Of the beach resorts on Myanmar’s Bay of Bengal coast, Chaung Tha is the most down to earth, and you can find the largest number of locals on holiday here.
Chaung Tha’s main beach may be scrappy, but it is fun, particularly when it is full of locals on a weekend away from Yangon – popular times of year include new year, the Thingyan water festival and towards the end of the Myanmar school summer holidays in May.
The busiest area is towards the south end of the beach, where you will find budget accommodation and plenty of simple beer stations, tea houses and souvenir shops. Higher end restaurants tend to be found at the better hotels, but there is an atmospheric little sea food place called Annawa Pathein that can be found at the south end of the village, where you can see the freshly caught catch before digging into your meal with lovely views of the bay.
There are classic beach activities aplenty in Chaung Tha, including horse riding, bicycle and quad bike hire and inflatable rings. For the more adventurous, there are two islands that can be visited nearby: a larger one directly to the south of the main beach, which can be explored by foot and has a hilltop pagoda at its northern headland, with great views out to sea; and a smaller sand and rock island which can be seen on the horizon from the main beach .