Possessing an old world charm, beautiful temples and diverse landscapes that left Rudyard Kipling spellbound, Myanmar is a destination that offers a unique luxury holiday like no other. And once you’ve explored all the mainland has to offer, the Mergui Archipelago on the country’s southern coast is an undiscovered gem that offers desert island exploration, crystal clear waters and fascinating indigenous communities. Indulge in relaxation for a few nights or a whole week (did we mention it’s the perfect add on to any trip through mainland Myanmar or neighbouring Thailand?), sailing around the remote islands aboard a private yacht trekking through its untouched jungles, swimming in the azure waters and not laying eyes on another soul apart from the occasional Moken fisherman.
A natural paradise
The Mergui Archipelago is made up of an astonishing 800 islands, each one completely deserted and incredibly beautiful. After landing you’ll be met at Kawthaung Airport and taken to the yacht, ensuring you’re on board and ready to begin your adventure in no time – relax on deck with a welcome drink and make your way toward the islands, virtually unknown to the outside world. From here, spend the day adjusting to your beautiful new surroundings (think high island peaks in the hazy distance and impossibly clear waters containing a spectacular array of marine life); at 14,000 sq miles, there’s certainly no shortage of places to explore. At the end of the day, kick back on relax on the picturesque beach of Hasting Island, where you can spend your evening gazing at the stars while sipping on a sundowner cocktail. The rare sight of a location as completely undisturbed as this is an overwhelming experience; there’s not a single light within view, and you can even hear the monkeys shout and play in the surrounding jungle.
Early the next morning you’ll arrive at Lampi Island, widely regarded as the archipelago’s crown jewel. At around 50km in length, it’s the largest island in the entire region; the extensive variety of marine and land-based wildlife found within the rocky coast and towering limestone caves have also been preserved by its National Park so you’re in for a rare treat of marine life here. When not in the water, spend your time here enjoying a lunch on board the yacht before visiting a village and getting up close with Moken sea nomads, the elusive traditional inhabitants of the island.Read more
In the evening, you are treated to some culinary delights as you dine on fresh squid caught by fishermen that day before sailing northwest to the gorgeous Clara Island, taking advantage of its clear visibility, stunning bays, waterfalls, rugged bolder formations and white-sand beaches. Packed your bags and grabbed your passport yet?
From there, it’s a beautiful cruise on to your next destination, Pila Island. While here try your hand at fishing, catching fresh tuna fish for a delicious barbecue on the beautiful stretch of beach later that day. For those seeking a bit more adventure, fear not; today you can embark on a walk through the island’s magnificent jungle, exploring its creeks and natural terrain housing a breath-taking diversity of animals from birds to wildcats (just be sure to watch you don’t step on a snake as you take in the incredible views). Before your evening sundowner, cool down with a snorkeling session in the surrounding waters; this area is a diver’s paradise, so expect to spot a wide variety of colourful marine life from manta rays to sharks.
Take five on the beach
Next up, pick up the east winds and speed towards the archipelago’s Mid Group and the Frost and Potter Islands, two truly spectacular areas famous for their huge fig trees right beside the beach. Spend your final full day here on the water, enjoying a dip in the open ocean; or get busy sailing, otherwise enjoy your private yacht lying on deck and watching the dolphins jump around you. In the afternoon head towards Zadetkyi Island and its gorgeous bay, stopping to indulge in another barbecue on the beach as you watch the sunset across Myanmar’s awe-inspiring horizon one last time.
On your last day, we set sail early in the morning back towards Kawthaung. We arrive by noon, just in time for your onwards connecting flights. Rest assured, it won’t be easy to leave.