9 independent reviews for Burma sailing holiday, the Mergui archipelago

Reviews for Burma sailing holiday, the Mergui archipelago

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review 30 Jan 2020

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

Snorkelling from the boat to multiple deserted beaches along a teeming coral reef, having a drink at sunset watching the bats and hornbills fly over the top of us, seeing a whaleshark, kayaking through the mangroves, the incredible food, cooking a fish caught by our skipper on a beach BBQ.. so many amazing things!

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

If you drink, bring some spirits with you-there is plenty of beer and soft drinks on the boat already, a few snacks are also helpful to share. If you are a light sleeper then bring ear plugs-as soon as the crew start preparing the boat for the day sailing you are likely to be woken up (around 6am!). Be aware that during the peak season, there is usually not enough wind to independently sail. This wasn’t made clear enough, and although the trip notes say that the motor is likely to be used, between December-February, you will likely travel everywhere with the motor running (we had the sails up only three times in the week with the engines running as well). If you want a trip where you are sailing all the time, this might not be for you.

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

Yes, overall-the interactions with the local villages and the Moken did not feel exploitative at all. One thing to be aware of is that human waste is not stored and disposed of in port-it is flushed untreated directly out into the ocean. Although you are never anchored over the reefs themselves, this is something I wasn’t super comfortable with

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

Incredible-imagine the stereotypical tropical paradise: you live that every single day. Sailing from deserted beach to deserted beach, reading, relaxing and snorkelling.

review 13 Feb 2020

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

I chose to sleep on deck as the cabin space is quite confined for two strangers sharing a bed. It was wonderful to see the stars so clearly without light pollution. The food cooked by Cop was very good and a definite high point. Also the time she threw fatty leftovers for the hawks or eagles which gathered in great numbers to swoop and collect a piece in their claws.

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

No need to bring many clothes but something to cover up to fend off the occasional biting insects could be useful. Didn't see any but got bitten.

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

I don't think the trip has a huge environmental impact. We didn't use throw away plastic water bottles. We were the only tourist boat in sight which was rather amazing yet there is a lot of rubbish on the island beaches so I'm not quite sure where it's coming from. I'm glad to have acquired reef friendly shampoo and suntan lotion.The local people benefited on a small way when we bought a drink on the island we visited. There were also three Thai's employed on the boat apart from the captain.

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

I enjoyed the holiday very much. It was very relaxing being underway on the boat although disappointing that the lack of wind meant we hardly did any sailing. The visibility for snorkelling was not as good as I've known in other places due to the sediment washed down from rivers, but it was better the further we got from the port of embarcation. I saw some wonderful coral and fish. It was great being cut off from WiFi.

review 10 Apr 2019

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

We had such an amazing time, it's hard to pinpoint any "most" memorable thing. The views were breathtaking, everyday. The weather was awesome. Our traveling group (mostly strangers to one another) got along great. What really brought it all together and made it over-the-top amazing was the incredible crew. LeiLei, Ye Zaw, KaKa, and Gabu were so kind, careful, considerate, informative, professional, and friendly. They work together and with the guests like a well-oiled machine, and obviously have a great deal of respect for one another, for the responsibility of their guests, and for the beautiful waters/islands/natives of the Mergui Archipelago.

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

The tips provided by Responsible Travel were spot-on. We didn't find ourselves wishing we had brought anything more or less. I can only suggest that travelers take Gabu's advice to heart and immerse themselves in the experience when visiting the villages.

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

Yes - absolutely.

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

This trip was unforgettable. The amazement hasn't worn off and I keep wondering if we'll ever have the opportunity to go back. We will undoubtedly look to Responsible Travel when considering another tour overseas.

review 20 Mar 2019

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

No access to emails or even phone calls was heaven. Put away my watch and relied on sunrise and sunset. We have many fond memories of the incredible remote Mergui Archipelago: quiet anchorages, snorkelling in the azure waters, walking on unspoilt beaches, encountering the Moken village people and their way of life, seeing the amazing birdlife and much more. Due to an issue we had to go ashore at Kawthoung and experienced the small town, a bar and a locals restaurant, we appeared to be the only foreigners. Would recommend that this is added into the trip.

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

MY Similie is a "sailing" catamaran not a luxury cruise, however life aboard gives you the true experience of sailing; you need to be reasonably agile but it's comfortable, safe, great fun and you can sleep under the stars if you wish. You will be bare foot aboard and just need footwear for going ashore.

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

We purchased souvenirs and provisions in the villages so as to aid the local economy, as well as making donations to the village Buddhist temples for the monks to decide how to redistribute. On our desert island BBQ, we helped to clear the beach of plastic waste brought in by tide and storms.

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

Thanks go to our very knowledgeable skipper Anuncio (we nicknamed him Mr Wiki), our 5*chef Gai (amazing dishes cooked on just two burners), the very attentive local guide Luis and the crew member Anju who was always at hand to help you, and of course our wonderful fellow passengers for making our sailing experience really special.. Highly recommended!

review 24 Feb 2018

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

Not knowing anything about the Islands off Burma, or knowing anyone who had been, it was all very memorable our week on the catamaran. We had a fantastic skipper, Carlos, who was fun, sociable and very practical in running the boat, with his team. The food was excellent, fresh and beautifully cooked and plenty of it! We didn't wear shoes for a week, except for visiting 2 villages, saw no planes in the sky, saw 2 other holiday boats only and swam and snorkelled twice a day. Sailed when we could.. We often were in amongst the local squid fishing boats, which were amazing at night with their coloured lights. Beautiful unspoilt beaches and remote islands, clear night skies for stargazing. Wildlife and birds and fishes. Very unspoilt! It was all fantastic.

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

We had been on this trip up to the North and a couple of days in Bangkok, all very successful, our boat trip was a perfect way to relax and enjoy outdoor space before returning back to the routine of home life. The catamaran had plenty of bedroom, luggage space, so didn't feel as clostraphobic as some single hull boats can feel. Could take your own snorkelling kit.

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

The local people seemed very welcoming and unfazed by our presence. We bought presents from their craft workshop, and where shown round one village by local girls who were being trained by volunteer Italiens. They were helping out where they could and making them aware of presence of rubbish and plastic on the shores and in the village. They were learning English to show visitors their local fruits, fish drying and way of life.

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

Exceptional, we made the most of it with lots of swimming, snorkelling, observing the islands, paddle boarding, kayaking, looking for monkeys, sea otters hornbills, kestrels, white eagles, flying fish, jumping skate, barracudas............not to mention the underwater life!

review 26 Nov 2017

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.

review 1 Feb 2017

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!

review 6 Jan 2016

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.

review 1 Mar 2015

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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