Best Islands in MyanmarThe best islands in Myanmar
The Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar (Burma): Is this the final exodus from the islands?
On a teak wood stool on the top decks of the rebuilt freighter, the photographer David van Driessche knew the cables. For me this journey to explore the Mergui archipelago was new ground. That evening, Björn Burchard, director of Moby Dick Tours, had spoken around the desk that in a few short hours we would be celebrating the sacred tomb of the twenty-first century:
When the first sunbeams had lit up the peaks of the jungle island Barwell Island and its neighboring islands, the cheerful crews assisted me to start a sit-in canoe for a canoe on the quiet water around the 100-foot ship, which was painted new in creme, greens and beeswax. Mergui Archipelago is one of the least frequented places on the planet, and only recently has the 800 or so islands gradually opened up to the public in search of some of Asia's best diving sites with stingrays and shark and the variety of marine life that is found on many of the world' s sandy shores.
Some of the islands' coves are intended for the creation of luxurious resorts, but only on the outlying boulder islands is there something that could be considered appropriate ecotourism. Isle safaris that offer relatively cheap 5 days/4 nights Insel hoping trips encourage the "small is better" approach by taking slower trips that leave more free to swim, snorkel, kayak, hike and even fish at nights.
"I' m guessing I have a candy for islands," Burchard admits to me, who has been in Southeast Asia since he abandoned Norway when he was 19 years old. Throughout the trip he has drawn my attention to various different sands, each of them is a dignified candidate for the ideal one. "This is better than Phuket," he says, pointing to a 5 km long shore.
On the next brightest, sandy spot is quaint. "All of the sands we see during our journey have one thing in common: there are no humans. Although we arrive at the Boulder lsland coast with an inflationable RuneBout, one of my friends turns to me and asks: "Where is the place where we live?
" The Boulder Bay Eco-Resort, hidden behind the coastline flora, strives for a minimum of footprints while at the same time acting as an example of sustainability in the tourist industry. It supports the work of Project Manaia oceanologists to study and chart the corals and fish life on the island's four sands.
We' ll put on mask, snorkel and fins and dare to the shore of Moken, where a test riff conservation site is using old bait to rebuild the area. The corals are already revitalising and marine activity is already invigorating the area. At the end of another kayak excursion in front of Cayulder Bay, the swell and the glide around the icons balance block, which is within view of my straw-covered cottage, I returned to the ocean at the end of another night when the lights faded.
Hovering on my back, I get hung up by the warm salt water, the starry nights appear weak at first, and I wonder if this really is the ideal one. There are 2 or 3 daily NokAir and AirAsia services from Bangkok's smaller Don Mueang Airport (DMK) from 14 to the Thai city of Ranong (UNN), a brief journey and boating from Kawthaung in Myanmar.
Travelers who are already in Myanmar can travel from Yangon to Kawthaung (about 160-170 USD each way), although there are fewer connections. The majority of Thailand Tourist Visas Exemption Program travelers receive a 30-day exemption stamps for travel to Thailand, although long-distance travel such as from Kawthaung to Ranong can only be allowed for 15 consecutive nights.
When the Mergui Islands is your only excursion to Myanmar, you will receive a $30 extra photo and visas upon your return. A 28-day Myanmar Tourism Visas, available for $50 per person on-line, is necessary for further trips to Myanmar. AROUND AND GETTING around and getting there: 5 days/4 nights cruise on the MV Sea Gipsy (islandsafarimergui.
It is US$1,110 per passenger (double occupancy), while a 7 day/6 nights journey is US$1,530 per for one. Boulder is an Eco-Resort (boulderasia.com) with 3 day and 2 nights starting at US$ 480 per adult (double occupancy) for basic bungalow, while 7 day and 6 nights starts at US$ 912 per adult. Parcels includes airport/port pickup, Boulder Islands transfer, food, equipment and use of basic aquatic sports.
Liveaboard cruises and resorts must be reserved in order to complete the necessary formalities. Both Myanmar and Thai Bahts can be used in Kawthaung, and only euros, US dollars and Singapore dollars can be exchanged at any bank or currency changer. Please take a cam, sunscreen, sun hat, sun glasses, swimsuit, beach sandal and trekking boots.