Ngwe Saung - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Ngwe Saung

Ngwe Saung

This beautiful 15km (10 mile) palmed lined white sand beach is amazingly almost empty of tourists. The area must be expecting a large influx of visitors as empty luxury resorts line the north end. At the town's main junction and bus stop the street goes left, to cheaper accommodation, or right, towards town. A small touristy village resides on the beach's parallel road selling cheap trinkets and delicious seafood. In low tide a small island is available to walk to and around. Package tours can orchestrate transport and hotels but the beach is easily reachable from Yangon without prearrangement. The bus station next to Yangon's train station sells tickets for the 6 hour bumpy ride. However passengers should be wary of being passed off to smaller buses and charged again. Air Bagan flies to Pathein which is an hour away by bus.

Information & Facts

Burmese is the official language, yet English is widely spoken and understood. Burmese's alphabet is made up of circular and semi-circular characters. Other languages spoken are Karen, Shan and Kachin.

The official currency is the Kyat (MMK) pronounced 'Chat'. The best currency to travel on in Myanmar is the US Dollar. The Foreign Exchange Certificate (FEC) is a legal currency for visiting tourists that is usable in government shops and hotels. It is no longer a requirement to convert US$200 into FEC upon arrival in Myanmar. One FEC is equivalent to one US Dollar. It is recommended to use US Dollars. It is difficult to cash American Express travellers cheques in certain cities, such as Mandalay, and even when it is possible the commission can be as high as 10 percent. US Dollar notes will not be accepted if they are damaged or torn in any way, or have pen marks on them. There is a big difference between the official and unofficial exchange rates; street moneychangers offer favourable rates at hotels and Scott Market. As a rough guide, the black market rate is in the region of US$1 = MMK 1000 - a dramatic difference when compared to the official government rate. Very few major hotels, airlines, shops and restaurants accept credit cards and ATM cards can rarely, if ever, be used. It is advisable to carry cash. Banks are closed on weekends.

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