The Mergui Archipelago (or Myek Archipelago as it was known formally) is one of the few under-explored places left in the world. This is largely due to the self-imposed isolation Myanmar (formally known as Burma) had for approximately 50 years. The port of Mergui used to be the gateway port to the east for the west. In 1997 Myanmar started to open the Mergui Archipelago to very limited amounts of Liveaboards and visitors. The formations of the archipelago are the same as the Similan Islands, and were formed at the same time, with large granite formations on the west sides of the islands and pristine sandy beaches with sloping reefs on the east sides of the islands.
High season in this area officially begins in November, and ends in May, but the visibility varies all year round, from generally 20 meters to sometimes over 40 meters, on the outer islands, though visibility can be much lower on the inner islands of the archipelago.
On the west side of the islands the granite formations create channels, caves and swim throughs, with many “nooks” and “crannies” to investigate. A few of these sites have gorgonian fan forests, with the possibility of spotting bamboo sharks and white-tip reef sharks sleeping between them. This is an area for diving that nearly always turns up something special with a rich and wide variety of aquatic life from the smallest nudibranchs to the largest fish and rays, the whale shark and the manta ray.
With so few of the islands within the archipelago inhabited the wildlife is abundant. Visiting many of the deserted beaches tracks of turtles to their nests and even large cats can be seen in the pristine white sand. Hornbills of several varieties, macaque monkeys, fruit bats, mouse deer up to wild elephants have been seen. With verdant jungle covering the islands it truly feels like a land that time forgot. Resting under a clear night sky looking up at the northern and southern hemisphere stars you can appreciate the uniqueness of this wilderness.
Distance from Phuket:150 Nautical Miles
Diving Depth: 0 - 40m (0-135ft)
Visibility: Variable Sea Temperature: 27/29°C
Diver Level: All levels, though to get the best from all the sites Advanced Open water or above.