Take scenic hikes up Buddhist holy mountains, melding dramatic vistas with ancient culture, then head further south to discover old colonial outposts; the end of the Death Railway; beautiful, untouched beaches; and finally underwater adventure in the Myeik Archipelago, one of Southeast Asias’ best-kept diving secrets.
Deluxe Hotel Supplement:
$19 per day
Discover the Golden Rock at Mount Kyaiktiyo, one of the three most sacred sites in Myanmar. The rock appears to defy gravity by delicately balancing on the edge of the 1,100m mountain; you will stay at a hotel at its summit, offering magnificent views of the area.
Drive on eastwards to Hpa An, the charming and laid back capital of Karen State. The dramatic limestone karst mountain scenery of the surrounding area offers much to explore, including lush paddy fields; pagodas that sit atop strange rock formations; natural pools; and, best of all, a number of huge caves, which hold religious significance that date back many hundreds of years. The following day, you will hike up the monolithic Mount Zwegabin, which offers a good work out (particularly in the heat!) and immensely satisfying vistas when you reach the monastery at the mountain peak.
After your exertions on Zwegabin, take a relaxing boat trip down the Salween River to Mawlamyine, the tropical capital of Mon state and one-time administrative centre of British Burma. This quiet city has many colonial buildings lining its streets and a magnificent pagoda with views of the surrounding area – it was a short visit here that inspired Rudyard Kipling to write his famous poem Mandalay.
Visit the gigantic reclining Buddha at Mudon and (time permitting) check out the rustic Bilu Island, located across the water from Mawlamyine and home to a variety of local shops offering fine handicrafts.
Take the road deeper into the south of Myanmar, and on into the Tenasserim Hills to the historical town of Dawei. On the way, visit the moving Allied War Memorial and the Burmese end of the Death Railway at Thanbyuzayat.
Head down to Kawthaung, a seaside border town that will come as a bit of a shock after travelling around more remote parts of Myanmar, with its eclectic mix of business people, backpackers and old, grizzly travellers who come across the border for their visa runs.
After immigration clearance, your boat will leave for the Myeik Archipelago, heading first for Kyat Mauk island. Kyat Mauk and its neighbouring islands are known for their limestone cliffs, caves and long white sandy beaches similar to Koh Phi Phi in Thailand. The dive sites are nothing short of amazing, with colorful soft coral and, for experienced divers, challenging conditions within the caves. We will make two fun dives and one night dive in total, including opportunities to see blacktip sharks, tuna, snapper, stingrays, turtles and other rare and beautiful species.
Start the day at Honour Rock and find beautiful coral and a huge sea fan forest; the area is similar to Thailand’s Richelieu Rock, but much bigger. The second dive is at Western Rocky, one of the best dive sites in Myanmar. Highlights include a cave-like tunnel at 20 metres depth that goes all the way through the island. There are good chances to see bowmouth guitarfish, nurse shark, grey reef shark, cuttlefish, harlequin shrimps, frogfish, sea horses and a plenty of lobsters. Another dive will be set Western Rocky Pinnacle; sea leopard, grey reef and nurse sharks, eagle ray, eels, ghost pipefish and sea horses all congregate in this one area. The final dive of the day is in South Rock, where there are more opportunities a wide variety of beautiful reef fishes.
The first two dives are around Macleod Island, where the dive sites provide opportunities to see manta rays, various shark species, harlequin shrimp, frogfish, and sea horses among other smaller ocean critters. The third dive is at the arch of Stewart Island, with beautiful coral reefs that are home to varied sea life. A fourth dive, at the North Twin, provides greater visibility of the wider archipelago.
Start with two dives at North Twin Island and the North Pinnacle of North Twin, renowned for clear waters, good coral life and good chance to see a variety of big fish. The third dive is in Shark Cave, one of the most famous dive sites in the archipelago, offering good chances to see sharks inside the cave. The final dive for that day is a night dive in Great Swinton, where you will get the chance to see barracuda around its beautiful reef.
The final day offers two dives – Rocky Island and High Rock are considered the best macro diving areas in the archipelago. Watch out for pipefish, pineapple fish, frogfish, sea horses and the elusive nudibranch. At the end of your diving adventure, head back to Kawthaung where we’ll help you transfer to Ranong, Thailand.
|Standard hotels for above program||Deluxe hotels for above program|
|Yangon - Clover Hotel||Yangon - Chatrium Hotel|
|Mount Kyaiktiyo - Mountain Top Hotel||Mount Kyaiktiyo - Mountain Top Hotel|
|Hpa An - Hotel Zwekabin||Hpa An - Hpa An Lodge|
|Mawlamyine - Attran Hotel||Mawlamyine - Strand Hotel|
|Maungmagan Beach - Maung Ma Kan Resort||Maungmagan Beach - Maung Ma Kan Resort|
|Myeik Archipelago - live-aboard boat||Myeik Archipelago - live-aboard boat|
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The above itinerary is indicative and some details may change according to conditions and availability; you will always be informed of such changes.
There may be changes to estimated prices depending on air fuel cost, domestic airfares, US$ exchange rates and festive season surcharge. All supplemental cost to be advised.
 Price per person based on two person tour (twin hotel room sharing basis). Larger groups will pay less per person, single person purchase will mean a higher price.