Three years ago, Myanmar was the country of the moment, a land of immense beauty and cultural riches that was opening itself to the world. And then came the dreadful Rohingya crisis. But despite the social and political turmoil, Myanmar remains a place of immense potential. In particular, the Mergui Archipelago, in the far south of the country, is an untouched group of around 800 tropical islands, covered by rainforest, rimmed by white sand and inhabited by the seafaring, semi-nomadic Moken people. The pristine surrounding waters of the Andaman Sea are home to whale sharks, dugongs and significant populations of cetacean species such as Bryde’s whales, blue whales, orcas and dolphins.
The new Awei Pila resort is located on the island of Pila, a two-hour speedboat ride from the mainland. It features 24 air-conditioned tented villas, an open-air restaurant and a spa. Activities include some of the best scuba diving in Southeast Asia, jungle trekking and bird-watching. The resort’s management has promised that the property will become a model for sustainable development. There is a marine biologist on staff, electricity will be generated by solar panels and no single-use plastic will be imported to the island.