The sand isn’t the whitest you’ll see, and it isn’t kept as clean as you’d probably like, but Chaung Tha Beach isn’t a bad place to relax. What’s more, if you show up at the weekend or during holidays, then joining the locals at play is a cultural experience in itself. The few foreigners who visit mostly hide from the sun on loungers under palm-frond shelters, while local kids run into the sea clutching huge inner tubes as flotation devices. Meanwhile, teenagers play football around the food vendors who cross the beach selling grilled crabs and prawns on skewers to their parents.

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