Nestled on the hills overlooking the southern section of the archipelago. Kawthaung is Myanmar’s southernmost point and shares a border crossing with Ranong Thailand, multiple longtail boats service this border crossing ferrying everything from Pepsi, motorbikes and Tourists wanting to extend their Thai Visa’s. The Longtail trip from Ranong to Kawthaung takes 25 minutes stopping at small Islands for immigration and customs checks the cost is around 50-100 Bhat. The crossing of the border is now a very simple and well-practiced process with no prior permissions required with the exception of those wanting to travel onward into the Archipelago or to Myeik who are required to have Myanmar Visa’s which can be acquired at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok.
As you depart your boat you will be greeted by a welcoming party of immigration and a large number of taxi drivers and unofficial tour guides all trying to make a dollar, this is one place you should barter. Over 200 tourists per day come from Thailand and make a 10 minute trip to “Myanmar” to extend their visa’s. If you are one of these such tourists remember to bring your passport plus a copy and a fresh $10 American bill as you will require it. After immigration we encourage you to actually spend a day or two in town as it’s an interesting place and culturally very different to Thailand, The key to enjoying your time in Kawthaung is to escape 100m back from the harbor where the towns winding streets and charm offers sanctuary from the harbor front hustle.
Things to do;
Explore a little; Kawthoung is surrounded by the Mergui National Reserve which is the last restricted area for tourists in the south of Myanmar where prior permission is required to enter these areas. Still you are allowed 24 miles outside the city zone so make the most of it.
Head Nor-west on the coastal road which winds around the hills with lovely views across the water. The road out towards the airport is lined with the occasional palm tree and a smattering of local beer station which are terrific vantage points to farewell the sun over a cold Myanmar larger.
This two part waterfall is well worth the trip, Maliwun waterfall is the essence of tranquility and a great place to relax. The first waterfall leads up to the second which as a very manageable 45min bushwalk to access. The garden area is well maintained with small boats on the pond and plenty of birdlife to serenade you.
How to get to; 16 miles up state highway 8 from Kawthaung, hire a motorbike or grab a guide.
For a small window in January you can watch the local fisherman bring in their catch the harmless jellies are processed for salads and noodles.
Getting there; walk around the coast
Palu Village Bridge
This 400m bridge is a feat of engineering, constructed from natural materials this rickety bridge is a great photo opportunity and the island itself provides a great opportunity to interact with the locals.
Getting there; motorbike or taxi approx. 4 miles up coastal road from town
This casino is located just off Kawthaung, while Southern Myanmar does not wish to promote gambling it is worth mentioning that for Circa $8 you can get a ferry ride to the island and explore the small beach on this island as well as the rest of the complex.
How to get to; Longtail boat from the harbor or from Andaman Club office in Kawthaung, circa $8
Kawthaung Tennis Club
Social Club plays most days 5pm at the Kawthaung Courts; we suggest a donation is made or buy the lads a post-match beer.
How to get to; Walk one block west of Penguin Guesthouse