The Mergui Archipelago located in the southern part of Myanmar is regarded as the hidden gem of the earth because of its untouched,unspoilt and virgin group of islands and islets.The mother Andaman Sea cuddles more than 800 islands to its bosom.The islands are mainly formed with limestone and granite and most of them are covered by dense tropical forests. The offshore has stunning coral reefs while beaches,mangrove swamps,secret sea caves and rocky headlands line the shores.
The largest and the highest island is the Kadan Island situated at 767 metres across the inland way from Myeik City.By diving and snorkeling,sparkling turquoise water and varieties of colourful sea creatures can be explored in Thameehla Island,Burma Bank,Black Rock and Shark Cave. Sailing and kayaking will lead you to hidden sea caves,ancient mangrove creeks by giving you memorable moments. Lampi Island bears Burmese national marine park which is a home to more than 230 bird species.If you are searching a reasonable place for staying at night,Lay Kyun is suitable for you due to its food availability.Moreover,the sand of Lay Kyun is so whitish and soft along with greenish crystalline water. The jaw dropping dusk and dawn of Lay Kyun will bring you enchantment.Plus, trekking can be done there. Among the mysterious islands,the Done Waterfall where fresh and sea water coexisting together could be observed.Other famous islands are Aurio Island,Christie Island,Kanmaw Island,Zadetkyi Island,Sabi Island,Thahtay Island,Mali Island,Kabosa Island and Daung Island.
One of the interesting activities to do in visiting islands is meeting sea-dwellers or Moken who have very simple traditional way of sea-based lives.They are actually true sea-nomads for centuries .They earn their living by fishing and collecting food from seabed . You can try paddling their boat (Kabang ) and observe many more about their extraordinary way of life.They live in their boats in dry season where as they usually settle on land for a while during the rainy season.Many of them are found in Don Nyaung Mine region.
The period between December and April is the best time for diving.Whale sharks and manta rays often appear from February to May.A golf resort and a five-star casino are available in Thahtay Island.To access the Mergui Archipelago,you have to take a flight to Myeik,the city of southern Myanmar.Myeik is famous for its worth visiting sites,fresh and delicious seafoods,tonic bird nests and precious pearls.The Mergui islands can be reached by charter yachts from Myeik.
The famed Mergui Archipelago was appeared in many of W.E John’s “Biggle” books and James Bond film,Thunderball.If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life for a while, the unique Mergui Archipelago will be the best destination for you.
Ms.Nyein Chan Htwe