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Ocean Quest in the Mergui Archipelago

03-Feb-2020
 

Since October 2019, three more state-of-the-art sailing yachts are available in Mergui Archepelagi to explore.

SY La Numero Uno, which is from now as the most luxurious yacht in the fleet. This fantastic monohull benefits from the unique Italian shipyard Pereni Navi know-how in fine quality design in its tiniest details and corners. This floating work of art can accommodate and enchant up to ten lucky guests.

SY Lady Mia , an affordable catamaran designed for eight people. This modern high-end sailboat is ideal for families or groups of friends wishing to spend some quality time in the paradise of the Andaman sea and the Mergui islands.

SY Dakota , a modern and brand new 8 people catamaran includes special equipment that will make your trip unforgettable : exciting toys such as a DJI Maverick Pro drone and a remote controller dolphin equipped with a camera will provide you with the best videos and pictures you might dream of, while an electric underwater scooter will give you access to the most enchanting underwater secrets.

Main Cruising Area: The Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar

At Wuxiancaishen Temple Fair, five brothers are deified as gods of wealth for their success hunting and prosperity.

Virtually unknown to the outside world, the Mergui Archipelago is located in Myanmar's (Burma's) remote south: a group of 800 deserted islands that lie at the heart of our sailing area.

Think white beaches lined with palm trees and dense jungle. Think swimming in azure water amongst colourful reef fish, spotting corals, and collecting seashells. Now, picture eagles circling above, gibbons and monitor lizards eyeing you from the thickets, while a sundowner is being mixed for you onboard the yacht.

And best of all: you have this entire experience to yourself. You can sail for days on end and meet not a soul but the odd fisherman in a dugout canoe.

Just across from the Thai border, the archipelago opened to foreigners as recently as the late 1990s. With only a few of the 800 islands sparsely populated and a couple dozen visitors to the entire area each month, the Mergui Archipelago remains one of the planet’s most unspoilt destinations.

Meet the Sea Nomads

The traditional inhabitants of the Mergui Archipelago are the Moken, a people who live off, and on, the sea. Sometimes called "sea-gypsies", this ethnic minority group leads a traditional, semi-nomadic lifestyle, dominated by diving for sea cucumbers, fishing and bartering.

Until the recent changes in Myanmar’s government, the relationship between the Moken and the central authorities was marked by tensions. Recently, however, things have started to improve and the Moken are somewhat less elusive. If you are interested, we can take you to Moken villages where you will be able to enjoy Moken food, buy fresh cuttlefish, and watch men building dugout canoes the way they have been made for tens of thousands of years.

Myanmar is home to more than 100 ethnicities from the Sino-Tibetan, Tai, and Austroasiatic ethnolinguistic groups and you will see an array of starkly differing features amongst the people you’ll meet.

Nature and Activities

Explore tropical forests, hiking through valleys and up hills, walk along kilometres of beach with the only foot prints those behind you, kayak through enchanted mangroves, swim, snorkel, scuba dive, and go fishing: you’ve got it all. The Mergui Archipelago is teeming with wildlife.

Due to government neglect and the region’s long isolation, its 800 plus islands have remained virtually untouched. They are composed of limestone and granite and vary in size from tiny to islands larger than Singapore. Most of them (we have yet to find one that isn’t) are covered in thick jungle growth, which drops into azure waters, interrupted only by beaches, rocky headlands, tidal rivers, and mangrove forests. Lampi, one the largest islands, is part national park and home to some of the planet’s oldest mangrove forests.

Animals on the islands include gibbons, pythons, civet cats, huge monitor lizards and the rabbit-sized mouse deer. Hornbills are a common sight, while kites and white-bellied sea eagles circle above every island and kingfishers dart around eerily quiet mangrove forests. Frigate birds, pacific reef egrets, green imperial pigeons, and emerald doves are just some of the birds native to this diverse archipelago.

Further out west, where the continental shelf drops off into the deep sea, a range of underwater mountains called the Burma Banks are a thrilling diving area for the experienced. We provide you with snorkeling equipment at no extra cost.

Boost our food supplies with the best produce possible: fresh fish directly from the sea! Cast for tuna, barracuda, mahi mahi, giant trevally, Spanish mackerel or snapper while sailing or when close to shore. Or go for the truly big guys and try your luck catching marlin and sailfish. Either bring your own rods or just use ours. Most of the local fishing boats in the area catch squid and cuttlefish and, if you want, we can always buy directly from them.

The UNESCO examined the Mergui Archipelago as a potential World Heritage Site for its biodiversity, and the organisation's report concludes:

"While the biodiversity is largely unknown, the intact vegetation on such an array of islands, with associated marine habitats and spectacular geomorphology, is likely to be of high global biodiversity significance. The biodiversity values of this set of forested continental islands, and the limited protection afforded such coastal islands elsewhere in the region, indicates that they are likely to be of global priority and form a potentially important trans-boundary World Heritage inscription."

For more information and reservation please contact us at quote.asia@asiaworld-travel.com.