Diving in the Mergui Archipelago
Searching for an unconventional destination for world-class diving? The unexplored remote waters of the Mergui Archipelago could be just the thing for you. There are a choice of live aboard boats to suite most budgets and experience levels.
The dive sites offer a wealth of diversity from macro delights to gigantic manta rays, and all safe in the knowledge that the waters will definitely not be crowded. In fact the chances are that you probably will not see another dive boat for days!
The Mergui Archipelago is a unique area both above water as well as below. The archipelago covers an area of over 1200 square miles and comprises over 800 islands of which all but two are uninhabited! The island scenery is quite sensational and equally as unexplored as most of the reefs. The area was strictly off limits to all foreigners until in 1997. Because of its seclusion, these environs have only been superficially charted; the interior of many of the islands has never been surveyed at all. The only other humans you will see, besides the remote possibility of a couple of other divers, are the nomadic sea gypsies.
Bird watching in the Mergui Archipelago
There is a plethora of birdlife in this remote area. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your view, there is only one place to be able to view it from, namely Fork Island, as this is the only island with reasonable standard accommodation – The Myanmar Andaman Resort.
The island is home to at least 5 species of birds of prey: White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela), Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus), Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) and an unidentified Buzzard.
Beside birds of pray, Fork Island is an important breeding and foraging site for Wreathed Hornbills (Aceros undulates), a good indicator to the good health of the forest. Other interesting birds on the island include important populations of Edible-nest Swiftlets (Collocalia fuciphaga) that breed in caves at sea level, Collared kingfishers (Todiramphus chloris) and the elusive Beach Thick-knee (Esacus neglectus), which is a large wader that requires undisturbed sandy beaches to live on. Many more bird species breed in the forest on the island, making it a real bird sanctuary.
The island is also home to butterflies, squirrels and other wild life such as wild pigs and giant monitor lizards.