Welcome vicarious explorers, you find us beginning our new year in the city of Myeik, gazing at the Archipelago islands across the Andaman sea. Golden stupas adorn almost every hillside.
Hard wood multi-story fishing boats glide across the calm waters like giant snails inspiring thoughts of pirates and buccaneers. In my daydreams we buy one and retire here one day, drifting slowly between the islands under the watchful gaze of Buddha. (Gez: …and spend our days and nights patching holes and pumping bilges)
Famous for the Moken people, traditional free divers (romantically referred to as sea gypsies) Myeik and the sea surrounding the Archipelago islands are a divers paradise.
Big business has found this part of Myanmar and Myeik is in a period of expansion. Japanese funded pearl farms are taking over the seas and half built Thai hotels and luxury condos are appearing in the skyline of what was once a colonial sea port. In a few short years this place will be changed beyond recognition.
The city of Myeik might be referred to as Mon, Marit or Mergui depending on the nationality and age of the person you are talking to. To add a further level of confusion when asking for directions or trying to order local food none of these names are pronounced the way they are spelt; mjer, bei, pòik and má rít respectively. Fortunately we met the most amazing local guide and we highly recommend that you try to do the same.