Sail in Burma’s stunning Mergui Archipelago, starting in Khao Lak

Departing from Khao Lak, 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 Mergui 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.

This trip was previously called: Myanmar (Burma) Sailing Adventure ex Phuket

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Khao Lak, Thailand
Finish
Khao Lak, Thailand
Destinations
Myanmar (Burma), Thailand
Style
Original
Theme
Sailing
Code
TSSB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 8

Why you'll love this trip

  • Explore the beautiful unspoilt Mergui Archipelago, meeting local wildlife, local fisherman, and the nomadic seafaring community of the Moken along the way

  • Disconnect from the modern digital world and find a different kind of buzz on an incredibly relaxing journey through the islands of Myanmar

  • 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?

  • As the majority of this trip takes place on a sailing boat, you’ll need to feel comfortable with moving about the vessel, including the use of stairs. With that said, sea legs come naturally to some but not so much for others. Your friendly crew will be able to help with the effects of sea sickness if needed.

  • A zodiac is used to transport passengers from the boat to the mainland, with landings taking place at piers (dry landings) as well as on beaches (wet landings). Zodiacs can sometimes be awkward to climb in and out of, but a sense of humour and can-do attitude is all you need.

  • This is an adventure on board a real yacht, which means living spaces, cabins, bathrooms and showers need to be shared with other passengers. Sleeping quarters can be quite compact, but you will be spending the majority of your time above board in the open air.

  • Time on the water also means time in the sun. Remember to pack sun protection, such as sun screen and a hat, and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. See ‘Essential Trip Information’ below for a full packing list.

  • Please note that smooth sailing is dependent on the weather, so itinerary changes may occur at the last minute if the weather becomes unfavourable. If any changes are made, you can trust in your knowledgeable skipper to choose an alternative route or activity.

  • Due to the size of the yachts, sound carries easily from one side to the other and can wake your fellow travellers. Please keep this in mind if you’re planning to have a late night. 

Itinerary

Sawatdee. Welcome to Khao Lak, situated in Phang Nga Province and along the coast of the Andaman Sea with a backdrop of jungle covered mountains. The name Khao Lak translates as 'Lak Mountain' and the mountain is a centrepiece of Khao Lak Ru National Park. You can arrive at any time, as there are no activities planned for today. The closest airport is Phuket which is about an hour and a half away.  Your accommodation for this evening is located within walking distance to the beach and from the centre of town. If you arrive early, Khao Lak has some excellent beaches and an array of restaurants, bars and shopping to choose from. Laze on the beautiful beaches before the sun goes down or dine at one of the delicious beachfront restaurants. You'll have an early start tomorrow morning, so please regularly check the hotel noticeboard for information about your transfer – this can be altered at short notice.

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.
Accommodation
  • Palm Galleria Resort, Khao Lak (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Around 7am, transfer to Ranong (approximately 4 hours). Your insurance and next of kin details will be collected on arrival at Ranong. Then take a longtail boat (approximately 30 minutes) to Kawthoung, stopping briefly at a little island for Thai and Burmese immigration purposes. Once in Kawthoung, meet your skipper and board your home for the next week – Similie. Refurbished in 2016, this will be your home away from home for the next week. Similie comes with her own on-board chef who will cook up delicious meals from the galley (kitchen. There will also be two very knowledgable and well-spoken Burmese guides on board. Kayaks, paddle boards and snorkelling gear are part of the equipment. If relaxing is your thing then you may choose one of the other activities on offer – like simply toasting amazing Andaman Sea sunsets from your hammock or bean bag. Our Burmese guide will sort out formalities in regards to visas and Marine Park fees and once processing is complete, set sail!

The isolated Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago is made up of around 800 islands, many deserted, making this an amazing place to explore. The islands' limestone cliffs and dense rainforest meet with vast mangrove stretches and untouched white sand beaches. Underwater, the scenes are just as spectacular with a diversity of marine life and coral reefs.

Your first port of call is Tae Yae, approximately 19 NM (nautical miles) away. Cruising along at 8-10 knots it will take around 3 hours. We should arrive just in time for a refreshing sunset swim. A very tasty Asian dinner will be served under the stars for our first night together on board.

Perhaps wake early for your first ocean sunrise and morning swim. After breakfast, depending on visibility, we will go for our first snorkel.

Today we will sail approx. 25NM north to Nyuang Wee. Here we will stop for lunch, a swim and a paddleboard or kayak excursion. In the evening, you will experience one of the most special sunsets you will ever see.

This morning we sail a few hours north towards Lampi Island, where you will 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 fishing for squid. Like many ethnic minorities in Myanmar, most Moken were forced to relocate to onshore sites during the 1990s. Lampi Island is known as Mother to the Moken people. We will spend the next two days visiting the people, exploring the bird life and the nature. We will engulf ourselves in the sounds and sights of nature as it was and learn more about the Moken and the Burmese people living in this remote region of the archipelago.
By now we have become part of the islands. We start our journey back south and after breakfast sail 22NM to Nga Manu (Shark Island). We enjoy a beach BBQ of freshly caught seafood, chicken and salads and spend most of today in the water snorkelling. Shark Bay offers the cleanest water in the inner archipelago with some of the biggest corals to be found. No doubt this is one of the best beaches in the world.
Set sail late afternoon to the 115 chain of islands. The island is so called because its peak is 115 metres tall. Enjoy another perfect sunset. Start the day with an easy going jungle walk across the island which will take about 10 – 15 minutes with the local Burmese guide. You may get the chance to meet some local Moken fishermen. Walk along the white sandy beach and wade into the clear turquoise waters. A swim on this pristine beach is a must.
A sail of 25NM will take us via Myauk Ni Island and onto our next overnight anchorage in the Barwell Chain of Islands. We will have lunch along the way and then the afternoon will be your last chance to paddle and swim in the crystal clear Myiek Archipelago waters that fringe the islands.
Before your last sunset, sail to Thae Yae, the island that was your first port of call and a part of the Barwell Islands, and where the boat drops anchor for the group’s last night on board together and share stories of your amazing week sailing the Archipelago.
Accommodation
  • Overnight Boat (6 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (6)
  • Lunch (6)
  • Dinner (6)
Sail the 19 NM from Tae Yae to Kawthaung, generally arriving around 10am. Say farewell to your skipper and cook, and travel in a long-tail boat with your guide to re-enter Thailand via Ranong. From here, meet your driver at about 12pm and transfer by private vehicle back to Khao Lak. The guide will stay in Ranong, so you will be unaccompanied for this leg of the journey. You should hopefully be back in Khao Lak by 5pm. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a final meal with your fellow travellers and celebrate this wonderful Myanmar sailing adventure.
Accommodation
  • Palm Galleria Resort, Khao Lak (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned today and you're free to leave the hotel any time before 10am (checkout time). Transfers to the airport or Phuket town can be organised with the hotel reception.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
All travel times and distances listed above are approximate only and subject to change.

Meals

8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Boat, Longtail boat, Minibus, Dinghy

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Overnight boat (6 nights)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

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 and a US$30 Myanmar Tourist Visa.

Essential trip information

Want 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.

Reviews

Our Mergui Archipelago Sailing Adventure - ex Phuket trips score an average of 4.85 out of 5 based on 54 reviews in the last year.

Mergui Archipelago Sailing Adventure ex Phuket, March 2018

Henny Knight

Mergui Archipelago Sailing Adventure ex Phuket, April 2018

Ian Ward