TANINTHAYI DIVISION & MERGUI ARCHIPELAGO
How to get there
Air Bagan is flying three times a week from Yangon to Dawei, Myeik and Kawtaung and there is a daily regular express coastal boat service between Myeik, Dawei and Kawthaung.
The capital of Taninthayi (Tenasserim) division, is a port of medium importance and tropical seaside town. 384 miles from Yangon, it is on the eastern bank, at the mouth of a creek of same name, 30 miles from the sea in a narrow gulf.
As Dawei is in the coastal region, fisheries become the mainstay of the economy there. Sea-fish and prawn are sufficient enough not only for local consumption but also for the international market. Most local people make their living by trading in regional goods. Some have rubber, oil palm, cashew and mango plantations and they also cultivate paddy. This is a wrap-up of the simple Dawei people’s life and breath-taking beauty spots of Dawei which today boosts modern characteristics of developed cities. The well-known Maung Ma Gan Beach, which is now being developed and upgraded is just 8 miles north-west and is famous for delicious sea food.
According to the characteristics of port cities, Myeik is busy with small and large boats in the morning. Beside, you can pay homage the Reclining Buddha Image, the grace and glory of Myeik on Pahtet isle. At the harbors of Myeik, ships, speed boats and fishing vessels are closely quad in a long line. Relying on the sea, cold storage factories for packaging fish and prawn, ice factories and warehouses are built along the bank.
The house of bird-nests is a rare and unique thing to see in Myeik. The local people are very much devoted to religion. The Lay Gyun Se Mee Pagoda in Myeik is very sublime. Its festival is thronged with visitors. During your stay in Myeik you should not miss the Beik evening Bazaar. The reclining Buddha Image in Pa Htaw Pa Htat island, which is on the other bank of Myeik, is also very sublime.
Formerly called Victoria Point, is the southern-most town of Myanmar and the starting point to explore the Mergui Archipelago. Half of the town is going up along the slope. The town is an important border point with products such as seafood, palm oil and rubber. You can observe the states of King Bayintnaung in Kawthaung which is a symbol of Myanmar Patriotism. The world's largest pearl was discovered in the Makha lauk pearl oyster exploration area in the north west of Zardatgyi Island in Kawthaung Township.
Ranong is the border town in Thailand. Visitors can take 20 minutes boat trips to Kawthaung for sightseeing and shopping. Andaman Club on the Thahtaykyun island is located west of Kawthaung. There are regular flights from Yangon to Kawthaung and Five Star shipping line operates Cruise vessel to Kawthaung.
Among the geographical beauties of the Union of Myanmar, many treasures are in the depths existing beneath the archipelago waters to this day. Myeik Archipelago comprises over 800 islands covering an area of 10,000 sq. miles. Several expeditions have been undertaken to survey the undersea ecosystems and biodiversity.
Lumpi island can be reached from Myeik, about 90 nautical miles southwest, 30 miles west from Bokpyin and 60 miles northwest from Kawthaung. This beautiful island of Lumpi is totally untouched; with a rich history of maritime trade and mysticism. The modern day, Mergui Archipelago, is as it was days gone by. The archipelago is virtually isolated but you will find the islands and surrounding seas alive with amazing diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna. Parrots, hornbills, sea eagles Brahming kites and herons fill the skies. On land, the animal population includes monkeys, wild cattle, elephants, deer, wild pigs, crocodiles, tigers and rhinoceros.
Crab eating maquekes the monkeys can be seen here on the shoreline. The only human inhabitants in this beautiful area are the sea gypsies, a nomadic seafaring race. The Moken-sea gypsy-village, their life style is very simple. Their life style has changed very little over the years.
The sea gypsies have been the sole inhabitants of the Mergui Archipelago over the years and they still use the same fishing and boat building techniques which they have been using for many generations. Lumpi offers a great variety of breathtaking scenery and wildlife, with more luxuriant ever green forests, beach and dune forests, tidal mangroves, magnificent beaches and spectacular coral formation.
The forests that grow on the island have a variety of both terrestrial and marine ecosystems and inhabitants. The surrounding waters are rich in bird life, fish marine, mammals (dolphins) and marine turtles.
Salone, a group living part of the time on a few littoral area on the fringes of the Andaman sea and part of the time on their boats, wondering about among the Islands of the Myeik Archipelago in a nomadic existence that has caused them to become known as the sea gypsies. There are no more then five thousand Salons left in the world today scattered over the Myeik Achipelago as well as some parts at the Andaman Sea.