Gateway to the Southern Archipelago
Myeik city is located in the southernmost part of Myanmar. Situated on the coast of the Andaman Sea, it is Tanintharyi's second city (after Dawei) and is connected to Yangon by daily flights or an eighteen-hour-drive.
Myeik has three distinct seasons: wet season (June-October); dry season (November-March); hot and mainly dry (April-May). However, some rain can be expected in any month. Despite high humidity, the temperature in Myeik is mostly pleasant since there is often a cooling sea breeze. This makes an evening stroll along the Strand Road, or sunset at the Theindawgyi pagoda or having dinner under the stars most enjoyable.
Close to Myeik, there are many unspoiled natural beaches. It is also possible to drive through interesting countryside, passing to the north by way of the villages of Kyauk-pyar, Pa-law, Pa-la, Pa-lauk en route to Dawei city and to the south, via Tanintharyi, Maw-taung, Byoke-pyin, en route to Kaw-thaung. The villages of Kyun-su and Sakhan-thit can only be visited by boat.
Myeik is the best and cheapest place to buy the freshest seafood. It has plenty of traditional pancakes, valued by locals and foreigners. Visitors love to purchase local produce such as dried fish, dried prawns, and ngapi (shrimp paste). Rubber, betel nuts, cashew nuts, and edible bird nests are famous products. Myeik's pearls are considered to be one of the highest quality in the world.
Myeik, a tourist's paradise
Myeik Archipelago in the Andaman Sea is Asia's last untouched paradise. Tourists can travel by boat through the archipelago, visiting some of the 800 islands (an area roughly 300 km long and 100 km wide), which are surrounded by white sand beaches. This is an unforgettable experience. They can also pay for a day trip on a speed boat to Nyaung Mine Village, where Moken, sea gypsies live.
Myeik archipelago boasts one the richest coral reefs in the world. For long term economic growth and sustainable livelihoods around the archipelago, corals are essential. The rapid growth of ecotourism is welcomed but too rapid development is threatening our natural environment. Myeik has to protect its coral and marine habitats from destruction by over-fishing.
In the old downtown area, Myeik still has many traditional wooden houses, which date back to the colonial period. However, more recently there has been considerable redevelopment with high-rise buildings, especially in the north of the city. It is a town rich in infrastructure with a lot of offices, hospitals (private and public), hotels and guest houses, schools, banks, and shopping centres. It has three universities.
Places to visit
Visitors to the city have much to see including: the Theindawgyi Pagoda; the reclining Buddha Image on Pahtaw-Pahtet Islands; Kywal Gu Bridge (on Tanintharyi river); the old downtown area; Seik Nge Zaygyi (market); Seik Nge Jetty; high-way bus station (good for food!); shopping centres; the universities and the Strand Road. It is an area rich in culture, colour, religion, and atmosphere and a great place to take photographs.
Typical food includes Kite-Gyi-Kite (fried rice noodle). Sea food such as prawns and squids, boiled pea, and pork are also very popular. Dani Yaycho (a sweet nipa juice) is a specialty drink of Myeik. It best to take at night and is only available in and around December.
The most important economic activity for local communities is fishing and most settlements in the Myeik archipelago are fishing villages. Meanwhile, on the land, there are many plantations. The urban areas are home to businessmen/women, office staff, and many service industries.