Taungoo is located 282 km (175 miles) from Yangon and is the only place for the tourists to get good accommodation on Yangon-Mandalay road. All four sides of the city wall are still very conspicuously seen. Taungoo is one of the main gateways to Bago Yoma with its teak forests that are worth exploring. It derives much of its importance these days from the timber trade and the teak forests on which its economy depends.
Pyay is an important commercial center for trade between the Ayeyarwady delta, central and upper Myanmar and the Rakhine State. It is only 161 km (100 miles) north of Yangon traveling along a well-maintained highway where you can see green paddy fields. It is a city halfway between Yangon and Bagan. Visitors can stop over in Pyay and travel on to Bagan and Mandalay. Pyay is situated in a lovely location on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River.
Hpa-an is the capital of Kayin State and was recently removed from the government’s restricted list of travel destinations. It is possible to reach it by road from Yangon while going across the Thanlwin River. Hpa-an is small town with a busy commercial center where you can see farmers coming to town in horse carts or trishaws stacked with baskets.
Thandaung is a romantic hill resort developed in Victorian times by the British. It can be reached by car or bus on a half day's journey from Yangon. The town is small and you can easily walk around the whole area. The beauty of the town lies in its extensive views of nature that is entirely unspoiled. Only the calls of the numerous birds and wild animals can be heard. You’ll enjoy the pleasant groves of tea and coffee plantations and the simple mountain folk who warmly welcome visitors from far and wide.
Ngapali Beach is heaven for peace and tranquility "far from the madding crowds". Situated about 7 km from Thandwe, it is one of the ancient Rakhine towns and is famous for its natural beauty up to this day. The beach stretches about 3 km (2 miles) with soft white sand fringed by coconut palms. It serves as the best ground for sunbathing and recreation, such as beach strolling, cycling and so on. Unlike today's beaches of Asia, it is free of noisy beachside bars, crowds and hawkers trying to persuade you to buy their things. There is only the natural scenic beauty of the blue sea, white sand and the lovely sun. The sea is cobalt blue, clean, and free of dangerous marine animals.
Letkokon Beach is the nearest beach from Yangon, just under three hours drive. Delicious seafood and juicy tropical fruit can be enjoyed to your contentment. A sun bath under the shady coconut groves sipping tender coconut milk would be a pleasant way to pass time. The Letkokon Beach Hotel has a number of chalet type bungalows and is located at the end of the driveway leading from the beach.
The Kanthayar Beach Resorts
The Kanthayar Beach Resorts offers spectacular views at sunset. It is one of the beach resorts most recently developed for tourists. Located in the Rakkhine State, it is about 26 km (16 miles) north of the small town of Gwa. The most convenient way to get there is by car from Yangon; it is about 200 km (125 miles) over fairly good roads. If you do not have to wait for the car ferry, the total traveling time by road is about six hours. The road passes rice fields, orchards and tropical bamboo forests, going through peaceful, pleasant villages all along the way. The scenery changes from low paddy land, lakes and rivers, to hills and forests and finally to the Blue Ocean and sandy beaches, some lined with small islands.