Millions of citizens in more northern climes naturally wish to vacation in exotic places that advertise sun, sand and sea sports. A great many of those sites are just as naturally overrun with sun-starved tourists and all the the inevitable development that comes with global popularity. Myanmar, or Burma as it may come to be known again, is one of the few places still out of the mainstream, though that situation is changing almost daily.
Htoo Trading Company, based in Phuket, Thailand has plans to open a vast untouched landscape to divers looking for that underwater Shangri La where very few have gone before. The Myeik Archipelago consists of more than 800 small islands scattered in the Andaman Sea off the southern coast of Myanmar’s Tanintharyi Division.
The vast majority are uninhabited and some of the world’s most magnificent white sand beaches, pristine coves and stunning marine life lie basking undisturbed in the clear blue waters. Opportunities for sea kayaking, scuba diving and fishing have up to now been almost entirely unexploited, with the exception of a few Thai companies that arrange live-aboard boat trips.
John Arbidans, marketing manager for Htoo’s Moby Dick Tours, says that they will promote sustainable tourism to protect the archipelago’s environment. However, that will include ‘improvement of the infrastructure’ to accommodate guests in the Myanmar town of Kawthoung at the southern tip of Tanintharyi.
A few sites in the Archipelago are already fairly well known for the abundance of silvertip sharks and manta rays, with fabulous soft coral formations in the deeper waters. The expectation is that as the political situation in Burma/Myanmar continues to change, Kawthoung and the Tanintharyi Division in general will offer much easier access to this wonderland than has ever been available before.