In the far south of Myanmar, as spectacular beautiful as anywhere in Southeast Asia is the coast of Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Division, despite its proximity to neighboring Thailand, on the opposite, eastern, flank of the Malay Peninsula, it has long been off the beaten track. The only places in Tanintharyi technically open to foreigners were three coastal towns Dawei, Myeik and Kawthaung served by domestic airports.
Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago
The remote, historically fascinating port of Myeik, with its neighboring archipelago of unspoiled islands is slowly becoming accessible to visitors. Around 800 coral-fringed islands scattered off the coast of Tanintharyi is a tropical paradise of the kind that has all but disappeared in Southeast Asia. The translucent waters of the Myeik Archipelago, off the coast of Tanintharyi in southern Burma, are the stronghold of seaborne nomads who call themselves the “Morgan” or “Moken” in Burmese as “Salone“. The group number between 2,000 and 3,000 are unique for spending most of their lives at sea.
At the southernmost tip of Myanmar, Kawthaung is an unremarkable frontier town dominated by Thai trade. To the south of the harbor lies Cape Bayinnaung, a promontory named after the Burmese king of the same name who invaded Thailand several times via this route during the 16th century. A statue of the legendary warrior clad in battle armor and flourishing a sword at the nearby Thai coast serves to remind visitors that Myanmar wasn’t always as down and out as it is today. The only hotel around this region is Andaman Club Resort on Thahtay Kyun Island, five-star with including 205 rooms, its own 18-hole golf course and Vegas-style casino.