With a magnificent, largely untouched coastline, jungle interior and a sprinkling of islands, Burma’s Dawei region more than anywhere else along this coastline has enormous potential for tourism.

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Despite being Tanintharyi region’s capital and administrative centre, old Tavoy town itself is much smaller than either Mawlamyine or Myeik and has a very laidback, almost sleepy feel to it. Arriving from either of its noisy neighbours, Dawei may come as something of a surprise. The town is separated from the Andaman Sea by the narrow, beach-lined Dawei Peninsula. The eponymous swampy river, aside which the town is built, forms the eastern side of the peninsula and runs south to meet the coast in a murky, mangrove-filled estuary.

Meet Dawei. : Mark Ord.
Meet Dawei. Photo: Mark Ord

The compact town lies on flat land and comprises a couple of north-south and east-west running streets in a neat grid system. There’s none of Mawlamyine’s hills or Myeik’s curves – the provincial capital is orderly and one of the tidiest, cleanest towns we’ve seen in Burma. Locals sweep shop terraces and tend villa gardens while municipal workers clean streets and meticulously paint colour-coded curb-side bollards. Neither does the town centre have much of the new construction you’ll see in Myeik. Apart from a few hotels, there’s little to break up the homogenous low ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,500 words.)

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