Mergui or Myeik is a city in Tanintharyi Division in Myanmar (Burma), located in the extreme south of the country on the coast of an island on the Andaman Sea. The area inland is a major smuggling area into Thailand.
In the 18th century, Mergui was a port belonging to the Thai Ayutthaya Kingdom. It became an important trading center, especially for the Europeans, who would land at Mergui, travel upriver to Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) and then cross the mountains to reach Ayutthaya. The British occupied the region after the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1826.
The population is engaged in fishing, production of rubber and coconuts, manufacture of fermented shrimp paste, and the collection of edible bird's nests. Offshore, the 800 islands of the Mergui Archipelago have a huge potential for tourist development. Tourism in the area is in the form of live aboard boats http://www.merguiprincess.com/mergui_cruise.htm as land based accommodations are non-existent on the islands. This keeps the area very attractive as low impact tourism preserves the area's natural beauty. see http://www.mergui.org
The inhabitants of the area are known as Salone or Moken, Sea Gypsies who are said to be related to island tribes from Malaysia.
The town is home to Myeik University. (...) more…
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