Daddy blog time! After a scary, bumpy flight we arrived in Ngapali to find heavy rain and wind which continued for the first two days we were there. This left us gloomy and frustrated inside our guesthouse Laguna’s moldy concrete room (which was supposed to have artisanal touches but instead just looked shabby). Thankfully, the skies eventually opened up and the most beautiful beach and horizon over the Bay of Bengal were revealed to us. We enjoyed several days of absolutely perfect weather. For sure one of the most beautiful beach spots I have ever been too.
As with most of Burma, the real treasures are the people. Ngapali was no different. The friendliness, compassion and genuine curiosity of the locals made the disappointment in our accommodations seem minor. Several times, we were able to take a local fishing boat to a small island off the coast for lunch and a swim. The freshest seafood ever! The kids loved it, and the natural protection the island provided for the bay was ideal for safe, gentle swims in the clear water. We snorkeled a bit too. Other kid friendly activities included: a horseback (which were more the size of ponies) ride on the beach, kite flying, visits to the mermaid statue on the point, digging for crabs and making “sand blobs” on the shore.
We found a local restaurant down the street, Siloda’s, which had great Myanmar curries, and some dishes for the kids. We ate there almost every day. I was able to
squeeze in a couple good rides on a (surprisingly) decent bike provided by the manager of Laguna (thanks Johen!). Riding down ancient footpaths past giant Buddhas and remote villages is something I’ll miss. I wish I’d taken more pics of that. Also interesting riding through the town of Thandwe, one of the very divided towns in Burma in terms of Buddhists and Muslims. There had recently been some clashes in Thandwe, and the tension could still be felt. I was surprised to see a heavy police presence, along with full riot squads. And yet, everyone I passed had a huge smile and a “Mingalaba!” for me. – Chris
Burma seems like a distant memory now as I write this from the breezy shores of Koh Lanta, Thailand one month after our departure. Our trip there will remain a highlight of our entire time away. I hope someday we can return, if only to reconnect with all the lovely people we met there.