Last week I asked: What is the most amazing beach on the Bay of Bengal?
To my way of thinking the best beach in the world is in front of Amazing Ngapali Resort.
When people ask us what our favorite place is we usually reply, “Where we are now.”
However, there is only one place we have returned to eight years in a row even though it is a half a world away.
For every five nights we stay we get extra benefits that include a free massage and a dinner; but, it is more than that.
The staff is outstanding; the beach is wide and long with soft sand; the water is calm and warm, and it is very safe.
Things are changing fast in Myanmar including Ngapali Beach.
Amazing Ngapali Resort was the only hotel on the beach but recently a Hilton Hotel opened along with two other hotels and a Novotel will open soon.
Even so, Amazing has the best beach location.
We consider our stay at Amazing our real vacation.
It is the place we think of when we are home and want to get away.
Our days are lazy: morning walks on the beach to the rock with a temple on it, reading on the beach, swimming (they provide inner tubes which are fun), evening walks to the mermaid on the rock, then watching the sun set and the lights of the fishing boats strung out on the horizon like a string of diamonds.
There are, of course, spa visits, too.
Over the years, we have made friends with some of the other long-stay guests so we enjoy having dinner with them.
There is a Buddhist monastery across the road that we have visited.
Popular daytrips are to the nearby town and to a small fishing village.
Each year we do something different.
This year we visited Mama Sue’s School.
(“Mama” and “Papa” are familiar ways the Myanmar people great older people).
To get around there are taxis and tuk-tuks.
Tuk-tuks are cheaper and more fun, especially since the main road has been repaved.
Mama Sue is known by all the local people for her good work and helping ways.
Her school is called the Vera Thomson English School in honor of her mother who was a kind and giving person.
Mama Sue’s (Susan Ozturk) is originally from England.
The school is 12 years old and has several hundred students who come after their government school day is over.
We had a Powerpoint program we presented to the older students all of whom have an excellent command of English.
There were many Acer Netbooks and a projector but they didn’t all work.
The humidity during the rainy season along with intermittent electricity is hard on computers.
However, Ngapali Beach should soon be getting electricity 24-hours a day, something that Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, only received a couple years ago.
Hotels and restaurants have generators.
The school has several buildings and play area.
In one classroom the boys sat on one side and the girls on the other.
When the teacher posed a question their hands shot up in the air eager to answer.
When called upon the student stood to answer.
When we asked the students what they wanted to be most said, “A tour guide.”
Tourism is growing exponentially and English is the language of tourism.
Trivia Tease™: Where does the Thai royalty enjoy the beach?
Look for the answer next week.
Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!