“Travel this Thadingyut” is a series of articles to help you choose your next destination during the upcoming holiday. Special thanks to our friends in the travel industry for sharing ideas and offers. Happy holiday!

Down South: Mergui Archipelago and Kawthaung

When it comes to beaches in Myanmar, Ngapali and Ngwe Saung are what pops up on most people’s minds. Kawthaung, located in the country’s far south, is a lesser-known yet rewarding destination for holiday-makers and gateway for the Mergui Archipelago, a group of more than 800 islands in the Andaman Sea.

Scenic Island Safari by Moby Dick Tours

Starting in the bustling fishing harbour of Kawthaung, you will head out towards the spectacular Mergui Archipelago, a tropical paradise that even today has rarely been explored. You will be in one of the most remote and culturally interesting off-shore paradises. The vast majority of the 800 islands are still uninhabited and opened up for tourism as recently as 1997. Experience splendour and charm that easily match Thailand’s famous beach holiday destinations but lack the commotion of the crowds. With live-aboard vessels, you get a combination of genuinely wild adventure with a touch of modern comfort.

Five days / four nights Islands Safari – from US$1,330

Seven days / 6 six nights Island Safari – from $1,830

Learn more at https://islandsafarimergui.com

Overland Safari in Southern Myanmar by Moby Dick Tours

This Overland Safari lets you experience the beautiful, virtually untouched, remote Tanintharyi region. You will visit stunning beaches and lush jungles. You will interact with kind-hearted people and experience the allure of their simple yet rich lifestyle. In this corner of the world, families come together under one roof to co-exist and care for one another in quaint and charming fishing settlements along the coast of the Thanintharyi region.

Thirty-six thousand square kilometres of rugged and wild coastline await you in Southern Myanmar. This little-travelled area of the world includes many remote and uninhabited islands with pristine beaches. Previously, travellers were only allowed to enter this region of Myanmar with a special permit from the government. Only in recent years have tourists been able to experience the richness of beauty in this area of Myanmar. 

4 Days/ 3 Nights – $1,160 per person if at least five

Learn more at https://islandsafarimergui.com

Burma Boating

Born out of the passion of a few inspired sailors who stumbled across the spellbinding waters of the Mergui Archipelago, Burma Boating invites the world to uncover a secret too good not to share. Experience a truly luxurious, exciting odyssey through the pristine waters of the Andaman Sea with a fleet that has grown through the years. Since 2018, Burma Boating has been part of the Memories Group.

3 Nights / 4 Days – Famous Mergui Islands – $1,600 PP / 4 Days
Discover the southernmost islands of the Mergui Archipelago, such as Horseshoe Island or McLeod Island.

5 Nights / 6 Days – Mergui Sailing Adventure – $2,600 PP / 6 Days
Explore 800 pristine islands, a national park and indigenous tribes for an unforgettable trip to paradise.

7 Nights / 8 Days – Sail & Dive Mergui Safari – $3,200 PP / 8 Days
Enjoy a luxury diving cruise aboard the beautiful classic gaff-rigged schooner SY Dallinghoo, and discover the spectacular underwater biodiversity of the Mergui Archipelago.

Boulder Bay Eco-Resort

An Eco–resort with a minimal footprint in the Mergui Archipelago. Sustainable tourism at its best. As one of the furthest islands west in the archipelago, Boulder Island, where the resort is located, has a unique climate and exceptional water clarity. The island’s edge is lined with sandy beaches, rocks and large boulders. The eco-resort features 20 bungalows, each built entirely from renewable materials. Great attention has been paid to blending the resort’s buildings with the surrounding environment, and tree-cutting is kept to an absolute bare minimum. No buildings are visible on the island when viewed from the sea.

7 Days / 6 Nights (departure every Monday and Saturday) – from $2,244 per bungalow (twin occupancy).

Learn more on https://boulderasia.com/

Awei Pila

Awei Pila is an exclusive resort on Kyun Pila Island,  a​​ two-hour speedboat ride from the mainland. It features 24 air-conditioned tented villas fronting a white-sand beach, an open-air restaurant, a pool and a spa.

Awei Pila offers two types of accommodation: uniquely designed tented villas – the Beach Front Villa and the Seaview Villa. The tented villas are for double occupancy, choosing between a King Bed or Twin Beds.

The Beach Front Villa gives a fantastic view of the Andaman Sea. Indulge in your private tented villa or kick back and relax on your private terrace—rates from $953 per night (all inclusive). 

The Seaview Villa opens up to the spectacular sights of the Mergui forest. Unplug in the quiet tranquillity of your private terrace and forest garden—rates from $853 (all inclusive). 

Learn more on https://aweipila.com/

Getting There

You can reach this hidden gem through several methods of transportation. The first stop is getting to Kawthaung, Myanmar or Ranong, Thailand.

Yangon to Kawthaung, there are one or two flights a day, operated by Myanmar National Airlines (MNA) (about $180 for one way) and Air Kanbawza (KBZ) (about $150/ one way). The schedules often change monthly, depending on the season, so please check with your travel agent for the latest schedule. 

From Thailand, you first need to get to Ranong by Air or bus from Bangkok or Phuket by taxi or bus. In Ranong, clearing through Thai immigration is a breeze. Next, board a longtail to Kawthaung, and your adventure begins. 

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