Special Supplement

LAMPI: The only marine national park in Myanmar

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Photo - Istituto Oikos

The following is a reproduction of the materials printed in Lampi Marine National Park guidebook published by Istituto Oikos and Forest Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. We express our sincere thanks to the publisher for their kind permission for reproduction of the materials. – Managing Editor


Lampi Marine National Park (MNP), designated in 1996, comprises Lampi, the biggest island of the Park and the core of the site, and about 20 smaller islands in its surroundings. Lampi island is 205 km2 and is oriented in a north-south direction, with a length of 48 km and a maximum width of about 6 km; it is generally hilly, presenting a rocky coast with sandy beaches, bays and inlets.

The area is covered by tropical lowland wet evergreen forest in the interior, mangrove forest along rivers and fresh-water sources, and beach and dune forest along the coast.

The Park protects a rich biodiversity, with more than 50 terrestrial and marine endangered species; the whole area is rich in coral reefs, seaweed and seagrass beds which serve as important habitats for molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms, fishes and it is home to whale species, dugong and sea turtles.

The protected area provides food, water and energy sources to the local population.

Spiritual and cultural values are attributed to the site by Moken sea gypsies who consider Lampi a “Mother island”. Socioeconomic and demographic pressures are at present the main threats to the natural and cultural values of the Park.

GETTING TO LAMPI
Lampi can be reached from either Myanmar or Thailand. From Myanmar, the quickest way to reach Kawthaung is by plane. A number of airlines offer domestic flights from Yangon, which can take 2 hours (with one stop in Dawei) or 2 hours and 40 minutes (with stops in Dawei and Myeik). Cost is around US$ 320-330 for a return ticket in the high season.Improvements to the road between Yangon and Kawthaung have recently been made, but at the time of writing, there are no details of any regular transport services. The road journey from Yangon is long and involves 2-3 overnight stops.

From the Thailand side, Kawthaung is reached via Ranong. The border crossing involves a long-tail boat-ride to Kawthaung that takes approximately 20 minutes and costs around 250 Thai Baht.

VISA AND PERMITS
To reach Lampi, international visitors require special permits, which are arranged through licensed tour operators. For live-aboard cruises, permits will be arranged as part of the service provided by your tour operator. Tours must be booked at least two weeks in advance of travel to obtain the travel permit in time for your trip.

ACCOMMODATION
At present, accommodation for international tourists is limited to live-aboard boats. Some other options may become available. Domestic visitors, who do not require visas or permits to visit Lampi, can book Lampi tours through local tour operators.

MONEY MATTERS
Only Myanmar Kyat and Thai Baht are accepted in the Myeik Archipelago and Lampi Marine National Park.

WHEN TO VISIT
The best season to visit Lampi is from October to May during the dry season. From December to March, it is high season, with pleasant northeast winds, hot and sunny weather during the day and cool temperatures overnight. This is a great time of year for sailing and fishing. Between April and May it is very hot, with little wind. There is great diving and migratory whales can also be seen during these months. From June to September the Park is effectively closed, with heavy rain, strong winds and rough seas.

MOBILE PHONES & INTERNET CONNECTION
Although there is no mobile phone coverage in Lampi Marine National Park, some limited signal and internet access (only MPT) can sometimes be found at the Park’s Visitor Centre.

THE BEST BEACHES OF LAMPI
The best sandy beaches of Lampi are located on the western side of the Park, each and every one is a treasure! If you are lucky, you can see monkeys sitting on the beach leisurely snacking on crabs. Bulet Aw is one of the most beautiful beaches of Bo Cho island and can be reached through a 30-minute walk from Makyone Galet village. It is a great place to rest and take in the beauty of the Archipelago, wander along the sandy shoreline, or take a swim.

One of the longest, most accessible and stunning white beaches is on the southwest side of Lampi island. It stretches from the casuarinas forest at the mouth of the mangrove tourist river. At low-tide, when all the sandy beach emerges, you can walk for almost an hour to a nearby small island. You will find yourself walking on a long sandy strip, without footprints and with turquoise waters to both sides.

Another extraordinary beach to the north is on Wa Ale island. Here you may come across turtle tracks between December and March. This beautiful wide beach is surrounded by hillsides of tropical evergreens and at low-tide has an interesting rock passage-way at the southern end of the beach. On Wa Ale island, waves can be strong at times.
TOUR OPERATORS

A One Diving
www.a-one-diving.com
info@a-one-diving.com
Mobile: +66 (0) 819815510
Mobile 2: +66 (0) 77832984
Fax: +66 (0) 77832984

Burma Boating
www.burmaboating.com

Intrepid
www.intrepidtravel.com/trips/tssb or www.intrepidtravel.com/trips/tskb

Moby Dick Tours Co Ltd
www.islandsafarimergui.com
www.islandtoursasia.com
info@islandsafarimergui.com

Tourism Myanmar Co-Op Limited (TMC Limited)
165, 35th Street, Kyauktada Tsp., Yangon
Myanmar
Tel: +959 5150660 or 09780 204020
Email: travel.evisa@gmail.com
www.merguitours.com
facebook.com/mergui.cruise

Wa Ale Resort
www.waaleresort.com
www.lampifoundation.com




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Istituto Oikos is a non-profit organisation that operates in Europe and developing countries to safeguard biodiversity. It promotes a responsible management of natural resources and the widespread adoption of more-sustainable lifestyles as tools for social and economic development and for fighting poverty.

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