If you wish to cruise in the Mergui Archipelago you need to obtain cruising permits in advance. These permits are issued by the governmental travel agency Myanmar Tours and Travels (MTT) in Yangon. While you can arrange your own permit, it is much easier to arrange to add your yacht onto the permit of one of the charter companies licensed to operate in the region.
Once you have obtained a permit and at least 20 days prior to the start of your cruise, you will need to provide a detailed itinerary for your trip and passport information for passengers and crew to MTT.
When your yacht is in Myanmar waters you will have an official guide aboard at all times. This guide is provided by MTT and is responsible for making sure you comply with local regulations and do not go to islands that are off limits. The guides are usually very friendly individuals who can help you with the day-to-day running of the yacht.
Provided your permit and documentation is all properly arranged in advance, checking in at Kawthaung is a quick and simple process and usually takes around half an hour to complete. When you arrive at Kawthaung, contact MTT to assist with the check in process. On arrival there are the following fees:
These fees make cruising in the Mergui Archipelago a relatively expensive proposition. You are however paying for access into a unique, unspoiled and very special area – there are very few places left in the world where you can explore over 800 jungle covered islands and have practically the whole 10,000 square miles of wilderness just to yourself.
The Myanmar navy operates checks on yachts in the area. It would be pure folly to enter without the proper approvals and permits.
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.
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