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Myeik Archipelago Myanmar
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Good Time To Visit: 10From12
Visited: 1774 Time

      Myeik Archipelago, located in southernmost part of Myanmar, comprises over 800 beautiful islands. Due to its virtual isolation, the islands and surrounding seas are alive with an amazing diversity of flora & fauna and very beautiful underwater scenes and marine life.

      Throughout earth’s tropical belt there remains no other island group in such a state, virtually untouched and unchanged by man. Exploding human populations have brought permanent change or serious desecration to all tropical regions, sparing almost no island that harbours forests, wildlife or other significant resources.
      Here in Myanmar the lack of human interference is believed to have left some of the larger islands with the full range of animal life that is no longer found undisturbed on the Asian mainland, including elephants, tigers, deer, wild boar and many others.

      There is even talk of the near-extinct Sumatran rhino quietly grazing the dense forests on Lampi, one of the largest of the islands.
      There only human inhabitants in the area are sea gypsies, namely Salon in Myanmar. They live on boats during dry season and remain on land during rainy season. They still practice the same fishing and boat building techniques used for generation.
      Being affectionate to sea, much skillful in swimming and diving, their ways of life are so characteristic that traditional festival was launched intending to attract international tourists as well as to operate marine eco-tourism around the islands in Archipelago.

      This immense Archipelago area covers approximately 36,000 sq kilometers (14,000 sq miles) and included roughly 800 islands. Diving here is still in its infancy entire region has been off-limits since the late 1940s.The archipelago was opened for tourism in 1997 yet much of the area remains unexplored.
      The islands are rugged, high- profile limestone and granite topography. One obvious difference, aside from the sheer number of Myanmar islands is their unspoiled terrestrial scenery. Dense brush and rainforest cover most areas above the high-tide line, while vast stretches of mangroves and magnificent white-sand beaches are of the larger islands are home to small communities of Moken ‘sea gypsies,’ the vast majority are uninhabited and largely untouched by humans.

      Underwater, this region offers science reefs, fascinating topography and prolific fish and invertebrate life. One of the main attractions for divers is the strong possibility of seeing big animals, especially sharks and rays. More dependable, however, is the tremendous variety of smaller fish and reef creatures, including many unusual species. Add to this the allure of diving where few people have before and you’ve got all the ingredients for a top-notch dive destination. Considering the vast number of islands and reefs, many more dive sites are undoubtedly waiting to be discovered.
      The diving here has tremendous potential, yet environmental problems exist. Trawling and longline fishing have put heavy pressure on fish populations and the habitat in general.

      Despite the environmental threats, the diving in the Myeik is still excellent. Soft corals, anemones and gorgonian fans survive undamaged as do nudibranchs, cuttlefish, octopuses and other invertebrates. Fish that lack swin bladders (like sharks, rays and moray eels) also seem unaffected. Also since many fish move from reef to reef, new fish seem to show up all the time.

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