First thing in the morning we headed down to the beach, waded through the water, and jumped into the small wooden blue boat that was waiting for us. Over the next four hours our Ngapali boat trip took us to multiple snorkeling spots where we saw thousands of small fish, toured the fishing village, and ended on the beautiful Pearl Island. This private boat tour was one of the best things we did at Ngapali Beach in Myanmar, and the great thing is that any traveler can afford it! In this post we’ll cover the different stops we made, cost of the trip, and how to book it locally.
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Booking Our Ngapali Beach Boat Tour
We booked our Ngapali boat trip directly through our accommodation the day before we wanted to go. Since it’s a private tour we were able to set the time, but we were told it’s better in the morning when the water is calm. We were quoted 30,000 MMK for the 4 hours trip which is roughly $20 USD.
In other places in Asia we’ve paid anywhere from $50-100 for a similar trip… So obviously this was a good deal! We did see a few drivers at sunset asking other travelers if they wanted to do the trip in the morning. Either way, there’s plenty of ways to set up your Ngapali Beach boat tour.
Starting Our Ngapali Boat Trip
Right at 8:30am a man arrived at our hotel and walked with us down the small path to the beach. He spoke perfect English and explained the entire day we were about to experience. The basic breakdown was that we would visit 2-3 Ngapali snorkeling spots depending on the water conditions and how long we spent at each place.
Then we were to cruise through the Ngapali fishing village and head to the Light House point where we could get out and take photos. The final stop would be Pearl Island where you can swim, grab lunch, or enjoy a cold beer.
The majority of the boat tour is either on or around Pearl Island. This was awesome because we’d been staring at it from the shore for the whole week!
When we climbed onto the boat he introduced us to our driver who spoke zero english, but made sure we were comfortable for the whole 4 hours. Mostly he used thumbs up and smiles to communicate, and that was plenty good enough for us!
A Morning of Snorkeling in Ngapali Myanmar
For us snorkeling in Ngapali was the main draw for this trip as it’s one of our favorite activities to do at the beach. The nice thing about our Ngapali Beach boat tour was that it was completely on our time.
You’re not rushed by the driver and you can stay at each spot for as long as you want. It was unfortunately a little cloudy to start our day off, but it got progressively clearer throughout the morning.
First Stop: On the east side of Pearl Island our boat pulled up to two others that were already there. We were then handed our masks and jumped right in! The water was extremely deep and we had to swim quite a ways towards the shore. Once we got closer to Pearl Island we saw massive schools of small fish that ranged from orange and yellow to bright, blue, and black colors.
Second Stop: On the north side of Pearl island we were the only boat to anchor. You could tell that after the first Ngapali snorkeling spot our driver was taking us to his own favorite places, and it’s not a completely set route that all the drivers take. Once again we jumped in and swam towards the shore, but didn’t see as many fish as the first spot.
Third Stop: The third and final snorkeling zone was our favorite on this Ngapali boat trip! The boat anchored in shallow water right above the coral reef. Here we spent about 20 minutes and saw hundreds of small fish as well as some larger ones. The sun was fully out now as well so the water was crystal clear for us.
Cruise Through the Local Fishing Village
Once we were done snorkeling it was time to sit back, relax, and take in the beauty of the late morning in Ngapali Myanmar. As the boat cruised through the bay of the local fishing village we saw the large Buddha statue that stands over and protects the town. There are some stilted houses on the far left of the bay, as well as the dozens and dozens of colorful boats that fill the palm tree lined harbor.
Ngapali Light House
The Light House is a location that all the boats stop at along the tour. We were surprised when our captain hopped off and waded through the water, pulling the boat as close as possible to the entry of the Light House in the shallow low tide.
At the top of the stairs there is a 2,000 MMK entry fee that’s paid to a local who we believe probably owns the land. There are tables and a bar as well as several set photo spots to snap a picture. While it might not be for everyone we had no problem paying the small fee and taking in the view from above.
Paradise on Pearl Island
Set overlooking Ngapali Beach, Pearl Island is the final stop on the tour. Our boat pulled up to a small white sand bank that stretched up to the main part of the island. Here you can swim in the water, snorkel more, or grab lunch at Lobster Restaurant.
After a large breakfast we didn’t have lunch, but we did enjoy a delicious Myanmar Beer overlooking the ocean. The restaurant is a little more expensive than what you’ll pay on the beach aside from the fancy resorts. Still, compared to the United States or Europe it’s a great deal for what it is.
After enjoying our ice cold beer we sped back towards shore. Honestly, we still can’t believe everything we did for the price we paid! We made sure to tip our local guide 10,000 MMK which our hotel told us was more than enough.
Tips For Your Boat Trip in Ngapali Myanmar
Pack water, sunblock, hat, and a camera. There is shade in the middle section of the boat. However, the sun is strong when you’re in the water or on Pearl Island.
You have to pull yourself back up into the boat using a small wooden ladder. Know your own strength and ability before jumping in.
We had a small backpack that we left on the boat and it stayed dry the entire time. No need to bring a large waterproof bag, but you can if you feel more comfortable.
Be sure to have cash for the tour. You’re able to buy food and drinks at the Light House and restaurant on Pearl Island. Also, the driver only sees a portion of what you pay once the hotel takes their cut. Tip kindly if you see fit.
Have any questions about our day snorkeling in Ngapali Myanmar? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Where To Stay In Ngapali Myanmar
Ultra Luxury – Bayview – The Beach Resort – Luxury resort on the secluded section of the most pristine part of the beach. It features large modern grounds with a swimming pool, beachfront restaurant, and local as well as international touches.
Fun Vacation – Art of Sand Resort – Just steps from the water, this beautiful hotel overlooks a lively part of Ngapali Beach with several vendors and pop up beach restaurants. Art of Sand also has spacious rooms and tropical wooden decor to really make you feel like you’re living your best beach vacation.
Travel Couple – Mingalarpar Ngapali – This was our home while visiting Ngapali Beach! Mingalarpar Ngapali is run by a local family and set on the main road one block from the beach. They have large clean rooms, daily breakfast, great deals on E-bikes, boat tours, and laundry.
Hostel Life – WEStay @ Chillax House Ngapali – Just off the main road and a quick 5 minute walk from the best strip of the beach. WEStay @ Chillax House is perfect for solo travelers and breakfast is served daily in the social common area.
For more places to stay in Ngapali Myanmar you can explore the latest prices here!
Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we flew from Norway to Poland for under $20 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50!
Transportation: 12Go is what we use to book ferries, trains, buses, and transfers while traveling through South East Asia!
Accommodation: Compare competitive sites for hotels such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around the world. From food tours to skip the line entry passes!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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Hi Jennifer! We booked through our accommodation Mingalarpar Ngapali but also saw people on the beach offering tours. We recommend asking your hotel or you can stop by where we stayed and ask the family to help you book it! Have fun!
I want to book that snorkel tour. I would need to book tonight