Sail in Burma’s stunning Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago, starting in Phuket
Departing from Phuket, 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 experience 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.
- Physical rating
- Min 15
- Group size
- Min 1, Max 8
Why we love this trip
Disconnect from the modern digital world and find a different kind of buzz on an incredibly relaxing journey through the islands of Myanmar
Explore the beautiful unspoilt Mergui Archipelago, meeting local wildlife, local fisherman, and the nomadic seafaring community of the Moken along the way
Sit back and soak up some of the best beaches in the world, and enjoy a BBQ on a secluded stretch of sand with fish caught fresh that day
Anchor in the calm waters surrounding local islands, where you can kayak, paddleboard and snorkel among stunning marine life
Embrace the sea-faring life with hammocks on deck, spectacular sunsets, and nights spent out beneath the stars
Is this trip right for you?
You don't need to complete a Physical Participation Form, but it's important to read the trip notes carefully to make sure you're suited to this trip. You’ll need to feel comfortable with moving about the boat. The cabins and communal areas are spread over two decks, and the steps between decks are steep.
You will be entering and exiting a Zodiac boat during wet and dry landings and when returning from snorkelling. Although the waters are usually calm, it can get rough and choppy, which requires steady sea legs and a sturdy stomach. Rain or shine, your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.
The boats are real yachts, and this is a real sailing trip. Yachts are designed to maximise living area space, so sleeping quarters (typically four twin-share cabins) can be a bit cramped. That said, the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic sailing trip more than makes up for any discomfort.
While at sea and when exploring the islands, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.
Sometimes changes to the itinerary are necessary due to the weather. This can happen with little notice. If you're flexible and have a sense of humour, you're bound to have a fun and relaxing trip across this beautiful part of the world.
It's important to have fun, but also to respect your shipmates who might be sleeping. If you do enjoy a late night out, consider booking a hostel (where available) for the night so you don't wake your fellow travellers (and more importantly the skipper) upon your return.
Notes: The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on weather and berth availability. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times.
- Nai Yang Beach Hotel (1 night)
Meals IncludedThere are no meals included on this day.
Perhaps wake early for your first ocean sunrise and morning swim. Around 9am, sail north 20 NM to Palu Bada, a group of remote islands with great snorkelling spots. Here you’ll stop for lunch, a swim and a paddleboard, and have the chance to spot sea otters, turtle hatchlings, stingrays, and maybe even dolphins. The island is also home to a variety of birdlife, and there may be time to snorkel and discover some of the underwater wildlife. After lunch set off again for 115, 30 NM (approximately 5 hours under motor). The island is so called because its peak is 115 metres tall. After arriving, disembark for a jungle walk with the local Burmese guide. The walk is easy going across the island and takes approximately 10-15 minutes. You may get the chance to meet some local fisherman at a camp. Walk along the white sandy beach and wade into the clear turquoise waters. After returning to the other side of the island, the guide can take your cameras and clothing back in the zodiac and you can swim back to the boat – a short 300 metres. Once back at the boat you can get in the kayak or paddleboard, or grab your mask and flippers and go for a snorkel. Dinner is served around 7pm.
Leave 115 this morning and sail a few hours north to Bo Cho island, where you’ll get a taste of village life. Bo Cho is home to a Moken village, Ma Kyone Galet, and is the largest island village in the southern Mergui archipelago. Once a permanent nomadic, seafaring people, the Moken spent almost all their time floating on small wooden boats and diving for shellfish. Like many ethnic minorities in Burma, most Moken were forced to relocate to onshore sites during the 1990s. The local guide will go out to the island to pick up a village elder, who will come to meet you on the boat and explain the ways of the Moken. You might be greeted by some young children as you wait – maybe offer some fruit as a gift. Transfer to the island by zodiac and walk along the beach into the village. Visit the local primary school, and then continue on to the Buddhist temple. On your return, you can sit at a local café for a cold drink and get to meet more of the locals. Say farewell and head off to Lampi Island, a beautiful long white sand beach (approximately 7 NM, or just over an hour). Lampi Island has a small river that you can paddleboard and kayak up in beautiful silence, seeing the mangroves and local bird life, Oriental pied hornbills and Collared kingfishers. Return to the boat for dinner as the sun is setting.
After breakfast, set off from Lampi Island southwest to Bo Yae (approximately 16 NM). Here there is a little stream running out of the rocks that the Moken believe to be sacred, and nearby is a mini shrine where ribbons and offerings are left on a nearby tree. Here you can have a refreshing fresh water shower under the small waterfall, and also refill the water bottles with the fresh water. Swim to the shore with a snorkel, and then swim, paddle or kayak back to the boat for lunch. In the afternoon, sail 3 NM to Nga Manu (Shark Island) (approximately 30 minutes), the final stop for the day. The beach here is wide and strikingly white. Head ashore, snorkel around the rocks, and sit on a beach that few people have touched, backed by a dense jungle humming with wildlife. For dinner tonight your crew might have some freshly spear-caught fish on offer.
Sail from Nga Manu to Nyaung Wee Island (9 NM) for the best beach of the trip (which is really saying something as all these beaches are incredible!). Luxuriate in the beautifully clear waters that are perfect for a leisurely swim, a paddleboard or kayak, or to just relax on the beach. Return to the boat for lunch. Then continue 11 NM from Nyaung Wee to Bo Yar Nyunt. Relax on board, or go for a swim and paddle along the long stretch of beach with oyster-covered coral below, while herons perch on rocky outcrops. Later this evening head out to the beach for a night beach BBQ, grilling up the fish and squid that you might have hopefully caught earlier today. Swing away the night in a hammock beside a fire pit, and watch the sun sink beneath the waves.
Head 18 NM from Bo Yar Nyunt to picturesque Myauk Ni Island, and stop at a quiet cove where you’ll enjoy lunch. This will be your last chance to paddle and swim in the crystal clear Myiek Archipelago waters that fringe the island. Choose your transport method (paddleboard, kayak, swim or snorkel) to the beach, where you can relax or take a walk, perhaps looking out for the large fruit bats and abundant birdlife that call the island’s trees home. Before your last sunset, sail to Thae Yae, the island that was your first port of call, and where the boat drops anchor for the group’s last night on board together.
- Overnight Boat (6 nights)
- Breakfast (6)
- Lunch (6)
- Dinner (6)
- Nai Yang Beach Hotel (1 night)
Meals8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
TransportBoat, Longtail boat, Minibus
AccommodationHotel (2 nights), Overnight boat (6 nights)
Dates & availability
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1. Please provide passport details at time of booking with exact name as per passport (including middle name), as these are
essential for booking services on this trip. The passport details provided must match the passport you are travelling on.
2. Parts of this trip will be unaccompanied, see trip notes itinerary for details.
3. All travellers must pay an additional US$20/day Mergui Archipelago park fee.
Essential trip informationWant an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.
Our Burma (Myanmar) Sailing Adventure ex Phuket trips score an average of 4.77 out of 5 based on 13 reviews in the last year.
Burma (Myanmar) Sailing Adventure ex Phuket, December 2016
Grüninger Peter René
Traumhafte Zeit auf See in atemberaubender Landschaft , völlig relaxt in unkomplizierter atmosphere und weit weg von...........
Review submitted 23 Jan 2017
Burma (Myanmar) Sailing Adventure ex Phuket, January 2017
The Mergui Archipelago is a beautiful part of the world and sailing is a wonderful way to see it. Be prepared for changes to the itinerary especially when the weather is unusual as it was for us. The Thai food served on board is fabulous. Also be prepared to share cramped quarters with people that you do not know who are also along for the experience - it is necessary to be relaxed about things to have an enjoyable strip.
Review submitted 17 Jan 2017