On the second day of my stay in Dawei, I decided to go further and visit more Dawei beaches: Tizit beach and San Hlan beach. I’ve heard that Tizit beach is one of the most beautiful Dawei beaches, but about San Hlan beach I know nothing. I just went there because it was very close to Tizit beach. It is actually very close on the map and in real life, but the street to get there from Tizit beach is nothing nearby or fast.
Dawei beaches: Tizit beach
Tizit beach is a bit far from Dawei city and it takes a long time to reach by motorbike. I went there alone, but even if I was accompanied, it wouldn’t stop this street to be the scariest street ever. I can even say that going to Tizit beach was extremely scary for me. I kept reading that some beaches in Myanmar are very hard to reach and some streets are not for the fainthearted. And, reaching Tizit beach is a good example. I now understand why they say it and I agree. Don’t try to imagine it. You will not be able to be close to the truth. This is Myanmar, a land with another type of street very different from what you might be used to see.
Once you are on the main road there is no problem at all. The street is good and wide, a normal street. But everything changes once you need to turn on secondary streets to reach Dawei beaches. I can’t actually complain about the quality of the pavement on the street to Tizit beach, the only problem is that it is filled with sand. I hate riding on sand, and I know how dangerous can be if sand just shows up all of a sudden. I have seen a friend falling off a motorbike because of sand so I am scared of sand as hell. On the street to Tizit beach, the part without sand is narrow, so besides having a wide nice street, I can only ride in the narrow part without sand or I’m afraid I might fall. For that reason, the ride is slow and more careful. There are not many people riding here and I understand why. Just a bit further ahead I realize why no one is here and why people say it is not for the faint of heart. Because it is FRIGHTENING!! OMG, I can’t believe I will have to ride on this street. It the Steepest street I have ever ridden in my life. It is so damn scary. You are going through the mountains, so you will be facing uphills and downhills where I can’t even make my motorbike brake properly. That was the scariest part.
The downhill was so steep that even with all the force I have in my arms applied on the brakes, the goddamit motorbike wasn’t stopping. I was braking so hard that I had no more strength to apply on that brake. If I had more strength I would use it. Even though with all my strength, the motorbike wasn’t stopping. I was just praying for it to don’t gain acceleration way too much or I’ll lose control. And all this in the middle of turns and twists. At least no one else is there and I can’t crash. This was definitely the scariest street ever but if I’m not used to riding a motorbike and I made it, you also can. After all of it, I was so relieved that I made it, but I couldn’t stop being haunted by the thought that I will have to do all the way back. I’m afraid the motorbike will not handle the steep uphills, but it did very easily.
Once the scary road finished, I thought I would see the beach. But no. This Dawei beach is further ahead and to reach it you need to cross a mangrove forest. You will have to ride on sand and on the water as the mangrove area wasn’t 100% dry. This way, there are still small water channels ahead. That was also scary cause I never rode in such conditions, but it was easier than it looks as the water is shallow. I suppose that at some part of the day the beach gets isolated once the water level gets higher. What a desertic place in the middle of nowhere!
Luckily, there are a few restaurants at Tizit beach, maybe 4, but only two were open. I was very hungry so having lunch was the first thing I did once I got to the Dawei beach. They showed me some fresh raw squid on a plate and asked me if I want them. I accept the suggestion. They looked so recently caught. It was a nice meal.
Tizit beach is another very wide and empty Dawei beaches. It is in fact a beautiful beach and it gets better once you see it from the top where stands a pretty abandoned pagoda. I’m sure not even 200 people live in those wooden houses along the beach. They are fishing or preparing the fish. The smell of fish is all over the place as there is fish drying just there next to their homes. It’s nice to stop and watch them work, but they don’t look as smiley as usually Burmese are. I don’t know why…
On the very top of the pagoda, I understand why people say that Tizit beach is one of the most beautiful Dawei beaches. It is indeed beautiful and charming with many boats swinging to the sound of waves. From the top, you can see how beautiful the water is with so many blue tones that you can’t appreciate from down there. This was the Dawei beach where I have been with more foreigners. There were 7 more foreigners there. Yes, 7, don’t worry you will still feel like the beach is totally empty. I decided to go further on the other side of Tizit beach as there is another no-name beach. This one is almost fully occupied by drying fish sitting on several nets.
There are some fisherman houses and more movement around here. I procced to the rocks and I actually have in mind crossing them to see what’s on the other side of the bay. Here there are too many crabs like I’ve never seen in my life. They are big and beautiful. Colorful ones. I take a moment to stop and observe them because if I move they will hide. There is still quite a long way to go walking on rocks until I reach the corner, but I’m determined to go. Until I see a boat not so far making noises like if they were screaming and when I look they seem to make hand signs telling me to go back. I look for a while to try to figure out if it’s really that message as they are still a bit far and I can’t see clearly. After a few moments analyzing the movements of their waving hands, I realize that I better go back. If these people are telling me to go back, I better do it. They are the ones living here and I have no idea what is next as I can’t see much further. Once I turn around and start walking back they stop shouting, so I conclude I made the right decision. I have no idea why I couldn’t go further, but apparently I am not supposed to go.
So next, after seeing all the different spots available to see in the area, I sit on the sand and go for a dive. There were 3 more foreigners sitting on the sand, so I felt comfortable doing it. I don’t like to have all the locals staring at me, but these ones didn’t seem to bother much.
Once I’m done of being there, I decided to go back, and knowing what I’ll face ahead makes me fearful. I just pray that my motorbike doesn’t stop on an uphill. It seemed as scary as the first time I crossed that street. Just like if I’ve never seen it before, and I actually didn’t from the opposite angle…
Dawei beaches: San Hlan beach
As it is still very soon and I wanted to see more beaches around, I decided to go the nearest one from Tizit beach on the way back to Dawei: San Hlan beach. It is pretty close, but the existing streets make it a long journey. It took me much longer than I was expecting and I also rode through many ups and downs turns and twists, but nothing like the street to Tizit beach.
San Hlan beach is different from all the other Dawei beaches I visited. This is a fishing village so don’t think about laying down or go for a swim. This beach is to observe local life and see how a fishing village works. I couldn’t even see the access to the sand riding the street along San Hlan beach. The street goes through the village and its houses. The smell of fish is all over the place as well as the sound of exotic birds. This was a first for me: in this village, they have very loud speakers playing sounds of exotic birds. It was so loud that I could hear it all over the village. It was fascinating. The surrounding view and those enchanting sounds matched perfectly and I loved the tranquilizing ambiance of the place.
This place is so beautiful and I’m so glad I decided to visit. The village is surrounded by sea and mountains. The view is marvelous. The little houses and the boats along the coast give to San Hlan its charm. The best view is from the pagoda at the edge where the land meets the sea and you can’t go any further. From there you can watch the hustle and bustle that is happening on the sand. The ladies have enormous bowls in their heads filed with fish that the men unload from the boats. The sand is filled with plastic and garbage, a very unpleasant sight. That was actually very sad to witness. Such a beautiful place surrounded by trash and an odor that doesn’t fit a beautiful scenery like the one I have in front of my eyes. It’s a very dirty beach and for sure you will not want to swim there. There is one coffee place at the edge of the land, it should be a nice spot to chill and sunset watching, but I decide to move on.
The only existing street that crosses the village right next to people’s houses, reveals a stage and loud music where some celebration seems to be happening. As I still have time to go back, I park the motorbike just next to the street and go to investigate what is going on. There were some kids performing on a stage, but once I get closer it seemed like I’m the main attraction now. Everybody is looking but surprisingly they don’t say Mingalabar or whatsoever. They just look. When I give them a smile they return it in their particularly shy way. They shake or tap their friend to inform them that I am there and all smile together. I’m used to it. I’m sure these people here are even less used to see tourists than everywhere else in Myanmar. I noticed they were staring for long moments, but I was very entertained with the dancing kids on stage and I couldn’t avoid taking the smile off my face all the time I was there watching what should be a nervous moment for the kids. Many people were there watching them. Probably most part of the village. I stayed for longer than expecting. I was appreciating the moment in the middle of all those Burmese a lot and I felt like they liked my presence too. So I just kept on smiling for 30 minutes and when my cheeks were already hurting and I’ve seen enough, I decided to leave.
Visiting San Hlan beach was the highlight of the day and one of the most interesting Dawei beaches. But before leaving, I wanted to see the sand and beach itself far from the houses and fishing boats. There is not a big beach left, and it’s still dirty, even far from the village center. However, it is filled with seashells, so many and so beautiful that I couldn’t avoid making a search for the best ones. If I knew there was a place to so some seashell hunting, I would have gone there before. Now I don’t have much time left as the way back to Dawei is long and I don’t wanna ride dark streets in Myanmar. The streets have too many holes and you need to see it.
It was a fantastic day and I already decided that I will go to the southernmost point on the Dawei Peninsula the following day.
Here is a video of all the 10 Dawei beaches I have visited: