Situated off the coast of Southern Burma lies 800 unexplored islands said to rival the beauty of any island in the world. The islands are truly an unspoilt paradise.
The islands have been owned by the Myanmar government and strictly protected from mass tourism. The only inhabitants of the islands are the Moken, known as the sea gypsies. The sea gypsies travel from island to island setting up small villages and subsisting off of fish, native animals, and plants. Sometimes during the dry season, the sea gypsies live on their boats in the ocean. During the rainy season they often take shelter on the islands.
It is possible to visit the local islands on 3-7 day cruises with various tour providers, but the prices are very high (3 days for $1200 min.). It is also possible to hire under-the-table local tour providers, but their boats are slower and you can only visit local islands. It is not possible for individual travelers to visit the area. It is said only a few hundred people visit a year.
It is a dream of mine to visit these islands. It is expected that there are many undiscovered species that inhabit the islands, which would be a scientist’s dream. People who have visited describe beaches that are “alive.” Beaches that have never been touched by humans, where crabs crawl, butterflies fly, snakes slither, birds flock, and fish swim. Wildlife live as nature intended.
Maybe one day….