Kyauk Phyu (pronounced 'chaowk pew' and and sometimes spelt Kyaukpyu) is a town located at the northern end of Yanbye Island (Ramree Island) on the Bay of Bengal; the name Kyauk Phyu means ‘white rock’.
The central part of Kyauk Phyu is huddled around its fishing port and market, with narrow precarious alleys running between houses on stilts or built on filled dry docks; there is a huge open-air fish market and a nearby covered area with women selling their wares such as betel nut and tobacco leaves.
Westwards from downtown, Kyauk Phyu stretches along the coast for several kilometres to the airport and a links golf course – replete with cows, Chinese businessmen, and local paddy-farmer-caddies. This area is where most of the newer hotels licensed for foreigners can be found (there are cheaper hotels in the downtown area but these are generally for locals only).
A few hundred metres to the east of the golf course there is a relaxed beachside beer station and a sunset football phenomenon occurs most evenings at the beach near the golf course, involving hundreds of players and a few dozen matches.
The two best places to eat are virtually opposite each other, in the downtown area: Dollar faces onto the road and is preferred by locals (you will spot it for its liberal sponsorship by Grand Royal whisky) and See Sar, also known as Twilight, is on the water front and offers great squid, crab, steamed fish, plus other dishes on the usual Chinese-Myanmar menu.
Around Yanbye island
There is an incredible 30 kilometre white sand beach that stretches from the western cape to half way down Yanbye island. Hiring a motorbike in Kyauk Phyu (K10,000 per day), heading this way can make for a fun day trip - but be aware of a lack of eating options aside from the odd teashop and a lack of shade on the beach. The interior of the island has limited road access and is dotted with forest, shrub and number of pagodas and monasteries. You can hire a car with driver for K60,000 per day.
Other points of interest nearby are the development of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that it is the starting point for a major pipeline to China and the area is also famous for being the location of the Battle of Ramree Island, a key part of the offensive by Allied forces to retake Burma from the Japanese at the end of World War 2.
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