathein to Chaungtha. A total of 140 odd miles but due to the condition of the roads it may take you 6 hours to reach your resort in Chaungtha from Yangon. Another interesting option is the double-decker boat that leaves Yangon at 4pm and reaches Chaungtha the next morning.
Chaungtha beach is a perfect budget weekend destination for family picnics or fun-filled outings to float on inflatable tubes or dinghies and paddle in the water or play beach football in the stretch of golden sand across the main strip. You should also squeeze in a visit to Pokala Island, a wonderful spot just a motorcycle-boat ride away from Chaungtha. An array of shops and stalls are located along the beach for you to try authentic Myanmar cuisine, buy souvenirs and local snacks and beach clothing. Interact with locals and you may also manage to go around fishing in the nearby villages.
So, head to Chaungtha beach if you want a refreshing and relaxing trip for few days in a shoestring budget.