The waters here are as crystal clear as a martini – from Tanqueray gin emerald green to Bombay Sapphire violet-blue. They are sheltered by pristine islands whose shores lie fringed with luscious rainforest.
Wa Ale Island Resort feels like the elusive Thai island you never quite found, with its circular tented dens and rainforest bathrooms. The resort’s eco-focus has earned it a reputation as a sustainable hotel.
Victoria Cliff Resort Nyaung Oo Phee Island
The resort is located on a small island near Kawthaung. It’s surrounded by white sandy beaches, coral reefs and a large variety of birds. It’s also a great place to take a boat trip through the mangrove forests. There are a lot of interesting wildlife to be seen, including monkeys and barking deer.
The rooms are spacious and have a view of the sea. There are a variety of amenities available, including complimentary bottled water and an in-room safe. Some rooms offer a private balcony area.
Guests can enjoy the resort’s free breakfast and the on-site restaurant. There are also a number of restaurants and bars nearby. There’s also a fitness center on the property, as well as an outdoor pool and spa tub.
The Myeik Archipelago is a hidden gem in the south of Myanmar, but it’s only just emerging as a travel destination. This remote group of 800 islands in the Andaman Sea is a true paradise, with miles of pristine coastline and coral reefs. It’s the perfect getaway for those who want to escape from it all and truly unwind.
The pristine beauty of Awei Pila is a dream-like escape from reality. It is a 5-star luxury resort situated on the northern part of Kyun Pila Island, just two hours by speed boat from Myeik and features 24 sumptuous tented villas that blend with their natural surroundings.
The resort also launched its first scuba diving center and offers PADI level courses to its guests. Its awe-inspiring dive sites in the Mergui Archipelago include Shark Cave and Rocky Island. It has a team of experienced guides that can lead you to the best snorkeling spots in the area.
This new resort is one of the best places to stay in the Myeik Archipelago and has an eco-friendly approach to its operations. Its tented villas are designed using lightweight and insulated timber and fabric for decreased environmental impact. Guests can enjoy their meals and drinks at the restaurant, bar or swimming pool while taking in views of the ocean and the virgin forest.
The secluded beaches of Awei Pila are dotted with long sand banks that invite you to take a stroll. There are also coral reefs that you can explore here with the help of the resort’s guides.
Wa Ale Resort
Wa Ale Resort is a luxury eco-resort tucked away in the pristine forests and golden sands of Lampi Marine National Park. It was the first to open in the archipelago and has ushered in a new wave of barefoot luxury and upscale tourism for this remote corner of Myanmar.
The property’s tented beach villas and treetop villas mirror the lush natural landscape, with a minimalist aesthetic that incorporates local materials. The main pavilion is a lofty thatched space filled with huge rattan chairs, handmade rugs, and reclaimed wood furniture.
Guests can swim and snorkel in the crystal clear waters to discover a kaleidoscope of coral life, kayak through mangrove forests and explore the lush jungle trails that criss-cross the island, learn about the local “Moken” fishing community and sea turtle conservation, or simply relax on pristine beaches with not another soul in sight. The resort also provides a range of social programs, including patrol boats for the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry and a sea turtle hatchery and conservation program.
Boulder Bay Eco Resort
The 2.5-star Boulder Bay Eco Resort is a great choice for both business and leisure travelers looking for comfortable accommodation in Kawthaung. It offers a range of recreational facilities to ensure you have plenty to do during your stay.
Its 20 simple but well-equipped bungalows are largely hidden when viewed from the sea and powered by solar energy, without power-guzzling devices like air conditioning. Aiming to leave the island in its natural state, the resort cuts down trees only where necessary and uses bamboo nails instead of metal to reduce corrosive impacts on the reefs below.
Marine life around the islands is rich and varied, from the tiny nudibranchs of the coral gardens to manta rays and whale sharks, with half a dozen beautiful beaches to explore, including the pristine Boulder Island, whose Burma-Scottish heritage may have inspired JM Barrie when conjuring up Neverland. The resort has its own dive centre and graceful bamboo yoga shala, as well as two marine biologists to help guests appreciate the underwater environment on which they depend for food.
Myanmar Andaman Resort
As Myanmar (formerly Burma) emerged as a travel destination again earlier this decade, a handful of self-sufficient island resorts were earmarked for the archipelago. But the challenges of creating self-sufficient islands and securing development approvals have prevented most from opening on time.
One of the few that have, however, is Wa Ale, whose smart-looking safari tented villas are utterly camouflaged among the dripping jungle canopies on Lampi Marine National Park’s stunning coastline. The resort’s resident marine biologist and dive master leads jungle treks and snorkelling expeditions, while raised decks give front row views of the kaleidoscopic vistas. Back at the hotel, the River Cafe bar serves iced coffees, Singha beers, caipirinhas and killer margaritas, alongside grilled seafood and chef-prepared vegetable curries.
The resort is currently undergoing renovations, and will be expanding from 22 to 88 rooms. To reach the archipelago, fly from Yangon or Bangkok to Kawthaung and then take a longtail boat to the resort’s private jetty. A resort representative will escort you through Myanmar immigration. The best time to visit is from November to April – when temperatures are mild and the seas calm.
The Blue Sky Resort
Until recently, the enigmatic Mergui Archipelago was best known for Moken pearl divers. But it’s now secretly serving up a few barefoot luxury options for modern Robinson Crusoes.
Located on Koh Payam, the resort is set inside the Lampi Island Marine National Park, which has dunes, tropical rainforest, coral reefs and seagrass beds. It’s also home to the rare Sunda pangolin and Bengal slow loris, so there’s plenty of wildlife watching to do here.
The Blue Sky is an Auberge Resort, meaning it’s small and intimate with just 46 rooms in total. There are 19 Sky Suites – 1 and 2 bedroom suites inside the lodge, 16 Earth Suites that are freestanding villas and 5 Creek Houses along Alexander Creek.
In terms of facilities, there’s an outdoor pool, a bar and lounge, and the iconic infinity pool that is part of the Edge Spa. There’s also a fitness centre and a wellness retreat where you can enjoy massages and herbal baths. There are also lots of activities to choose from, including horse riding, trekking and boat trips to see the wildlife.
The Hidden Resort & Restaurant
A hidden gem, this resort is the perfect retreat for those wanting to unwind and relax in complete seclusion. The staff is friendly and the facilities are really well maintained. Rooms are lovely and clean, with nice little touches like dressing gowns and slippers and high quality soaps and shower products.
It’s also a great place to practice yoga and meditation. The pristine beaches of the archipelago offer a wide variety of landscapes and boast an abundant marine ecosystem.
If you’re an avid explorer, hit the water with the resort’s PADI scuba instructors and dive masters to explore eight paradisiacal reef sites. Or, head to mountainous Clara Island for an epic jungle trek and wildlife watching expedition where you’ll find monkeys, pangolins, hornbills, and fish eagles.
In Thailand the word sabai is often used to suggest you’re comfortable, for example the kitten sleeping in the basket suggests it has found a quiet spot where it can sleep well (lap sabai). Hotels and guest houses may use variations on baan sabai or sabai sabai as they hope you’ll feel at home away from home. As you lean back during that foot massage and close your eyes, sabai sabai may also mean you are really relaxed. Sabai sabai is a philosophy that can be adopted by anyone willing to embrace it. You’ll soon find that life is a lot more fun with sabai sabai.