Offering pristine white-sand beaches the islands off the southern coast of Myanmar now serve as a few barefoot luxury options. Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago was famed for its Moken pearl divers who could see underwater and hold their breath longer than thought humanly possible.
Development restrictions, lack of infrastructure, and high entry fees indicate that the archipelago is the newest, coolest destination, with some of the most anticipated luxury resort openings. The islands possess an uplifting elixir guaranteed to boost the mood, with negative ions found in the warm water, on beaches awaiting your footprints, and in the lush rainforest.
As the restricted-access resorts are scattered far and wide over an area several times larger than the Maldives, you can’t just rock up to Kawthaung and hire a boat to check out some of the islands. The Burma beach resorts, which range in concessions to comfort and green credentials, vary in size and style. In an endeavor to reduce plastic waste, all resorts give out biodegradable bathroom products, refillable water bottles, reef-friendly sunscreen, and paper drinking straws.
Here are some of the best hotels in Mergui Islands.
The superb Wa Ale Island Resort is rated in the top 10 hotels in Asia by The Telegraph. The resort boasts an untouched and immediate environment of a preserved marine ecosystem and flourishing jungle habitat. The resort’s main beach is a protected sea turtle nesting site. It is located within the Lampi National Marine National Park on the island of Wa Ale.
One of the first to open, Victoria Cliff Resort at Nyaung Oo Phee Island is all about snorkeling and diving. Perched over sparkling blue waters with a picturesque panorama of the Andaman Sea, the main attraction of this resort is the unrivalled scenery offered by the Mergui Islands. They also have a sister hotel (Victoria Cliff Hotel & Resort) in Kawthaung for the resort visitors’ convenient stay in the mainland.
With its iconic balancing boulder in middle of a sheltered tidal reef bay, Boulder Bay Resort will remind your body and soul that they are part of a beautiful ecosystem. It is the perfect location for yoga shala since the island is hidden far from civilization and human footprint.
How to get there?
Nyaung Oo Phee Island can be reached from either Myanmar or Thailand. A number of airlines offer domestic flights from Yangon, which can take 2 hours 40 mins (via in Dawei and Myeik). From Ranong pier, small or long-tail boats to Kawthaung are available either sharing or charter / private basic. There are many coach companies in Myanmar, traveling between Kawthaung and Yangon almost hourly.
From the Thailand side, Kawthaung is reached via Ranong. To reach Nyaung Oo Phee Island, international visitors require e-Visa, which can be arranged by online or through licensed tour operators. The border crossing involves a long-tail boat ride from Ranong Saphan Pla Pier to Kawthaung. Tours must be booked at least two weeks in advance of travel to obtain the travel permit in time.