First Day in Dawei
We awoke in Dawei at the Shwe Maung Than Hotel, partially recovered from the night bus from Hpa-an. Upstairs on the roof of the hotel, we had the usual breakfast. Fried noodles with an egg. A side of toast with margarine and jelly. And two cups of black coffee each (have to order it black or else its too sweet). We noticed a small handmade sign for Sin Htauk Beach Bungalows at the top of the stairs and took note.
After breakfast we ask the hotel deck guy the usual questions: do they rent motorbikes? (yes, 8,000 a day, no discount for longer). Do they arrange a transportation to the border of Thailand? (yes, 20,000 a person).
We rented a motorbike, one of these semi-manual bikes. You have to manually change the gears but there is no clutch so its all very easy. We hopped on and took a tour of town, promptly getting a little lost.
Dawei seemed nice enough. A normal busy Burmese town. We were itching to see the beach though and decided to bike west to Maungmagan.
Maungmagan is the small beach village about 15 km to the west. After leaving Dawei, the road climbs up and over a big hill. A road-widening project was currently under construction. Lots of tar and and traffic. Not the nicest ride.
We parked the bike and found a spot on the beach. 10 am and pretty empty. A long stretch of beach, it looked huge with the tide being out. Little shacks selling food, beer and snacks lined the beach. We swam and sat around the beach relaxing.
Lunch in Maungmagan
After a couple of hours, we decided to go wander around a bit more before it got too hot. We checked out the village of Maungmagan which is very small. Stopped for coffee at a small roadside place. The nice woman there offered to make us some fried rice…we weren’t planning on eating but why not? It was lunch time. We also checked out the Coconut Bungalows, which looked like a good place to stay. Just up the road from the beach, they were really nice and told us a room might be opening the next day. We saw a few people from the night bus there and we chatted about Paradise and Sin Htauk Beach Bungalows.
San Maria Bay
After lunch we headed north up the coast to San Maria Bay, the beach south of Maungmagan beach. The road is nice for most of the way as it passes through small villages. After a 20 minute drive, the road curves toward the beach and back toward Myawyik Pagoda. We decided to park there and found a shady spot to lay a blanket. A little trashy, the beach was not spectacular but there was no one else there except for 3 little local boys playing in the sand.
We got a flat tire about 2/3rds the way back to Maungmagan. On the side of the road we approached two ladies, asking them if there was a shop nearby that could fix it. One of them pointed up the road toward Maungmagan. We decided I would slowly ride the bike on the flat and Lena would walk. A minute later Lena waves to me from the back of a motorbike driven by one of the women. The nice lady drove her ahead to the tire mechanic.
At the shop a young boy maybe 11 or 12 years old fixed the bike while the older guys sat around watching. Lena bought some cans of iced coffee for us to drink while we waited. It took 20 minutes. The kid charged us 2,700 kyat to fix it and the older guys were kinda laughing when we paid. Seemed like a fair deal to me.
Back in Dawei we wander around and plan for sin htauk
Dawei is a nice town. Next door to our hotel was a nice cafe that we had breakfast and midday cappuccinos at. A few blocks away we found a juice/ice cream place that we frequented a few times. I found a awesome Thai Restaurant called QQ restaurant around the corner. The location of the hotel was nice and we walked a lot while we were there.
We saw these guys playing a game similar to volleyball but using their feet:
That afternoon we arranged to our trip to Sin Htauk Beach bungalows emailing back and forth and arranged to head there the next day. We dreamed of white sand.
EXPENSES for two people:
- 8,000- Motorbike
- 1,000- petrol
- 700- soda at Maungmagan Beach
- 1,200- Fried Rice x1 and coffee x2
- 1,000- petrol
- 2,700-flat tire repair
- 1,400-ice coffee x2, lg water
- 1,100-Lychee (one scoop), dragon fruit
- 2,200-Faluda (ice cream float) x1, ice cream x1, watermelon juice x1
- 1,600 cappucino x2
- 300-deck of cards
- 32,000- Hotel Shwe Moung Than
58,200 Kyat Total