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Burma Sailing ex Yangon Overview
- 2013-01-01 - 2014-12-31
Sail around the islands of Burma’s Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago
Discover Burma on an Intrepid sailing adventure and dive into an aquatic playground that is truly one of the world’s best-kept secrets. While the backpackers, honeymooners and day-spa crowds have swarmed to the beaches of Thailand and Bali, Burma’s remote Myeik archipelago has remained almost frozen in time since the days of the early colonial explorers. Difficult to reach and well-off the tourist trails, sailing through these islands offers the chance to glimpse back to a time before the internet, phones, convenience stores and even denim existed, and explore the traditional clothing, local foods and martial arts of Burma’s virtually untouched island cultures. Be surprised by the wealth of pristine coastline, jungled forests and historical sights that span back to the Stone Age, and by the generous locals, who carry smiles that will warm travellers just as much as the ever-present sunshine. Perhaps a little sleepy from their solitude, these are the faces that will no doubt spark a tourist boom in these quiet islands – so get in quick before the crowds arrive.
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Touch down in Burma and start exploring. Bring your sunnies when you visit the Buddhist temple of Shwedagon Paya because all that gold can be blinding. Stop in at the National Museum for a quick history lesson and see the elaborate, and sometimes crazy, grandeur the old kings of the nation indulged in.
It’s adventure time. Jump on a plane to Kawthoung. Settle in with a decent meal and a Mandalay beer before exploring the near by Pyi Taw Aye Paya Temple.
Time to set sail for the first island on the Myeik Archipelago tour. The 800 islands are still yet to be thoroughly explored. Head to a prime dive zone for a spot of snorkelling, or stretch out on one of the untouched, white sand beaches.
Pull up anchor and head north to Palu Bada for some more great snorkelling and lazy sailing. The pristine coral reef and marine life aren’t used to many visitors, so be prepared to be blinded by an array of colours and a flurry of large schools of fish. Also, keep an eye out for slippery eels, vibrant octopus and even the occasional whale shark.
Lose the sea legs and jump into village life on the largest island in the southern archipelago. This is a great opportunity to learn about the Moken, or ‘sea gypsies’, a nomadic tribe who live their lives roaming the sea. Their handcrafted wooden boats are used not only to fish, but also as the kitchen, bedroom and dining area.
After a morning sailing south, spot hawksbill turtles among plentiful marine life, chill out on land, or just wait to photograph the perfect archipelago sunset. If the weather is fine, build a campfire to hang out by over dinner (just make sure someone stocked up on marshmallows back in Kawthoung.)
Let someone else do the cooking after a long day of snorkelling, jungle hiking and lazing on Kho Yinn Khwa’s beach. Try some local Burmese cuisine like mohinga (noodle soup), gyin thohk (ginger salad) and fresh island fruits.
Anchor one last time, jump in the turquoise waters of a deserted beach and go for a kayak or snorkel around this pristine water world. The final day in a secluded paradise will draw to a close with a spectacular sunset and a relaxing dinner on board.
Wake early to watch the sun rise over the Andaman Sea. Farewell your sea-weathered shipmates at Kawthoung immigration pier before heading to the airport to catch a flight back to Yangon.
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