Mergui in Burma

Stretched down the Andaman coast to the very southern tip of Burma, the Mergui or Myeik archipelago must be one of the last untouched tropical island systems left on earth, defined by its archipelago of over 800 islands, mostly covered in lush vegetation & often fringed with soft white margins of sand, strewn with broken, sun-bleached branches & smelling of salt – definitely not Ambre Solaire.
Off-limits to foreigners until 1997, very few of the nine hundred or so islands have permanent habitation, thus the area remains unexplored by modern travellers. Once arriving here, you are more than likely to encounter nothing but dolphins, few Moken fishermen sea gypsies, verdant green islands and azure blue seas and tropical reefs if you make the trip to this stunning area of an untouched country.
The archipelago harbours the Moken sea-tribe, a nomadic group of around 3,000 who live in hand-made wooden boats & stilt-houses just off the coast. These expert free divers make a living by searching for mother-of-pearl & oysters.
The city of Mergui carries on it back several hundred years old, a historic seaport which thrives by trading fish, lobsters, rubber, coconuts, farmed pearls & edible bird’s nests. The peninsula is largely preserved by National Park status, with diverse ecosystems spanning from mangrove swamps to coral reefs. The diving sites here are excellent, with expansive seagrass beds flourishing an abundance of marine life, consisting of whale sharks & rays.
The drawback of this remote gem is the accommodation issue with only two hotels, one of which is a casino near the Thai border and the other a guest house situated on the stunning Mcleod Island two hours boat ride from the mainland. You can charter your own yacht out of Phuket or indeed hop on a live-aboard dive boat to visit this chain of islands or to stay at the very simple but clean Burma Andaman Resort which has its own dive school and water sports centre.