Myanmar diving liveaboards
The Mergui Archipelago (or Myeik Archipelago) receives fewer than 2,000 tourists per year. Not, 200,000; not 20,000 but less than 2,000 per year! Compare that with the 6 million or so holiday makers who visit Phuket Thailand and you get some idea of how isolated the Mergui archipelago is. It’s a vast area with around 800 islands, only a few of them are inhabited and only a few boats visit the islands each year.
Diving in the Mergui is one of the last untouched frontiers. There is still much to discover but some liveaboards have been sailing up from Thailand into Burma for the last 15 years and know the area well. Boats must apply for special (and expensive) licences to enter the Mergui archipelago and despite the opening up of Myanmar in recent years there are still large areas of the Mergui archipelago off limits to dive liveaboards.
There is one dive resort (so far) in the Mergui archipelago on MacLeod Island but if that’s too expensive or difficult to get to for you then a liveaboard is the better option. The area is made for a boat excursion, you’ll see much more and dive in better places. Liveaboards either depart from Phuket, Khao Lak, Ranong or Kawthaung.
The boats that start Thailand will often spend the first day or two diving Thailand’s best dive sites. The Surin Islands are just 3 nautical miles south of Burmese waters.
These liveaboards will be diving the Mergui archipelago this season (Nov-Apr):
Diva Andaman, the most luxurious liveaboard in Burma has just 2 trips, one in February and one in March
Deep Andaman Queen runs 7 day trips from Khao Lak that also dive the Similan and Surin Islands in Thailand
Dolphin Queen is a lower budget boat running 6 night trips from Kuraburi
If you are not a diver but want to sail, snorkel and kayak in the Mergui archipelago then the Meta IV is a beautiful boat to explore on