Burma sailing holiday, the Mergui archipelago

“Explore a corner of Burma untouched by time on a crewed yacht, sailing around its beautiful islands, snorkelling its coral reefs and encountering the shy local 'sea gypsies' who call it home.”

Highlights

Phuket | Kawthoung| Tae Yae Island | Palu Bada | 115 island | Bo Cho Island | Lampi Island | Bo Yae | Nga Manu Island | Nyaung Wee Island | Bo Yar Nyunt | Myauk Ni Island

Description of Burma sailing holiday, the Mergui archipelago

Departing from Phuket in Thailand, this Burma sailing holiday takes you to an aquatic playground that is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. While the backpackers, honeymooners and day-spa crowds have swarmed to the beaches of Thailand and Bali, Burma’s remote Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago has remained almost frozen in time since the days of the early colonial explorers. Difficult to reach and well-off the tourist trails, it’s made up of 800 islands, many uninhabited. Sailing around them, you’ll meet local fishermen and spend time with the Moken, a nomadic seafaring community. There is a wealth of pristine coastline with startling white beaches backed by jungly forests for you to explore. Take a fresh-water shower in a waterfall or build a beach fire pit and watch the sun sink below the waves.

This nine-day trip is a chance to disconnect from the modern, digital world and shift gear. Dart between yacht and land on a Zodiac, to relax on some of the best beaches in the world, enjoy a barbecue with fish caught fresh that day and then sleep on the yacht, anchored in the calm waters surrounding local islands. You can kayak, paddleboard and snorkel among stunning marine life, or just laze in a hammock on deck, nibbling food prepared by the on-board chef. Sea-legs are an advantage and be prepared to share living spaces, cabins and bathrooms with your fellow passengers (a maximum of eight people in total).

Sailing details:

You will be on board a sailing catamaran, and living in close quarters with your fellow passengers. All accommodation is on a twin share basis, including your first and last night in Phuket. The boat is 46', with four twin cabins and four bathrooms. Showers are with fresh water, and toilets are boat style, so electronic or using a hand pump. Because this is a real sailing expedition, not a cruise, the boat is designed to have minimal sleeping space, but the time on deck, in the archipelago where we sail, is where you are going to want to be all the time anyway! Please note, that the skipper allocates rooms on arrival, and solo travellers will share a cabin with someone of the same gender, which means sharing a double mattress. (Some guests even choose to sleep on deck, as you can see from the in depth review below)

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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02 Jan 2018
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Burma sailing holiday, the Mergui archipelago

The very ethos of our style of travel is responsible; small groups on fully escorted tours, experiencing the very best of a region, a culture and a landscape, with a friendly local hand guiding the way. Our itineraries are designed to give our travellers real life experiences without compromising the part of the world through which we are journeying, this is our commitment as a global tour operator.

This unique sailing itinerary around Burma takes places on a modern, 53 foot, eight berth catamaran. As the only operator currently offering this type of skippered itinerary in this region we are very aware of our responsibilities to both the communities which we encounter and to the fragile marine environment which we are exploring.

Travelling with just eight passengers, a skipper and cook, our small group is able to explore some of the regions’ 800 islands with very little environmental impact, sailing between islands harnessing the natural power of the wind to travel from A to B. Vast swathes of white sand beaches and prolific underwater life make this journey off the established tourist track and into the pristine Myeik archipelago a rare treat.

The skipper will be in charge of the vessel at all times and he will instruct all travellers on when and where to swim from the boat, both from a safety perspective of the passengers and also to best preserve the aquatic environment. The sea life you’ll encounter is stunning, from swimming with shoals of colourful fish, to spotting whale sharks at Palu Bada, to snorkelling with turtles near Ba Wei Island. All travellers must adhere to the skipper’s instructions to preserve their own safety and that of the marine life.

Although primarily a sea based trip, when on land, the group will be encouraged to eat local and buy local. Exploring the food stalls and local restaurants in Ranong is great introduction to local life before we depart for the islands, as well as a valuable way to support the local economy. The food prepared during the trip will all have been sourced locally in Ranong and supplies topped up at stops along the way.

You will visit the island village of Ma Kyone Galet to get an insight into the local way of life and meet a local community of Moken or ‘sea gypsies’ near Bo Cho Island. This local interaction although not frequent in this remote archipelago reinforces the value of traditional skills to younger members of the communities, as well as being a fascinating insight into a very different way of life for our travellers.

As a company, our responsibilities don’t stop when our tours end. We run and support a variety of projects globally, from healthcare, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development and environmental and wildlife protection. Our own in house foundation has been in operation for over 11 years; a not-for-profit fund that has distributed over AU$3 million to more than 70 non-government organisations since 2002. Donations come from our travellers and are then matched by us dollar for dollar.

4 Reviews of Burma sailing holiday, the Mergui archipelago

4.5 out of 5 stars
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In depth story review

“I loved to sit on the stern of the catamaran, looking out at the water and just feeling very peaceful.”

Reviewed on 26 Nov 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Kayaking through mangroves. Visiting fishing villages.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make sure you take the required amount of crispy dollars - old ones are not accepted.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Of marginal benefit only - but did nothing to harm environment - unlike the fishing industry, the scale of which beggars belief.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent. Saw places few westerners have ever seen. Great climate. wonderful swimming. First class skipper and crew.

Reviewed on 01 Feb 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There were many! Just being on a boat for a week was great.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Just relax and enjoy.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. The crew was very careful to have as little impact on the enviroment
as possible. The team leader was very informed about conservation
issues.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very good!

Reviewed on 06 Jan 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Enjoying the un-touched part of Myanmar, which otherwise I would not be able to see had I not been on a sailboat. The hornbills, fresh oysters and the bonfire on the beach. It's been a great tour also because of the local knowledge Mike has about the Myanmar waters. I felt very privileged to have joined the tour, especially in a location rarely travelled.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Keep an open mind, and just enjoy the sailing, seeing new things and meeting great people. Don't let e.g. no aircon in the rooms turn you off. It's a trip that really worth joining.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the experience on the sailboat where you're living with almost minimum to what you need has already been a start to prompt most of us to think through how much we really need. and then we've visited a local village, where one of the NGO is doing a waste management program there.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent! All the good things and beautiful scenery aside, it's sometimes good to just be cut off from mobile phones and facebook for a little while, and really make conversations with people you've met on the tour.

Reviewed on 01 Mar 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Sailing amongst beautiful Islands

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take lots of sun cream and also any old shirts shorts etc to give to Moekan villagers and seas gypsies.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We visited a local village and were able to buy things in the village so bringing some extra income to them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A beautiful relaxing trip.

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