If it’s remote exploration in a mostly undiscovered part of Myanmar you’re looking for, then the Mergui Archipelago (also known as the Myeik Archipelago) off Myanmar‘s southern coast should be on your bucket list. Its remote location in the Andaman Sea means tourists are few and far between here, giving you an authentic taste of Burmese life without the distractions of other visitors. You even need a special permit to visit here.
The Archipelago is made up of over 800 islands, from tiny, uninhabited isles home only to wildlife, to larger ones ripe for trekking and kayaking. The islands are also home to the nomadic Moken people or ‘sea gypsies’ who live life on the water and are masters of holding their breath underwater! If kayaking through mangroves, spotting gibbons and sharks, hiking through lush tropical valleys and relaxing on white sandy, palm-fringed beaches sounds like your idea of paradise, a trip to the Mergui Archipelago won’t disappoint.
We love that a trip here can be as action-packed or laid-back as you like, but by far our favourite thing to do is to meet the locals. The sea gypsies have a number of villages on Nyaung Wee (Buda) Island where you can chat with them and find out just how their way of life is changing. Myauk Ni Island is also worth visiting if you want a taste of local life – few tourists ever visit here.
The Archipelago is renowned for its dive sites and there are dozens to choose from, from one of south-east Asia’s most renowned dive sites, the Burma Banks (where you’re practically guaranteed to spot sharks) to Shark Cave, where you may see grey reef sharks up-close-and-personal, as well as some of the region’s most colourful marine life! Snorkelling is another popular activity and Phi Lar Island (Great Swinton) has plenty of coral reefs teeming with fish and marine life, as well as splendidly isolated white sandy beaches where you can unwind.
However, for us, the best way to see the archipelago is by taking a multi-night sailing trip.
Plan your trip to the Mergui Archipelago today.