The Ngapali Beach (Poem by Hla Min)
The intriguing splendor of the East
Where the soft wind melts your heart
Where lavish nature gives you a feast
And a truly cool refreshing bath
Mountainous tides roll in like thunder
Then lie helpless on the shore
Fishing boats rush out all set to plunder
The ocean’s unending store
To sit under a shady palm
To drink a cup of juicy milk
To see the raging waters turn
Into undulating silk
A variety of multi-colored shells
Lay on the fine grain sand
No place on earth can match the spell
Of this enchanted strand
The luring dragons bid you “Welcome”
To this real paradise
There’s lots of fun, excitement, beauty
What’s more there left to advertise?
- My poem “The Ngapali Beach” was published in the Forward Magazine on March 2, 1970.
- Bohmu Ba Thaw (Maung Thaw Kha) was Chief Editor of the Forward Magazine.
Jokingly asked me if I would be interested to join his staff.
- U Sein Hla was Assistant Editor of the Forward Magazine.
- I received fifteen kyats for my poem.
- The illustrator received fifty kyats.
- Some early European visitors called it “Naples of the East”.
- I visited Ngapali three times.
- Some people visit Ngapali almost annually.
My first visit was during my student days. My cousin and friends stayed at the Bungalow owned by U Tha Gyaw Wai (Teddy Gyaw) and managed by my uncle. At a nearby bungalow was a movie crew by Amyotha Yoke Shin with U San Maung (Gerald, RUBC Gold and Coach). Ko Gerald asked me if I would be interested to join them on the way back via Taung Goke.
We were hosted by the cinema owner at Taung Goke. He offered the movie audience a free show if they could translate the Burmese titles into English. One submission was “Fly away bitter bird” (Pyan Lay dei Nget Khar).
My second visit was with my beloved spouse and two young sons. We stayed at the Bungalow owned by Amyotha Yoke Shin and managed by U Mya Maung (GBNF, younger brother of U Sein Tin and elder brother of Saya U Tin Htut).
My third visit was as a Guest Lecturer for the Ngapali Luyechun Camp. I spent some time chatting with other Guest Lecturers including Saya U Kyaw Myint (Director of Higher Education, former Professor of Physics at Mandalay).
- Hantha Aye Nylon — the parents of Daw Than Than Yee (T71, GBNF) and U Sann Aung (M74) — also owned a Bungalow.
- The Hotel and Tourist Corporation built the first hotel in Ngapali.
- I know a few people (U Aung Win) who have taken [almost] yearly trips to Ngapali.
Categories: Poems and Translations
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