Posts Tagged ‘holiday destination’

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

 

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Major Events, Festivals and Holiday within Thailand

Find below a little a summary of the major events and festivals during Thailand’s calendar year. These events are often spectacular occasions and can be great fun to visit.

Hundreds of festivals and temple fairs are celebrated throughout Thailand. Thais are fun-loving, sentimental people and annual festivals, both commemorative and celebrate, play important roles in Thai life.

Many Thai festivals are colorful and joyful events that invite visitors’ to join and participation. Others feature solemn, eminently photogenic ceremonial. Whatever their character, whether Buddhist devotion, dazzling processions, exotic ritual or uninhibited merriment, each affords the visitor pleasant memories and gives you a insights into the cultural heritage that makes Thailand  Asia’s most exotic and amazing country.

Most festivals are connected either with Buddhism, the annual rice-farming cycle or commemorations honoring Thai kings. Some occur on fixed dates, others, particularly those associated with Buddhism, are determined by the lunar calendar. And if one of these holidays falls onto a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday, will also a holiday and government offices and many commercial offices will be closed.

 

JANUARY

New Year’s Day – 2 January   (Public Holiday)
The beginning of the western New Year is a national holiday in Thailand, one of three “new year” holidays celebrated every year. more…

 

FEBRUARY / MARCH

Makha Bucha – February  (Public Holiday)
Makha Bucha celebrates the Buddha’s first sermon (around 2.500 years ago) in to his disciple and is one of the hoist Buddhist holy days, it Day marks the occasion when saint-disciples of the Buddha spontaneously gathered to hear his preaching.
The holiday may also known as Magha Puja or Lord Buddha Day and is considered Day of Love in Buddhism. Most Thai Buddhists will go on Makha Pucha Day to a temple to pay their respects to the Lord Buddha. Magha is a Pali and Sanskrit word meaning the third lunar month, and Puja is a word in the same language that means to venerate or honor and pronounced in Thai as Makha Bucha. The exact day of this second important Buddhist festival day depending on the Lunar cycle. more…

 

APRIL

Chakri Day – 6 April  (Public Holiday)

The Chakri Day commemorates the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty which has been ruling Thailand since 1782. This dynasty was founded by Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (King Rama I) in 1782 who came to throne on that day. On this day people of Thailand recognize the contributions of all the kings in the dynasty and to pay respect and reverence to their former kings as well as the present King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradeba­yavarangkun (King Rama X). More …

 

Songkran Festival Day – 13-16 April (Public Holidays)
Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year, joyfully celebrated throughout the country with rituals of merit making, honoring the elders, and parades of dancers, music troupes and water splashing.  The throwing or pouring water during the annual Songkran Festival originally dates back to the spring cleaning of Thai houses, and welcoming the rainy season. Devout Buddhist will particularly pour scented, blessed water over images of the Lord Buddha to pay respect, asking for a blessing and washing away of bad omens. A fun festival for everybody to join in.

Be prepared to get soaking wet, as the streets will filled with water-throwing revelers, using anything that can contain water. The country will be at an almost complete standstill during these days, joining fellow Thais and visitors in a refreshing escape from the humidity and heat.  More detail about Thailand’s most fun festival and its culture background

 

MAY

National Labor Day – 1 May (Public Holiday)
International Labor Day is also celebrated as a national holiday, even though there isn’t much ado about it. Some businesses may be closed. more …

 

Coronation Day – 4 May  (Public Holiday)
The day when the reigning Maha Vajiralongkorn was crowed as the 10th king of the Chakri Dynaaty in 2019 over a three-day coronation. On the 4th of May he was to be anointed and crowed, on the 5th of May a royal procession took place and on the 6th of May the king grant an audience. more…

 

Wisakha (Visakha) Bucha Day – Full Moon Day in May (Public Holiday)
The holiest Buddhist holiday celebrates the three events of Budhda – the birth, enlightenment and his achievement of Nirvana.

Buddha Purnima is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar. It is the most important festival of the Buddhists and is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

The exact date of Vesakha is celebrated on the full moon of the sixth lunar month or the first full moon in the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. The date varies from year to year in the Gregorian calendar but is typically in May. More detail and background…..

 

Phuetcha Mongkhon or the Royal Ploughing Ceremony (May) – goverment holiday
This ceremony marks official commencement of the annual rice-planting cycle and takes place  in Bangkok’s Sanam Luang, an open field and public square in front of Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace to usher in the new planting season with good luck and hopes. As Royal Ploughing Day is a holiday for state employees, government offices will be closed.  more…

 

JUNE

 

H.M. The Queen Suthida’s Birthday – 3 June   (Public Holidays)
His Majesty the King named General Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya the new queen on May 1st 2019 and conferred upon Queen Suthida the formal title of Her Majesty the Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana on May 4th 2019.

The Queen Suthida’s Birthday is a national holiday in Thailand.

 

 

JULY

Asarnha Bucha Day (Substitution for Asarnha Bucha Day) – July   (Public Holidays)
Celebrating the Buddha’s first sermon in which he set out to his five former associates the doctrine that had come to him following his enlightenment.

Asahna Bucha is a national Holiday in Thailand. It replaced Buddhist Lent as a gazetted holiday in 2007.

The date in the western calendar depends on the Lunar cycle. It is also known as Asalha Puja or Dhamma Day.

 

AUGUST


H.M. The Queen’s Birthday – 14 August 2017 (Public Holiday)
Mother’s Day was first introduced to Thailand on 15th April, 1950. In 1976, Mother’s Day was changed to 12th August to commemorate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit ,the Mother of all Thai people. 

The birthday of her Majesty Queen Dowager Sirikit  remains a holiday as National Mother’s Day

 

OCTOBER

  The Passing of King Bhumibol – 13 October   (Public Holiday)
For decades, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the only king the people of Thailand knew, and became a symbol of stability and was much beloved by the people of his realm.

Born on 5 December, 1927, Bhumibol Adulyadej died on 13 October, 2016. He took the throne in 1946, reigned for 70 years, and came to be called “Father of the Nation”.  After a long struggle with illness, he finally passed away, at the age of 88. One year later, the king was cremated and transported on a restored, golden royal chariot in an elaborate procession to Phra Merumat, to be interred with many of his ancestors of the Chakri Dynasty. Shrines were erected in the king’s honor all over the nation, and the mourning over his death lasted a full year. more…

 

Chulalongkorn Memorial Day – 23 October   (Public Holiday)
The day commemorates King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who passed away on October 23rd 1910. He was the fifth monarch of Siam from the House of Chakri and is considered one of the greatest kings of Siam (now Thailand). He is remembered as the king who introduced many social and political reforms that helped to modernize Siam including the abolishment of slavery. more…

 

DECEMBER


H.M. The King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Birthday – 5 December  (Public Holiday)

The 5th of December commemorates the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and is celebrated throughout the country,

It is also Thailand’s National Day and is the day when Father’s Day is celebrated in Thailand.

 

Constitution Day (Substitution for Constitution Day) – 10 December  (Public Holiday)
Celebrates the date in 1932 when the country was granted its first constitution. more…

 

New Years’ Eve – 31 December  (Public Holiday)
The day before the Western New Year day is always marked a national holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When are the exact dates for holidays in Thailand?  Just click here to get the update calendar

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Myanmar eases travel rules

January 21, 2014 by TTRweekly

YANGON, 21 January 2014:    Myanmar’s immigration minister Khin Yi says the Muse-Shwe Li border gate will soon be upgraded to provide a new tourist entry point to the country.inside-no-511

The immigration minister told local media that the border gates between Myanmar and Thailand – including Tachileik-Mae Sai, Myawady-Mae Sot, Kawthoung-Ranong and Htee Khee-Sunaron – have also been upgraded as official international entry points for international visitors allowing them to travel freely to other destinations in the country and exit through a different checkpoint if required.

Visitors with valid passports and pre-issued visas from a Myanmar Embassy have been allowed to travel freely to most destinations in the country since last August.

According to the plan, foreign visitors holding a valid visa will be allowed to enter and exit Myanmar through the Muse gate, or exist through other points such as Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports.

Myanmar is opening up more and moreToday, visitors crossing the border at Muse must enter and exit at the same point.

“The ministry will carry out tasks for mutual visa exemptions, upgrade an online visa system and allow permanent residence for foreigners wishing to work or retire in the country.”

He added: “We will cooperate through our links with regional organisations like GMS, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, and ACEMECS to introduce improvements such as, installing advanced technologies at international airports, border gateways, and government departments to establish a real-time data system and systematic immigration border management systems during the next fiscal year.”

Last year, Myanmar fully opened four checkpoints on the Myanmar-Thai border, namely Tachileik- Mae Sai, Myawaddy-Mae Sot, Tiki-Sunarong and Kawthoung-Ranong.

Myanmar southern border town

Travellers can continue their journey to other destinations and it gives them the choice to exit through another checkpoint than the one they used to enter the country.

Myanmar has 16 border checkpoints with neighbouring countries, but most of them offer limited access.Welcome sign at the bordertown Kawthaung / Myanmar

Myanmar authorities also grants pre-arranged visa-on-arrival for visitors for visitors from 48 countries. It requires pre-approval from authorities. Once the traveller has confirmation that the visa-on-arrival has been approved they can travel to Yangon to have the visa stamped into their passport on arrival.

However, airlines are very reluctant to transport visitors who claim to have a visa on arrival approved. They argue that supporting evidence that a visa has been approved and will be issued on arrival is not clear cut.

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.Welcome to the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar with its amazing island

Visit one of the mergui archipelago resort islands either Back to nature or One Island – One Resort retreat, the Mergui Archipelago cater for all

island of the Myrk Archipelago

1 Nga Khin Nyo Gyee Island – Boulder Island

Nga Khin Nyo Gyee Island is one of the farthest islands in the archipelago and located on the western side of the Mergui Archipelago. The island is covered with tropical rain-forest and invites guests to some easy to medium challenging hiking and trekking. On one of the many beaches around the island you will find a small resort with 20 bungalows. Besides sandy beaches there are many rocks and large boulders around, which give the island also the name “Boulder Island”. The island comprises of a mixed vegetation and is home for many birds, such as the white bellied Sea Eagle or the Brahminy Kite. The island is also the domicile of some monitor lizards, pythons, jungle mouse and many other animals. Nga Khin Nyo Gyee offers many opportunities for hiking, trekking, sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and scuba diving.  Enjoy our back to the nature experience

Nga Khin Nyo Gyee Island - Boulder Island

2 Kha Yinn Khwa Island – Macleod Island

The island lies about 40 miles to the west from Kawthaung. The Andaman Resort is the only man-made construction on the island. The cottages and suites of the resort are strewn across the forest, but only just meters away from the beach. Macleod Island is still one of the unspoiled islands in the Mergui Archipelago and boasts great scuba diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking and fishing near and around the island. Amongst the many activities here, you will also be able to enjoy bird watching, trekking and jungle hiking on the island.

Kha-Yinn-Khwa-Island-–-Macleod-Island-Andamanresort

3 Nyaung Oo Phee Island

Nyaung Oo Phee is a secluded private island in the southern part of the Mergui Archipelago. The island’s more than 500 acres of land area include pristine white beaches and dense forest. Nyaung Oo Phee’s location in the Mergui Archipelago and its private setting make the resort very appealing to families. The island is a great place to discover a vast array of wildlife and sea species amongst untouched and colorful coral reefs during snorkeling, kayaking, hiking and even scuba diving.​ The Island is also known for its One Island – One Resort packages

Nyaung Oo Phee Island

 

4 Zar Det Kyee Island – Saint Matthew’s Island

Zar Det Kyee also sometimes written as Zadetkyi or Zadethyi Kyun Island, is also known by its British name Saint Matthew’s Island. This is the largest island of the southern group in the Mergui archipelago. The two prominent peaks, the highest being 864 m and located in the middle of the island and the other peak at 858 m rising at the southern end, give visitors entering the southern Bay a feeling of arriving at King Kong Island. The island is hilly and thickly wooded. Its northern side forms the southern shore of Hastings Harbor, where the Myanmar Navy base is located.

fisherman-mergui-archipelago0

5 Zar Det Nge Kyunn Island (Hastings Island)

This Island lies about 60 meters above sea level and is located near Kampong Mah Puteh, a town on the west coast of Myanmar (Burma). This region is not really a tourist destination yet, but it is becoming more often visited and it does have a harbor, where vessels can anchor near a naval base.

Hastings Island is a narrow Isthmus with thick mangrove jungle and most of the natural vegetation is still intact. There are also white sandy beaches on the western side of the island and this place is great for scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing and kayaking. Some fishermen’s families live on the beach, surviving on what they catch from the ocean and hunting in the woods.

Zar-Det-Nge-Kyunn-Island-Hastings-Island-Myanmar

6 Taung La Bo Island

There are no scuba diving spots around the island. But it is a great spot for some amazing snorkeling and strolling on the pristine beach. Always keep your eyes in the sky too. You might be able to spot some sea eagle or kite hunting for lunch.

Why not check out one of our amazing packages and the other mergui archipelago resort islands or even all of these amazing Islands by one of our cruises.

 

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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.

 

 

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