Places Visited: Kawthaung, Naung Wee Island, Lampi Marine National Park, Kyun Pila Island, Nga Man, Cockscomb Island
The Pandaw company has made a name for itself breaking new ground – or more accurately, ‘new waters’ – with its river cruises through remote reaches of Asia. Here, they take us one step further, opening up a pristine stretch of tropical, coral-edged coastline in southeast Myanmar.
Aside from some charming colonial vestiges and spectacular Buddhist shrines, the main incentive to take the cruise is the chance to experience one of Asia’s last areas of true coastal wilderness– the Myeik Archipelago. Closed for the decades by the Burmese government, the islands have remained in a glorious time warp. You’ll have the chance to swim off wild shell-sand beaches, snorkel in translucent sea water off uninhabited islets and visit settlements of Moken ‘Sea Nomads’.
The cruise vessel itself – the MY Andaman – is a stylish, 61-metre motor yacht, decked out in Pandaw’s signature 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.