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“the last frontier - and yet easy access” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mergui Archipelago

Ranked #133 of 463 things to do in Myanmar
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Attraction details
Owner description: This chain of over 800 islands has world-class diving.
Level Contributor
109 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“the last frontier - and yet easy access”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

To visit the Mergui Archipelago is not so easy, as there are not many options and ways to visit. There is a small resort on one of the 800+ islands - yes, you read correctly, 1 (one) resort and that's it! The only other way to get around and in my opinion the best way is by sailing boat. You join the yacht in Phuket (in my case) sail via the Similan islands and Ko Tachai to Ko Payam and enter the Burmese border town of Kawthaung the next morning to the noises of a busy port and a different culture alltogether in comparison to Phuket, where men walk on the street with "longies", which is a sarong worn by most men. The people are all very friendly and many do speak English, which is again surprising.
Anyway, too much noise, lets get out of here, out to the islands. We set sail and head to Barwell island about 20 nautical miles away where we arrive just on dusk, but we can still see the beaches, which are deserted - no beach umbrella or deck chair - so close to port?
The next morning I wake up to see we are surrounded by jungle and beaches without a single foot print - what a sight and the clear water invites one to jump into the sea for a morning swimm before breakfast.
I can smell the bacon and the fresh bread and realize how hungry I am. We sit down with freshly squeezed orange juice, cereal, bacon, eggs, fresh tropical fruit - life is bliss!
For a week we sail to some of the most amazing anchorages, snorkel spots secluded bays, visit a couple of sea gypsy villages, which are very poor, so if you do a trip like that, I recommend you bring some kids shorts & T-shirts as well as pens, colour pencils and writing pads to give as presents.
We see wild deer, pigs and monkeys on some of the beaches early in the morning. When walking on the beaches, we find footprints of some kind of cat - not the sort of African cat size, but slighty larger than the domestic cat's size.
I nearly forget to mention the fishing - 12 tunas, 1 baracuda and 2 spanish makrels are the tally after a week in Burma alone, not to mention the fish we caught in Thai waters. So, fresh sushimi, tuna tartare and tuna carpaccion were the appetiser ways of devouring these delicacies with a glass of chilled white wine for a sun downer - life is hard!
The 10 days went way to quick and what I take home is the photos and memories of the sailing trip of a lifetime. If I consider to visit another sailing ground as remote as the Mergui Archipelago, it would be much harder to get to then a mere 4 hours drive from Phuket.
I envy the crew - they get to visit these islands much more often than I do and you can see the content on their faces - happy crew!

Visited December 2012
32 Thank Wolfgangfaraway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Mergui Archipelago - the Last-of-its-kind nature's paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2006

Mergui Archipelago - nature's last-of-its-kind paradise was open for tourism business only in 1997. It is located in southernmost part of Myanmar (Burma), comprises over 800 beautiful islands. Due to its virtual isolation, the islands and surrounding seas are alive with an amazing diversity of flora & fauna and very beautiful underwater scenes and marine life.

19 Thank VisaMaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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