The deep south of Myanmar, known today as Tanintharyi Region (တနသၤာရီတိုင္း), is a beach bum’s dream. The coastline consists of long, sandy beaches fronting a vast archipelago of more than 800 largely uninhabited islands, most of which have seen very few visitors. Away from the beaches, the few significant towns here are all ports, which have centuries of history behind them as trading posts with both the East and West.
Trade brought foreigners to Tanintharyi as far back as 1545, when a Portuguese expeditionary chronicle refers to Tanancarim, somewhere along the northwest coast of the Thai–Malay Peninsula. That Portuguese rendering became Tenasserim in later European records, the name by which the region was known under British rule. These days, Tanintharyi's proximity to Thailand means that there is a constant movement of both goods and people across the border, with many locals going to Thailand as migrant workers.