With the beautiful architecture, surrounding amazing beaches and many authentic villages, Dawei is a perfect representation of Southern Myanmar. Your very first impression about Dawei might depend on the way you arrive to this beautiful town. You might arrive early morning on the overnight bus from Yangon or in the evening, travelling by dusty road from Bangkok or you might comfortably land, taking a domestic flight, but your expectation and the first impression might be built differently. We, however, ensure you that Dawei is not like any other place in Myanmar and if you visit at least two or three places we mention below, you will leave this place with memories and deep positive energy.
Dawei City Centre.
The town which settles only 150.000 people has it own functional city center and charming residential outskirts. The city center includes 6-8 roads which are busy of cause with motorbikes, cars and shops. Dawei has some great colonial style buildings including government offices, the Town house , two churches, school, some banks and the market place. These buildings speak it own story but represent and style and functionality decent for the whole region.
Dawei posses fantastic mixture of wooden houses painted in different colors and brick houses next to each other. The brick and cement will dominate around the main busy roads, facilitating electronic shops or bank and wooden will take over the narrow and quiet avenues for older residents or restaurants lovers. That gives Dawei amazing feeling. It is possible to walk to the busy brick and cement made mobile shop and few minutes later walk around wooden quiet residential area.
Most of us will make at least one day to discover the outskirts of the town. Crossing the Dawie bridge we have two choices. The first choice, to turn right and take the road which will lead you to Maungmagan beach and will take us about 30-40 minutes to reach there. The second, to turn left, into Dawei peninsula and might take you as long as 2 hours to get to the end of the road and the beach called Paradise. Both of roads, however, offer the amazing scenic ride. You will pass plenty of villages with houses standing high on the teak wood pals, painted in blue, green or brown. Some villages will grab your attention and stop you for the photo shoots, not only because the unusual paint but also because of colorful gardens on front of them. You will pass many gardens and houses, trees and monasteries, pagodas, agriculture fields between villages.
The Beach. Because of it length we recommend to take the full day to explore Dawei Peninsula. You will pass many mentioned above villages,which will slowly stop looking like suburbs of city and will turn in real fisher man villages in the end of the road. Few things must be mentioned and worth to see Dawei peninsula beaches. The closest and the most popular with only 30 minutest ride is Maungmagan beach and the most beautiful but 2 hours ride away is Grandfather beach. When the first is easy to reach and is occupied with reasonable amount of people, shops and bungalows near by, than the second one is quiet, undeveloped and not that busy but I can’t promise to be completely empty.
The fisherman village. The second thing to “be must” see are fisher man villages. There are few in the area some smaller and some bigger but visiting one will give you real southern Myanmar experience, which thrives on fishing. Some fisherman villages are not only the home for the sea people but are organized in something like a production house. There are buildings with nets, ice, assigned for sorting, cutting , packing and storing fishes. The best time to visit those villages is morning.
Dawei islands. The are two island near Dawei. I personally recommend a snorkeling or diving trip to one. It can be easy organized by some local companies. It is not possible to get there and venture by your own as islands are underdeveloped and protected. Dawei islands have amazing coral reef untouched by fishing industry in opposite to Myiek. You can enjoy sailing on the boat, snorkeling around the island and have your meal on the end of your trip.
How long to stay, where to stay ?
We recommend to spare at least 3days for Dawie trip. One day for city and Managam beach. The second day to explore Dawei Peninsula secrets. The third day for extra activity such as snorkeling, hiking, waterfall trekking , village or city sightseeing, The local company can organize a van, a took, took, bicycle or a scooter.
There are two choices for accommodation. The first are Dawei city hotels which you can find them online with few choices of guesthouse. The second choice is the beach bungalows. The biggest choice near Mamagan beach and with few only near the Grandfather beach. There are no five or four star resorts or overcrowded hostels as far as we know.
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