Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

How to cross the border from Ranong/Thailand to Kawthaung/ Myanmar

To cross the border in Ranong / Thailand to Kawthaung in Myanmar is quite easy and a great start into your Mergui Archipelago adventure. You must cross the border river which separating the two countries. For those who try to make this way by themselves we did a step by step guideline how to do and what you need 😊

Kawthaung in Myanmar

There are a few things you need to bring along with you on the journey. Bring your passport, a copy of your passport and the little white departure card, you received when you entered Thailand (TM6). For the Myanmar side, you need the printout E-Visa form or the visa which is already stamped in your passport from a Myanmar Embassy, as well as some new, nice, and crisp US$ Notes. The officers do not accept any other currency or old US$ notes. The amount payable depends on the length of stay in Myanmar. The Myanmar Authorities do not accept any other currency than US$.

Start point is the Saphan Pla Pier and Immigration Checkpoint in Ranong.

The Saphan Pla Pier in Ranong is a small pier hidden behind the PTT petrol station and the 7/11 convenience store.

Ranong Immigration Checkpoint   Immigration Ranong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google map: 9.948098, 98.594781

Here are the directions in Thai, in case you want to show them to your driver:

กรุณาไปส่งที่   ท่าเทียบเรือ
เทศบาลตำบลปากน้ำระนอง
ถนน เฉลิมพระเกียรติ

As soon you arrive many of tout will offer you a boat to cross over to Kawthaung, the gateway to the Mergui Archipelago. The prices are different and most of the time these guys are trying to fill up their long tail boat with more people, so maybe it can a little bit time to departure.  But you can also negotiate for a private boat.  The usual price is around 300-500 THB per longtail or if you join in the prices per person is between 50 – 100 THB.

But before you jump into one of the longtails, do not forget to visit the officer at the Thai Immigration Checkpoint as you must check out of Thailand.  The Immigration office are 2 small windows on your right side when you come in. Please make sure you have your passport ready.

The Officer will ask you where you are going and how long you are going to be away for, because they are looking for people who try to do multiply visa runs by crossing the border. By Thai Immigration Law, every foreigner can cross the Thai Border per land only two times per calendar year.  If you needed a visa to visit Thailand, please make sure to get a re-entry visa before leaving Thailand, if you are planning to return to Thailand after your trip to Myanmar and your adventure within the Mergui Archipelago.

After you got your passport with an exit stamp in it back, just walk to the Longtail boat pier. The small and somewhat adventurous looking boats there, are the only available transport option to Kawthaung.

A tip: Bring a copy of your passport as the little boats need a copy for the passing checkpoints.  Otherwise you can make a copy at the little shop next to the Pier in the little kind of supermarket, the longtail guys are also happy to make a copy for you the prices are usually between 5-10 THB.

Crossing the river

The Longtail boats have a cover, so you are protected from the sun. Please put one of the life Jackets before the boat departs.

On the way to Kawthaung, you will stop an Immigration points, where Thai passports were taken up to be stamped. There was a Customs checkpoint next to it. Sometimes they will ask you to show your passport, sometimes not. The process is always different, but you do not have to leave the boat as your captain and crew will take of this whole process, just hand them over your passport which you will get returned as soon as they back.

30 – 40 minutes later you will arrive in Kawthaung, the entry point to the Mergui Archipelago.

On the Way

 

 

 

 

 

After this quick stop at the Thai Immigration Checkpoint you will pass the Thai Customs before you get out to Ranong area to cross the river between Thailand and Myanmar. Enjoy the cruise along stilt houses on your way.

 

On the way you will pass on a tiny island the Thai Army station.

Before you reach the mainland of Myanmar you will stop or slow down at another tiny island with Myanmar Army present, also here you must show the passport by just holding it up, you do not have to get of the boat.

 

Sometimes the driver just must show the passport to the officers by collecting your passport, but you will get them back immediately as before.

Arriving in Kawthaung, Myanmar

In Kawthaung you will be welcome from many touts and men on motorbikes.  Just ignore them and make your way to Immigration.

After disembarkation, turn left along and walk along the road until you get to the:  Walk along this road to get to the Immigration Office which is located at the Myo Ma Jetty also called the Myanmar Immigration Pier, on your left-hand side.  Just have a look for the sight that says, “Warmly Welcome and Take Care of Tourist”.

Enter the pier area and turn behind the little building left to the small Immigration Building.

Get in and give the officer your passport, a copy of your passport and visa. They will stamp your passport and take a picture from you, same as they do in Thailand. If the camera is not working, what can be happen sometimes, have a passport picture ready.  After the Check in process you are ready to enjoy your time in Kawthaung.

Outside the Mya Ma Jetty English-speaking touts will await you to give directions and be waiting for you to exit the office to offer a taxi ride, hotel, guide or suggestions on things to do in Kawthaung.

Welcome to Kawthaung and the Mergui Archipelago!

 

Kawthaung Border Crossing Wrap-Up

Paperwork to bring:  Passport, 2 copies of your passport and proper Myanmar and Thailand Visa, one Passport picture (just in case)

Price of boat: 300-500 THB for a boat or 50-100 THB to join in

Time on boat: 30-40 minutes including all the Immigration stops around 60-75 minutes

Time Zone:  Myanmar is a half hour behind Thailand time : 7:00 pm Myanmar is 07:30 in Thailand

The Myanmar Immigration Office is open from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm local time

 Explore the amazing Mergui Archipelago on one of our amazing Cruises or unique Resort. Combinations between them is also possible

How to cross the border from Kawthaung / Myanmar to Ranong / Thailand

Kind of the other way around.

  • Check out at the Myanmar Immigration office (Check your exit stamp)
  • Make your way back to the Myanmar Longtail pier and find a boat to bring you to Ranong
  • Arriving at the Longtail pier in Thailand, go to the immigration office and collect your TM 6 arrival form
  • Fill out the form and see the officer again to check you into Thailand (Check your entry stamp and expiration date)

If you need any transfer to or from Ranong within Thailand visit below link with many option of taxi, van, bus and train

Your booking engine for land transfers around asia

 

Share

Discover the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar with its amazing island

Explore the island below the Lampi National Park including the famous Philar Island mergui archipelago.

island south of Lampi National Park

1. Kyunn Phi Lar Island (Pheela Island or Great Swinton Island)

Philar Island mergui archipelago.  Natives call this island the “diagonal island” because it stretches mostly diagonally from east to west. The island is from east to west around 6 – 7 miles long, but pretty narrow from north to south with just 2 miles.  There are three beautiful beaches. The northern beach, called Long Beach, is the longest with a length of 2 – 3 miles, the eastern beach is called Iguana Beach. All three beaches are very beautiful with white and soft sand. Multicolored birds, such us Kites and Sea Eagles, are always around in the skies over this island.

The Coral life is great, the water quite clear and the beaches are most attractive for snorkelers and beach lovers alike. It is the best place for snorkeling in the Myeik Archipelago and the coral reef can be seen under water as a colorful floral bed. Fire fish and clown fish can be found here, by just swimming between the coral reefs. Sometimes visitors might have a chance to see land animals too, such as monitor lizards, monkeys, boar and snakes and watching the inhabitant birds is great fun too.

There is also a very thicket tropical rain forest on the island, which is home to wild pigs, monkeys, mouse deer, wild cats, civets and hornbills. At the southern part of the island, you can find some small and short tidal rivers and thicket mangrove. A perfect place to kayak, trekking and watching some of the very shy tidal animals, like monkeys, monitor lizards, Myanmar python, crab and kingfisher.

There is also a very famous dive site on a mount, just three miles from the island. Mainly known as Shark Cave, after the cave and sharks which are found in 8 to 10 meter depth here.

Great-Swinton-Island-Kyunn-Philar-Island

2. Nga Mann Island (Pula Set or Shark Island)

Pula Set or Nga Mann Island is an island with a small forest and a beautiful beach. Nga Mann is not so interesting for scuba diving, but a great place for snorkeling. The beach in the western part is one mile long, with white and smooth sand. This place is often used for a beach BBQ. The waters are crystal clear, with colorful hard and soft corals, parrot fish, trigger fish, sea urchins, lobster and plenty more to be encountered here.

3. Nyaung Wee Island (Pu-Lu, Buda Island or Palau Bada Island))

Buda Island, also known as Nyaung Wee Island, lies south of Lampi and is part of the Mid Group. These islands lie south of Lampi and offer plenty of overnight options for stop overs. The three islands form a kind of a triangle and offer plenty of hiking, snorkeling over coral reefs or kayaking.  Nyaung Wee Island is home to a small village called Makyone Galet and offers some hikes and great views across the nearby islets. Local fishing boats like to refill fresh water at a stilted house in front of the beach and the local fishing families would be happy to cook meals for visitors and their kids are always excited to see foreign visitors. You will also find a small Moken community here, where you can see what it might feel like, to in a hunter-gatherer society. Moken people often inhabit stilt houses over the water and on Nyaung Wee you can also play around with the local kids or discover the undergrowth on the island. A river, in the northern part of Nyaung-wee is a great place for bird watchers and wildlife explorers.

Nyaung-Wee-Island-Moken-Village

4. Poni Island

Poni Island has three sandbanks at the western shores of the island with only around 12 meters of depth. There are only a few corals, but the area is good for fishing. There is a small mount with coral reefs in the southern part of the island as well though. Small caves are also found here, but no wild animals, apart from some sea otters spotted in 1998.

Po Ni Island

5. Island 115

Around 40 miles north of Kawthaung you’ll find Island 115. Located on the eastern shore and surrounded by crystal clear waters are several sandbanks. With some luck you might see some Monitor Lizards and snakes. Keep your eyes also in the air, to possibly Horn Bills, Kingfisher, Swallow birds, Bat, Kites and Sea Eagles.

On the south side of the island is a Swallow Bird Cave, which you can enter by kayak, since it is around 16 feet in height and 9 feet wide. The island is a great place for snorkeling, as there are a lot of hard coral reefs and colorful fish.

Island 115 myanmar

6. Hlaingu Island

This island has a lot of caves and lies a distance of about 40 miles away from Kawthaung. There is a freshwater stream on the island, so ships anchor here overnight and often freshwater prawns can be seen as well. Many visitors to the island explore the caves and sandbanks by kayak and enjoy the fantastic sunset between the rock formations.

Sunset over the Mergui Archipelago

7. Steward Island (Ba-wei Island)

Stewart Island, or Ba Wei Island is situated due north west of Cavern Island in the Mergui Archipelago. Its main feature is a smaller islet at its southern end, with a large hole in it, offering great photo opportunities, even above the water. There are many swim throughs here underwater as well, where often you can find large schools of fish hiding from predators such as white tip and black tip reef sharks hunting around the coral reef. Clams and sponges cover the walls and little crabs and all sorts of shrimps make a living in the many crevasses. Dive sites like this are a popular spot for a night dive, conditions permitting.

Why not check out one of our amazing packages to visit Philar Island mergui archipelago or even all of these amazing Islands.

 

 

Share

Learn more about the amazing island around the Mergui Archipelago

Explore and discover the beauty the island of the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar during your cruise or beach holiday.

Island of the Mergui ArchipelagoThe beauty of the islands in the Mergui Archipelago can’t be put into words.  Over 800 island spread along the coastline of the Andaman Sea. Stunning tropical paradises, surrounded by teeming waters full of flora and fauna and amazing underwater scenes and landscapes. Each of the islands has many interesting and amazing things to explore and discover. Nature loving people are in the right spot here.

 

 

 

 

Through a few twists in history, a lot of the Mergui Archipelago has been left to birds and plant life. The area is a renowned destination for activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, kayaking, bird watching, hiking, trekking, sunbathing and more. Most of the islands are covered with bright green tropical rain forest, lined with white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and colorful coral life.

 

 

 

 

Within the warm tropical waters and around the coral reefs you’ll find an abundance of exotic marine life, including whale sharks, turtles, octopus, cuttle fish, sting rays, snakes and many other fish species.

local fisherman myanmarFishing is the traditional business along the coastal seas and around the islands here. A Tribe known for millennia by various names, such as Chao nam (Water folks) by Thais and Moken among themselves, adopted their way of life as marine nomads. They are experts in swimming & diving in the ocean and been known as “Sea Gypsy” or “Men of the Sea”.

The Moken used to live on boats during the dry season and remained on land during the rainy season. The Myanmar government made them more and more stay year around in villages around the Archipelago. Such Villages can be visited on Bo Cho Island or Jar Laan Kyunn. Mergui (Myeik) is the main city in the area, but most travelers use Kawthaung as a gateway to the Archipelago.

 

Our packages are offering trips around the Mergui Archipelago,

Explore and discover the beauty the island of the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar during your cruise or beach holiday such as:

Part 2 – Island around the amazing Lampi National Park

  • Kyunn Me Gyee Island (Clara Island)
  • Salet Galet Island
  • Wa Ale Kyunn Island
  • Kyunn Tann Shey Island (Lampi Island)
  • Bo-Cho Island

Part 3 – Island south of Lampi Island

  • Kyunn Phi Lar Island (Pheela Island or Great Swinton Island)
  • Nga Mann Island (Pula Set or Shark Island)
  • Nyaung Wee Island (Pu-Lu, Buda Island or Palau Bada Island))
  • Poni Island
  • Island 115
  • Hlaingu Island
  • Steward Island (Ba-wei Island)

Part 4 – Island around the Mergui Archipelago

  • Nga Khin Nyo Gyee Island (Boulder Island)
  • Kha Yinn Khwa Island – Macleod Island – Andaman Resort
  • Nyaung Oo Phee Island – Victoria Cliff Resort

Part 5 – Island at the most southern part of the Mergui Archipelago

  • Say-Tan Island – Dunkin
  • Myin Khwar Island – Horse Shoe Island
  • Kyet Mauk Island – Cocks Comb Island – Emerald Heart Island
Share

Sipadan & Mabul Special January & February 2013

Buy 5 days 4 nights, pay only 3½ nights & 50% off on your diving rental.

or

 Buy 3 nights, pay only 2.8 nights & Sipadan permit for only 140RM & 50% off on your diving rental.

See what  Alexandra Cousteau, the granddaughter of the world famous French underwater explorer and filmmaker Jacques-Yves Cousteau has to say about Sipadan this month and take this opportunity and discover one of the best dive sites around Mabul & Sipadan Island.

Limited rooms available, on a first come first serve basis.

Terms & Conditions:-

◦Travel period: 01st. of January 2013 to 28th of February 2013

◦Upon availability of spaces

◦First come, first serve

 

Hurry up and make your reservation before rooms run out!

 

Visit the top one dievsite worldwide

 

For further information, please contact us at info@SouthEastAsiaDreams.com

 

 

Share

by Jenne Lajiun. Posted on December 5, 2012, Wednesday

Alexandra and Simon during the interview.

KOTA KINABALU: Sipadan is still the same as it was in 1988, when world famous French underwater explorer and filmmaker Jacques-Yves Cousteau made his remark, “I have seen other places like Sipadan 45 years ago, but now no more. Now we have found an untouched piece of art.”

Making this claim recently was none other than the late explorer’s own granddaughter, Alexandra Cousteau, who is now attached with the National Geographic as an explorer.

“We watched his film with the crew and it was really interesting. We were comparing how it was in 1988 to how it was now. The abundance looked to be the same and we dove on the same spots. He has written so much about it in his books – in so many other parts of the world, things have changed,” said Alexandra, who was in Sabah to explore and make a short documentary for the National Geography on the beauty of islands in Malaysia with the Scuba Zoo.

“This was in 1988 which was 25 years ago. It is still the same (now) as it was then, the abundance is still as it was then. And we have lost so many since then. It is indeed the most beautiful places I have been. It is 10 out of 10. It is really a revelation. In Sipadan I have never seen so many healthy corals, so many turtles, so many fishes,” she said.

Alexandra mentioned that she first learned how to dive under the guidance of her late grandfather in a diving spot at the southern of France when she was seven years old.

“So much is gone. The Caribbean is almost gone. You have a real treasure. I hope to come back one day with my daughter so that she can dive here like my grandfather did,” she said.

“So many things in Sipadan are extinct like in other parts of the world – it is a real treasure,” she said.

She then mentioned of the conservation effort that were being undertaken in Sipadan — the turtle sanctuary and the shark sanctuary.

“One hundred million sharks are fished and finned every year so it makes sense to have the sanctuary. It may be (one day) the last place in the world that has sharks. A live shark is not only important to the environment but also to the communities around.”

Meanwhile, Scuba Zoo founder and chief executive officer Simon Christopher explained the importance of maintaining the ecological balance in the sea and mentioned why sharks had to be conserved.

“Without sharks, the weak and old will not be predated. There would be massive overgrazing and soon, there will be a desert,” he said.

And having predators in the sea is also a crowd puller and makes perfect sense in the context of touristic attraction.

“If you have no more predators, no one will come,” he said, simply.

He emphasised that a framework needs to be put in place to protect sharks species in Sabah and that various issues related to awareness and controlled fisheries need to be addressed.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/12/05/sipadan-has-not-changed-french-explorer/#ixzz2EhcZr8at

Share