The Mergui archipelago is a string of some 800 almost completely deserted tropical islands off the coast of Myanmar in the Andaman Sea.
For almost 50 years following Burma’s independence, the Mergui Islands were off limits to the outside world, frozen in time due to the Burmese government’s isolationist policies. As an indirect result, the islands were handed back to the indigenous Moken, a people of Sea Gypsies who have lived a semi-nomadic sea dwelling lifestyle there for centuries, surviving off the land and bartering fish and sea cucumbers.
A remarkable combination of ethnicities in Myanmar results in a diverse and contrasting people. At the Moken villages, visitors can observe the locals crafting dugout canoes with traditional techniques used for thousands of years, and taste Moken specialities such as fresh cuttlefish.
But sailing in Myanmar isn’t just about fascinating communities; the Mergui islands are a sequin trail of pure white sand beaches sloping to clear turquoise water and coral reefs. The distinct landscape here is characterised by jungle-clad hills, lagoons, rivers and mangroves. Wildlife thrives, with monitor gibbons, civet cats, monitor lizards, pythons and mouse deer inhabiting the tropical forests alongside a plethora of birds including hornbills, white kits, kingfishers, emerald doves and sea eagles.
This forgotten wilderness is sometimes dubbed “the lost world” and not without reason; it’s a veritable paradise, where cruising gives access to spectacular natural wonders, endemic wildlife and interesting culture alike.
WHEN TO CHARTER A YACHT: The Mergui archipelago is best visited between November and April.
YACHTS AVAILABLE IN MYANMAR
4 cabins | 30 m
5 cabins | 29 m
7 cabins | 51 m
7 cabins | 65 m