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The Mergui Archipelago with its 800 islands is one of those areas that remain almost totally unvisited by foreigners. Though now some live-a-board dive boats and yachts venture with special permission into the southern islands from their bases in Thailand, the bulk of the archipelago has remained unvisited since colonial times. During that period when the archipelago was first charted most of the islands were named after colonial civil servants, a number retain these quaint names to this day. The local population Is Mokkein, often called sea gypsies and sometimes called pirates. During the Burmese socialist period the Mokkein controlled the smuggling routes and would prey on shipping. Nowadays they have reverted to fishing and fish curing. They are a people with their own language and culture who entirely live on the sea and have evolved a remarkable way of life. We will visit Mokkein islands such as Lampi in the Sullivan Islands.
Embark at the border port of Kawthaung, the very south of the Tanintharya Region and just 1,200 km south of Yangon. This delightful little town is the perfect start of this tour with its narrow streets full of old houses leading you to the bursting markets. After lunch, you will have time to explore the town and surrounding area. Take a stroll through the streets and get amazed by the colonial architecture around you. In the evening, you will sail further.
Sail on to Naung Wee island where you will visit a Moken (sea gypsy) village and learn about their extraordinary water bourn life. As nomads, they roam the sea on their self-made wooden boats looking for fish, pearls and other valuable assets the sea has to offer. Sail all night.
Sail all day north through the breath-taking archipelago with a scenery you will never forget. The blue sea stretches out in front of you with an occasional island in the distance. There will be a stop to swim and snorkel and explore ashore on an island of interest. Smell the salt water and soothe away with the relaxing sounds of the water.
Today, you will set foot on Mergui where you will be ashore all day long to make sure you have plenty of time to explore this fascinating colonial port city. Centuries ago, this port was of great importance to the European ships as it was a bustling trading spot where they could buy and sell spices and other materials.
In the afternoon, there will be a voluntary trip by car to the rarely visited town of Tanintharyi (Tenasserim), once capital of this region. Even as Mergui, this town was of interest of the Europeans for their trades especially because smaller vessels could reach it preventing them from going around the peninsula.
Set sail in the morning to Port Maria where you will pay a visit to the Karen communities. There will be plenty of time to relax after your cultural excursion to the communities. Go for a swim in the bright blue waters or discover the world below the surface by snorkelling off a deserted island in the afternoon. You will sail all night.
Today, you will pay a visit to the Lampi Marine National Park with its mangrove forests and diverse bird life including the hornbill. You will go up river by kayak deep into the mangroves with excellent bird watching opportunities and return to the beach to swim or snorkel.
In the afternoon, a visit is planned to one of the Mokkein sea gypsy villages.
Sail to Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon accessible only on the ship’s tenders. In the afternoon you will move round to the South Bay where you will have the opportunity to go kayaking or go for a swim at the pristine white sandy beaches and watch the sun go down as cocktails are served on the beach.
Arrive at Kawthaung in the morning and disembark for your onward journey.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Superior:||from AU $5,323|
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