Myeik Archipelago comprises over 800 islands covering an area of 10,000 sq. miles and Andaman Sea of the coast between Myeik (Mergui) and Kawthaung (Victoria Point, covering about 14,000 sq miles). Most of the area remains unexplored and no one steps on some islands. The Myeik Archipelago is located at the southernmost tip of Myanmar. There are regular 1 hour 40 minutes flights from Yangon (Rangoon) to Kawthaung (Victoria Point). Visitors from Thailand could take a 30 minutes boat trips from Ranong (Thai border town) to Kawthaung.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. Mergui Archipelago, combining sailing, snorkeling, diving, beach-combing, island exploration and, in some cases, kayaking.
It is too early to say what this area's long-term prospects are, but hopefully, increasing interest in ecotourism will provide enough incentive for the authorities to take action and protect the reefs before it is too late.
Places to see
• Black Rock Island
• Burma Banks
• Fan Forest Pinnacle
• Great Swintons Island
• Hlaing Gu Island
• Horse Shoe Island
• Lampi Island
• Thuye Kaung Kyun-su
• Shark Cave Island
• Salone Island
• North Twin Plateau
• North Twin Island
• Myauk Ni Island
• Ma Kyone Galet Salone Village
Black Rock is a natural magnet for marine life. The small, steep limestone island's underwater terrain consists of sloping reef on the north and east sides, while the south and west sides are mostly walls, dropping vertically from the surface to around 27m. From there the slope is more gradual, stepping down to 45m or more.
Though you'll find good diving all around the island, some of the best scenery is off the southwest corner, where, at 24 to 39m, an incredibly dense mosaic of small soft corals, orange cup coral and feather stars covers the large rocks. Of particular interest are colonies of small tiger-striped anemones that cling to fan coral and gorgonian skeletons; these anemones are seldom seen outside of the Mergui Archipelago. Also check out the gravel bottom at about 30m for small but brilliantly colored filament wrasse, usually seen zipping around, flexing their fins and generally showing off.
Lampi Island is the most popular island for the tourists in Mergui Archipelago. It is famous for its rich of many wild animals, Mangrove Rivers, birds, clean water and Coral Reefs and moreover virgin forest are growing. On this island reserve a National Marine Botanical Garden. It will take three days in Lampi to see in detail. There are nine different parts in it. The southern part of the island is good for fishing.
Salone Island (Sea Gypsy)
The Myanmar Sea Gypsies (Salone) nomads still hold on their own beliefs. They worship two spirit gods the good and the evil. Shamanism is the central element during the spirit ceremony. The devotional offerings, at the ceremony, include pop corns, wild boar, alcoholic drinks, honey, betel and flesh and blood of ducks, chickens and turtles. They used to sing at the ceremony. The talents of the Salone are very remarkable that they could sing songs at hand to the scenes, happenings and fact they see. One of the last their musical instruments is a drum made from monitor lizard skin. Nowadays they play the modern studio music song, folk singing in traditional Salone Festival.
The Salone nomads do not easily mix with other people. They do not participate in economic, social or even cultural development of the country they live in their society has different cultural values from those offered by modern society. They are locked in the value system that they believe to be their own.
Ma Kyone Galet Salon Village
Ma Kyone Galet Salon Village is located on Bo Cho Island between 10.40-N and 98.16 E. Salon Festival is held at this village every year. The only human inhabitants in the area are sea gypsies, namely Salon in Myanmar. They live on boats during dry season and remain on land during rainy season. They still practice the same fishing and boat building techniques used for generation. In the present times some salon inhabitants dwell peacefully on this island permanently with other people. Be careful of Strong current which is flowing near the village. It makes difficult for anchorage.