For almost 50 years following Burma’s independence, the string of 800 islands that make up the Mergui Archipelago were off limits to the outside world, frozen in time in the Andaman Sea.
The islands were handed back to the indigenous Moken, a people of sea gypsies who have lived a semi-nomadic sea dwelling lifestyle there for centuries, surviving off the land and bartering fish and sea cucumbers.
Sailing in Myanmar reveals a sequin trail of pure white sand beaches sloping to clear turquoise water and coral reefs. The landscape here is characterised by jungle-clad hills, lagoons, rivers and mangroves. Wildlife thrives, with gibbons, civet cats, monitor lizards, pythons and deer inhabiting the forests alongside a plethora of birds including hornbills, kingfishers, emerald doves and sea eagles.