April 21, 2016 | About Asia Travel
TransIndus have introduced a unique Burma cruise following the country’s stunning coastline. The trip opens up a pristine stretch of tropical, coral-edged shoreline in the southeast of the country, takes in the true wilderness of the Myeik Archipelago as well as the vestiges of a colonial past and spectacular Buddhist shrines.
You’ll be able to swim off wild shell-sand beaches, snorkel in translucent sea water off uninhabited islets and visit settlements of Moken ‘Sea Nomads’. Excursions on shore include trips to war graves related to the infamous Burma Railway, extraordinary limestone stacks of Hpa-an and the Burmese market town of Mawlamyine, whose gilded pagodas were famously described by Rudyard Kipling as “lookin’ lazy at the sea”.
Starting from the capital Yangon, welcome drink in hand, the voyage unfolds along with the coast it follows. Firstly, glide down the Yangon River and across the Gulf of Martaban to Mawlamyine in time to see the fishermen unloading their catch. A side-trip inland to Hpa-an and its spectacular karst
formations is next and then on to Myeik and then Thayawtnahangyi, studded with impossibly beautiful bays of white sand and transparent water before reaching the far-flung Great Western Torres Islands. Here, you’ll anchor in a deserted bay and swim in some of the world’s clearest seas, and if you’re lucky catch sight of a giant manta ray or whale shark. On to the Sullivan Islands (a Marine National Park) – from where you’ll visit a Moken village – and then the magically named Aladdin Islands for gentle walks and wildlife spotting. The cruise finishes in the quiet border port of Kawthaung from where you’ll transfer to Ranong in Thailand.
The boat itself – the MY Andaman – is a stylish, 61-metre motor yacht, decked out in retro style. A former Norwegian coastguard ship, it was built to withstand the storms of the North Atlantic and its 11 generous cabins have been re-fitted with Burmese teak-panelled walls and handsome brass fixtures.
This 11-day tailor-made tour, Pandaw: Yangon to Ranong & the Myeik Archipelago, costs from £2,850 pp (two sharing) and includes 10 nights’ accommodation (full board on the boat, including local beers and spirits), all local transportation and transfers, English-speaking guides and entrance fees to sites and monuments in the tour itinerary.
TransIndus also offers tailor-made luxury sailing-yacht holidays in the Myeik region aboard sleek 70 – 120ft yachts.