New Online Cruising Guide for Burma’s Mergui Archipelago
Burma’s Mergui Archipelago off the west coast of Burma (Myanmar) is a fabulous yacht charter destination with over 850 tropical islands spread over fourteen thousand square miles of Indian Ocean. The islands are mountainous,and jungle covered with thriving wildlife, spectacular waterfalls that tumble directly onto white sandy beaches fringed by coral reefs. There are hardly any tourists and indigenous tribes with an exotic culture who live nomadic lives aboard their tiny boats.
That the islands of the Mergui Archipelago exist in such an incredibly unspoilt state is entirely due to historical accident. For 50 years following the independence of Myanmar in 1947, isolationist policies served to keep foreigners out. Since 1997 access into the Mergui Archipelago became possible. Just 140 miles away to the south of this magnificent wilderness area lies the island of Phuket in Thailand, a popular mass tourism destination which is now experiencing a condominium property boom.
Of the eight hundred islands of the Mergui Archipelago only about 100 are inhabited. Many of the islands are huge, some are larger than Singapore. A ban on logging in the Mergui has prevented the widespread deforestation that is common elsewhere in Asia. As a result, all of the islands are covered in thick jungle with majestic stands of Burmese Teak, Mahogany, strangler figs and other indigenous vegetation. Most beaches are backed by trees that tower to over 150ft tall while overhead there is the constant cacophony of birds and small animals feeding in the forest canopy. The beaches are covered in animal tracks – the only human footprints in sight are the ones behind you. Jungle walks in this area, while demanding, are also very rewarding with glimpses of the elusive wildlife and superb views through the forest of the deep blue ocean beyond.
Sailing Yacht Asia has now released an online cruising guide for the Mergui Archipelago which can be found here: Burma’s Mergui Archipelago Cruising Guide This guide is based on the author’s 20 years of experience in the region and contains detailed information, customised hand drawn charts, anchorage information and a kaleidoscope of stunning photography.