The virgin beaches of the 800 islands of Mergui Archipelago, also called Myeik Archipelago, are located in the southernmost part of Myanmar, blue waters of the whirling seas make this wonderland an ideal destination for adventure savvy travelers and for those who need to lose themselves in the cozy anonymity of hidden beaches. The abundant flora and fauna makes Mergui a paradise for nature lovers as well.
This historic port, which has been busy for the last 500 years or so due to its strategic placement, situated on a peninsula protruding out to the Andaman Sea, with its modern buildings, sadly lacking in style and character is worth experiencing for the sake of pure beaches and sea adventures. To find out more about diving and exploring Mergui sea, please go to www.burma-diving-safaris.com
Places to see:
- This town, inhabited by an equal mix of Burmese, Thai, Chinese, Indian and Malay people is situated at the southern tip of Myanmar and was initially built by English invaders who called it “Victoria Point”. The speciality of this place is its close proximity to Thailand which is connected to Myanmar through river Pechang, which runs between the two borders. Thus making this place an entry point to Myanmar from Thailand. You can come directly here from Rangong in Thailand (Rangong in Thailand is just a 15 minute flight away from Bangkok or a 4 hour car drive away from Phuket or Ko Samui) on small boats or even on sailing boats which will only take about 30 minutes. A 28 day entry visa can be easily taken at Kawthaung.
- Myauk Ni Island alias Red Monkey Island
- Known as Red Monkey Island due to its reddish and hairy tree dwelling inhabitants, this small island lies just 20 miles away from Kathaung. Wathcing and swimming along wild dolphins, visiting the indigenous Moken people, commonly called sea gypsies, enjoying the sandy beaches and the corals and going on a bird watching nature trail in the nearby forests are some of the things that you can do here.
- Home to indigenous snakes and water dwelling lizards with its very own bird's nest cave, this small islands nearly 39 miles from Kawthaung is a perfect spot for kayaking and snorkeling.
- Lampi with its far and wide sandy beaches has become one of the most talked about islands in the Mergui Archipelago and is twenty miles long from North to South and 10 miles wide form East to West. Due to its natural beauty and diversity, it is preserved as a “National Park” of the country. With an impenetrable thick rainforest in the middle and two tidal rivers accessible by a canoe or a small boat at high tide on the west coast of the island, this truly is paradise. Some of the most ancient Mangrove habitats, vibrant birds (Kingfisher, Pacific Reef Egret, Hornbill, white breasted Sea Eagle and Heron), endemic flora (trees reaching up to a height of 25 to 30 meters tall) add up to its value. Two passages lead up to the annexe island Salet Galet at the north western corner of the island and Mayon Galet at the southern part of the island (once home to sea gypsies alias Morken people who took shelter here from south western monsoon rains)
Pulau Beda alias Nyaung Wee
- Surrounded with a scattering of smaller islands around it, situated about 10 miles away from Lampi, this island is inhabited by sea gypsies alias Morken people. It is known for bird and wild life watching trips on the banks of the beautiful river that flows through the island.
- This group of islands 20 miles to the north of Lampi, is commonly referred to as “Langan” by the Morken people (sea gypsies) which means "fingers” in Morken language. Pure blue waters, the niche location and unique coral reeves are the main attractions of the island.
Wa Ale Island
- This tiny annexe of the Lampi islands is the most favored of all places for snorkeling due to its wide spread blue waters and coral reeves and it lies around 65 miles north west of Kwathaung. It's also well known for clean and clear sandy beaches and wildlife observation.(animals, birds, fish and other sea creatures)
- Cozily placed between Lampi and Wa Ale island, this peaceful island is home to a small sea gypsy village and birds of the likes of sea eagles.
Khat Yin Khwaalias Macloed
- Housing the exquisite Burmese style “Myanmar Andaman Island Resort”, this island is famous for being a good fishing spot. You should definitely try out fresh catches of the day like big squid, giant lobster and crab. Like many other islands nearby this island too owns a rich growth of flora, fauna and coral reeves.
Yea Aye Bird Nest and Limestone caves
- This consists of a group of three islands made solely of limestone, situated close to the Domel islands. A huge cave made of limestone in the main island is famous for the edible-nests of “ Swiftest”, a bird which belongs to the sea swallow family. The cave can be easily explored by kayak.
Kyun Pi Lar alias Gt.Swinton
- Armored with a petite waterfall on the eastern side of the beach, and a silvery sand beach all around, Gt.Swinton lies just 15 miles north west of Lampi. A perfect spot for beach partying.
Nag Mann Island
- A favorite with the party loving tourists due to its pure white beach, the crystal clear ocean around and the greenish coral reeves providing space and ambiance for barbeques and parties.
Horse Shoe alias Myin Khwar Island
- This beautiful island Lying 22 miles to the south west of Kawthaung is famous for the biggest birds' cave and the stone rock which can be climbed by tourists.
Say Tan Island alias Dunkin Island
- Boasting of a pure white beach, which is often invaded by a group of chattering monkeys looking for food, this tiny island offers snorkeling and a good spot for overnight anchorage.
Kyet Mauk Island alias Cocks and Combe Island
- This island is well known for the large lagoon the size of a foot ball field in the middle which can only be accessed by snorkeling or Kayaking through the opening in the eastern pat of the island. An abundance of colorful shoals of fish and corals can be spotted there.
Border Island alias Nga Khin Nyo Gyee
- Hidden in a tiny sheltered bay ,this cozy circular island with sunny beaches and huge stony rocks offers plenty of snorkeling opportunities. It is a perfect spot to camp out night while enjoying a cool dip in the sea.
- The name Mergui, which was used during the colonial times, has been changed to Myeik, which is pronounced as Beik.
- Traveling overland to the city of Mergui is not currently possible.
- Ideal for snorkeling, kayaking, jungle trekking in the tropical rain forest, sport fishing,watching birds and wild life (elephants, tigers, sea creatures ,deer, wild boar, and many others.
- Around 800 or so small islands can be found here ,out of which most are uninhabited and trips around these islands including the archipelago is expensive and requires careful planning.