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Against the backdrop of clear blue skies and cotton clouds, Aung Tin Htun concentrates hard on the viewfinder in front of him. Film-making on land already has its challenges, trying to capture coherent scenes bobbing on the rocking of waves is even tougher. “It is worth noting, that the entire project required three months of effort to produce final video of one minute and thirty seconds,” says Aung, who runs Flame Productions. He worked with the Surfing Association of Myanmar to produce the Chasing Dreams short film shot at the beachfront of the Ngwe Saung Yacht Club and Resort.

An incredible location indeed, and perhaps to some a surprising showcase of Myanmar’s immense potential as a prime tourist destination in Southeast Asia. Who needs the overcrowded beaches and overpriced West-backed gentrification that sometimes plague better known destinations like Phuket and Bali, when you’ve got a hidden gem like Ngwe Saung to properly escape to?

The journey from the airport to the resort is more of less direct and sufficient time for a nap to refresh oneself. You arrive at an expensive (and the largest in Myanmar), modern resort layout along a private, pristine stretch of beachfront. Everything you could need is there, and if you do fancy some exploration, the streets surrounding provide a wonderful introduction to Burmese culture and cuisine. Just remember cash is still king here, so make sure you have plenty on hand to spare just in case.

What perhaps most surprising is how strong the surfing community is here, and how vital a role the Ngwe Saung Yacht Club and Resort plays in growing this niche sport. Backed by the passionate efforts of locals like Phone Kyaw Mint who runs the property, Ngwe Saung Yacht Club and Resort is fast becoming the beating heart of Myanmar’s surfers. It’s used regularly to host ocean-focused programmes, surf competitions and festivals, in like with the Surfing Association of Myanmar’s agenda. Being here is an opportunity, to engage in a healthier lifestyle and create new avenues of personals development for young boys and girls in the community. Myanmar has been plagued with civil war and severe economic downturns; military push backs are a very real threat to the fragile peace in the country. Chasing Dreams captures the incredible dedication of the local surfers striving against all odds to chase bigger waves of change for themselves. 


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