Kawthaung Myanmar

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Kawthaung south Myanmar


There are some Kawthaung hotels at the waterfront such as the Honey Bear,

but the best is the Andaman Club Resort on a small island a bit west of the city, the purpose of this resort is the casino where they carry plenty of Thai people every day for a little game. The second major use of the place is for the visa run out of south Thailand to get another 2 week visa extension when coming back to the Ranong immigration office. Every day around 200 people shuttle back and forward between Ranong and Kawthaung for the visa plus a few hundred locals for visiting and trade.

Kawthaung city is located in Tanintharyi Division,

under the British it was known as Victoria Point, after the Queen. In 1865 some Malay - Indonesian trader founded the village as a trading point.
Inhabitants are Mon, Bamar some Thai, Salone or Sea Gypsies and a high

amount of Indian descend who came in with the British during colonial times between 1824 and 1948, The main city of this area before was Maliwan north of Kawthaung, in 1891 government offices were moved to Victoria Point because Maliwan had no suitable harbor.

The weather is often wet, the area between Myeik or Mergui further north and this place has highest rainfall rate in the country with well over 400cm per year. Also this doesn't encourage tourism very much.


View Larger Map
Here is a Kawthaung Myanmar Travel

The third purpose of the city is the harbor which houses the biggest fishing fleet of the country carrying in the catches from the Andaman Sea, there are often conflicts when Thai enter Burmese water without a license, they also do all kind of tricks to cheat.

There is also an airport with several flights to Mergui and Yangon every day, the problem is with the visa issued here it is only possible to move around within city limits no way to go elsewhere. A small exception is when using the Andaman Club Resort, they have permission to carry people around on sightseeing trips to some islands in close vicinity. There are a couple of hotels, notable the Honey Bear Hotel just right at the waterfront and some other.

The area is easily accessible from Yangon by several daily flights of Yangon Airways, Air Bagan and Myanma Airways. There is also a daily ship connection between Myeik or Mergui and the city. But it is not possible to use this ship with a visa issued by local immigration. From Phuket, Samui, Phang Nga and around, there are plenty of buses everyday. E.g. the bus ticket from Phuket to Ranong is Baht 350,-,  where the bus stops walk down to the main street there are continuous pick up trucks waiting to carry the people to the immigration pier.

The trip Ranong to Kawthaung Myanmar

is also attractive for Thai people since it allows duty free shopping. About 200 foreigners come here every day- paying each 10 dollars to the Burmese immigration, a continues stream of income. Thai's coming in to buy cheap cigarettes, cheap whisky and other stuff. When visiting on the Thai side have a look for the Isthmus of Kra at the road to Chumphom.

Kawthaung City Center
Kawthaung Myanmar City Center

Business & People, atmosphere is Indo-Chinese and Buddhist plus a touch of Islam, Muslim people are around, they are mainly of Indian origin and from today Pakistan.

There are several pagodas and mosques. Burmese men sauntered and idled; the women, stout, downright and handsome, managing the bazaar, the Andaman Sea is in front and it's a very busy little town at this southernmost tip of the country, read more.

Flower bazaar

Kawthaung Myanmar boat travel

Harbor is a very busy place since here is the end of the country and no roads lead into the rest everyone and everything is moved on the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, sometimes the water is quite dirty.

Interestingly the waterfront area doesn't "stink" from fish as it is in opposite Ranong. This little city breathes still colonial air. There is not much to do, the foreigners come in for a visa (about 200 of them), pay $10-, and return immediately to Thailand, read more.

Kawthaung Myanmar landing in front of the hotels and money changer.


Irrawaddy River Delta

South Myanmar is the land southwards of a line from Cape Negrais (near Pathein or Bassein) and the West Coast of Thailand.

This describes the coasts of Burma and Thailand between Cape Negrais and Phuket it includes the Irrawaddy River Delta, the Gulf of Martaban, the Mergui or Myeik Archipelago all the way down to the southernmost tip of the country at Kawthaung or Victoria Point, read more.

Myeik Harbor
south beaches
Beaches are pristine since there are no visitors around only the sea gypsies and they produce only very limited rubbish. A ideal area for island vacation but the visa problem makes it not possible.

Plenty of beaches on the over 800 islands and maybe another 500 at the coast would make this area a ideal place for tourism and would bring lots of positive to the local population including immense wealth because of touristic activities as it is seen in neighboring Thailand.

Actually there is absolutely no progress on the, because the people who have the money to do this sit in Yangon and have no interest, it's too far and the return of investment would take to long time on top of it the military blocks anything because they have lots of interests here, read more.

south beach
in the city

Great exotic photos could be shoot here and around but it his it's limitations.

This town is around 150 years old and saw many people come and go among other British colonialists. The place is a bit rotten as many places in the East and elsewhere on the world but it has some kind of an exotic charm and shows incredible scenes and panoramas. Its the gateway into the south but unfortunately the limit to stay for foreigners are the city limits only (2013) and it doesn't look as if anything would change, means photo shooting is very limited, read more.

Kawthaung Myanmar busy harbor
Phuket visa run by boat

Phuket Visa Run is a Thai specialty but not only, in the last Thaksin government they did a couple of things to keep tourists out of Thailand.

Every country in the region tries to get "farang" in but in the country of smiles they did the opposite, the Thaksin government invented a strategy to keep foreigners they thought with low income out and lure high rollers in.

This attempts failed grandiosely but nobody take that really serious since the victims where foreigners anyway, read more.

Phuket visa run by bus
Private yachts in the harbor

Kawthaung Myanmar trip

since this is a very interesting area to travel many people make have a look around. Beside of the visa run people come to Ranong to buy goods and many Thai use the boat to the other side to buy duty free items since this is a very isolated area goods are duty free.

There is also quite some business going on regarding fisheries both city are the biggest harbor of the respective country in the south. Every day private yachts come in to sail the island world, read more.

Sea Gypsies or Salone are the indigenous inhabitants of this "Island World" between here and Myeik or Mergui they are there since hundreds of years. Before the British came they sold the pearls to Chinese traveling traders who came in with their junks, after they sold to the Portuguese and again after to the British colonialist, which gave them a dirty deal, the Salone Pearl Diver harvested oysters, gave the pearls to the British and they gave them alcohol and opium in exchange just like todays drug dealers read more.

salone or sea gypsies
South Myanmar Islands

Islands around Kawthaung are plenty and up to the Myeik or Mergui Archipelago there are around 900 of them. This are pristine spots in the Andaman Sea and most of them have never been touched. Actually the Salone are the natives of the island world.

There are thousands of pretty beaches with fine sand and limestone boulders. This would be a ideal tourist setting and could bring wealth to this backward corner but since decades the government blocks any development.

There is some ore and diamond mining going on between Mergui and Kawthaung but not on the islands, read more.

South Myanmar Islands
  Photos from the south
From Ranong to Kawthaung
Border between Thailand and Myanmar
Kawthaung city waterfront pagoda and jetty
The Population

of Kawthaung and the coast around came down the coast from the Pegu, today Bago, dominions, and also by the fact that in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries Mergui belonged to Burma.

At that time also the official language was Siamese, as were most of the government officials. Yet neither the Burmese nor the Siamese counted for much at Kawthaung as Indian people who had the majority and also dominated the commercial situation.



waterfront at the bay
Sea Gypsies Islands

Salone Pearl Diver
Pearl Oyster
Pearl Oyster farming and diving
Phuket Ranong Visa RunPhuket Visa RunPhuket Visa RunIsland adventure
Thailand Visa Run
water traffic is very busy
Kawthaung City
The jetty in front of the city, passenger
ships for the coast and islands leave from here.
Kawthaung waterfront is very busy every day since many
people move between the country and Thailand,
all is done by "longtail" boats.
very old Harbor visa run from thailand longtailboat rushing in the bay
Kawthaung Casino on the island
Casino Island and
Kawthaung small immigration on the island
on arrival at the pagoda island
on south islands at Kawthaung
the harbor is quite rotten a small Water Front south islands
island temple and pagoda
Several temples are around, also some Buddhist monasteries.
visa run is a quick business

Kawthaung visa run from Ranong
Ranong and fishing trawler
Victoria Point Travel to the end
Victoria Point was the former name during colonial


golden pagodas of the south
Pagodas are several, there are also some

Landing in front of Honey Bear Hotel

Water Front with the pier and some hotels
Front with the Honey Bear Hotel, t
he harbor is
somehow a real rotten place, not much has
changed and a salone houseboat.
salone houseboat between the islands


island travel in the south
This rotten bus somehow symbolizes the condition in
the city

The Salone are the natives of the Mergui Archipelago
they are Negritos from the South Sea

the British called it Victoria Point
Kawthaung City front dominated by the tired roof
visa run to kawthaung myanmar
Tour to Kawthaung is done by hundreds of people ever day, either local and around 200 foreigners.
Travel in the South sea
Travel Kawthaung is mainly for local people and foreigners doing the visa run
Visa Checkpoint off kawthaung myanmar
Immigration moved into a newer wooden
building they built just in front of this one

Opposite is Ranong Thailand

Ranong Harbor is very busy
Ranong and the fishing fleet, very often they are fishing in the wrong waters
Trip through the andaman sea
A trip is a somehow exotic adventure especially when there is bad weather

There are several pagoda and mosques around
waterfront looks not bad
at the waterfront everything is on stilts

Thailand visa run
The main  boat type used are long tail boats where the steering is by moving the engine , shaft and propeller.

Only the authorities use outboard engines, they simply are to expensive for the average people.

City Center with pagodas and mosques
Kawthaung City Center and mosque

Life is busy at the waterfront and the market, people come from the islands to buy things since there is no infrastructure on the Islands, only jungle and beach but there is very colorful life going on under the water surface. The area of the Myeik Archipelago and down to the south is one of the least exploited sea ground on the planet since it was virtually closed down since hundreds of years.

Now slowly some tourist business with adventure trips, scuba diving and island holidays become available.

Map of Kawthaung
Kawthaung and island Map
all at e-books
South Myanmar Islands

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