With the ongoing plans to develop four untouched islands in the great Mergui Archipelago, businesses in the area are destined to be transformed. The Mergui Archipelago has great potential to become the most sought after tourist destination because of its lacework of 800 islands. Most of these Islands are still unexploited. From a distant, the beaches shimmer with bright white sands that excite and puzzles at the same time. The hornbills crowd the islands bringing liveliness as they soar through the jungle canopy. Not even the shy Mokens – sea gypsies who live there have fully tapped the delight that these Islands hide.
As the world shift towards the timeless islands that harbor the world’s unharmed flora and fauna, you simply cannot miss a visit to these pristine seascapes covering up to 10,000 square miles. Only time will tell what the million dollar tourism project underway will do to the natural escapement and the exquisite green environment. As of now, the two hotels and resorts in the area – the Andaman club, a casino owned by a Thai businessman and the Mynmar Andaman resort owned by a Burmese- are committed in environment preservation measures that sustain the Islands’ attractiveness.
The Andaman Club
Located right at the border to Thailand on Tha-Htay-Kyu – Kawthaung Island, this hotel is at a distance of 435 miles away from the Capital City of Myanmar. In fact, it is nearer to Thailand’s Ranong City. The best way to access this hotel is via a flight to Kawthaung Airport; when you touch down, you will head to Kawthaung Jetty which is 7 miles from the airport. There are taxis to take you to the Jetty after which you will sail for 30 minutes to the hotel. Here, you will get amenities to relieve you from the excruciating journey; included in the list are air-conditioned Victoria suites, sauna, mini-bar, swimming pool, satellite TV and much more. While here, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Andaman Sea, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing. The only drawback for visiting the Andaman club is that it’s way costly to get there even though it is worth it.
Myanmar Andaman Resort
Myanmar Andaman resort is an easy spot on Macleod Island located south of Burma. The resort offers world-class facilities and is tailored to meet the needs of tourist seeking relaxation in a serene environment. While here, you can enjoy the sun on the white beach and actively engage in preserving Mergui’s beautiful nature by engaging in beneficial marine Eco Tourism. The resort is so stringent in environmental conservation that it offers eco-friendly products that ensures the Island ecosystem is not troubled. Macleod (Fork) island is full of surprises to indulge you. It has safe reefs for snorkeling, diving, kayaking and fishing. A visit to this captivating hotel will not be regretted because it provides a one-of-a-kind private bay that has a long beach fit for exclusive parties.
Choosing Mergui Archipelago for your next vacation is a ticket to an unforgettable lifetime experience. With the only two 5-star hotels and resorts in the 800 Islands, you can dirty yourself in the jungle knowing that at the end of the day, you have a secluded place to unwind and have fun.
Sailing & Scuba Diving Cruises
The ultimate way to stay in the Archipelago and see a fair bit of it, is to join either a sailing or a scuba diving cruise, mostly operated from Thailand. The shortest scuba diving cruise available is three days starting from Ranong on a budget Liveaboard. Most scuba diving cruises to the Mergui Archipelago take five to seven days departing and returning either in Ranong or Khao Lak, Thailand. Prices vary from around 500,- U$ for the shorter budget cruises up to 2.000,- U$ for a week long luxury scuba diving liveaboard.
Sailing cuises usually take you out there for more than five days and not longer than 12 days. Depending whether it is a “join-in” Trip or a charter, huge price differences are to be seen, but the cheapest option is around 150,- U$ a day per person excluding the Mergui Archipelago Visa fees.
List of Tour Operators into the Mergui Archipelago
Scuba Diving Cruises
- A-One Divecenter, Ranong
- AIDC, Ranong
- Smiling Seahorse, Ranong
- Mergui Princess, Kaw Thaung
- Similan Diving Safaris, Khao Lak
- Deep Andaman Queen, Phuket
- Diva Marine, Phuket
- Burma Boating, Hong Kong
- SY Cataleya & SY Mozart, Phuket
Combined Sailing + Scuba Diving Cruises
Combined sailing cruises which involve scuba diving are possible but a little bit hard to organise due to the fact that a compressor and other additional equipment has to be brought on the sailing boat. Also the dive sites are far apart and sailing boats usually follow a bit of an slower pace. For the combination of these reaasons maximum two dives per day are possible.