Mergui Archipelago

Reviews (0)

| Average rating: 0 Write a review
The Mergui Archipelago (also Myeik Archipelago or Myeik Kyunzu; Burmese: မြိတ်ကျွန်းစု) is an archipelago in far southern Myanmar (Burma) and is part of the Tanintharyi Region. It consists of more than 800 islands, varying in size from very small to hundreds of square kilometres, all lying in the Andaman Sea off the western shore of the Malay Peninsula near its landward (northern) end where it joins the rest of Indochina. Occasionally the islands are referred to as the Pashu Islands because the Malay inhabitants are locally called Pashu. A five-star casino and golf resort, the Andaman Club now operates on Thahtay Kyun Island.

Geologically, the islands are characterized mainly by limestone and granite. They are generally covered with thick tropical growth, including rainforest, and their shorelines are punctuated by beaches, rocky headlands, and in some places, mangrove swamps. Offshore are extensive coral reefs.

The archipelago's virtual isolation from most of mankind's influence on the natural environment has given the islands and the surrounding waters of the Andaman Sea a great diversity of flora and fauna, contributing to the region's growing popularity as a diving destination.

On the islands themselves, various animals thrive, including deer, monkeys, tropical birds including hornbills, and wild swine. There are even unconfirmed reports of Sumatran rhinoceros on Lanbi, one of the bigger islands, but this has been widely discredited.

Environmental threats to the region include overfishing and also blast fishing. Burma's current military government, the "State Peace and Development Council", has not done much to deal with these problems.

The area was only opened up to foreign tourism in 1997 after negotiations between Burma and dive operators from Phuket in Thailand. The archipelago's isolation is such that much of it has not even yet been thoroughly explored.

Owing to the archipelago's remoteness, a live aboard cruise is the only way for visitors to go diving in areas with names such as Big Bank, Rainbow Reef or Silvertip Bank. Some islands have huge boulders, soft corals and sea fans. Others offer wall diving, caverns, tunnels and drop-offs.

Dive sites such as Shark Cave feature grey reef, bull, nurse and whale sharks. Black Rock has manta rays and schools of mobula (devil) rays. Photographers are attracted by frogfish, ghost pipefish, ribbon eels and cowries as well as many crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs, and shrimps.

The best diving conditions exist from December to April, with whale sharks and manta rays visiting from February to May.
Share with your friends:
PRESS
Are you a journalist, photographer or videoreporter travel and have material for Mergui Archipelago?

Sign up add Mergui Archipelago to the list of places where you've been
Partnership
ESC

Or register to write a comment for this diary
Languages: English - Italiano

About us - Conditions - Create a Business Account - Careers - Help - Privacy legacy -

Tripblend © 2012 - All rights reserved - Tripblend is property of Imagina Studio - P.Iva IT01083440329 - For more information: info@tripblend.com