The massive prop roots of a mangrove forest in the Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar, hold the trees steady in soft mud. This set of islands, set in the Andaman Sea not far from Thailand, is rarely visited.; Shutterstock ID 174897674; Your name (First / Last): Laura Crawford; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Myanmar website highlights images BiT

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Myeik Archipelago

The beautiful islands of the Myeik Archipelago (also known as the Mergui Archipelago) lie off the Tanintharyi coast in the extreme south of Myanmar. While pearls and marine products from the region are sought after, it is the huge untapped potential of the archipelago as a beach and ecotourist destination that could really transform the area's economy. So far, though, Myanmar has resisted taking advantage of some of its most beautiful assets, although there is talk of opening up a few of the islands in the near future. But most of the islands are uninhabited (and they are much smaller than Thailand's islands), making tourism a challenge. For now, the few islands that do have people remain home to tiny villages with hardly any infrastructure and mixed populations of Burmese and the semi-nomadic Moken, so-called ‘sea gypsies’ who move from island to island and live by fishing.


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