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Ox­cart rides, picnics, and copious seafood lunches, rather than sunbathing and swimming, are what tend to occupy the droves of Yangonites who descend on Chaungtha beach on sunny weekends. From Monday to Friday, however, the few foreign tourists who take the winding road west of Pathein can expect to have the mile­ (1.6 km­) long stretch of golden sand  largely to themselves. Accomm- odations are offered in a string  of lackluster, mostly mid­scale hotels behind the beach, whose most distinctive landmark is a  small pagoda crowning a plant- covered rock in the middle of  the bay.

The islet just off the headland to the southwest – Chaungtha Kyun, dubbed “White Sand Island” – can be explored in a day trip. The water around it is clearer and better for snorkeling, and local fishermen run trips to it every hour or so.

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