An introduction to southern Burma

Burma’s long, thin Tanintharyi Region stretches south down the Andaman coast and eventually narrows to a sharp point. At the very tip of this point, just shy of 1,200 kilometres south of Yangon, you’ll find the small port, border crossing, administrative centre and market town of Kawthaung which is also the most southerly limit of Burma.

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Across the murky estuarine waters of the Kraburi River lies the Thai town of Ranong. Hills to the east stretch into Thailand’s Chumphon province and to the west lies the vast Mergui Archipelago.

Meet Kawthaung. : Mark Ord.
Meet Kawthaung. Photo: Mark Ord

As an introduction to Burma (Myanmar), the little town is delightful, with rambling narrow streets lined with old houses trickling down steep hillsides to the lively market and waterfront. Named Victoria Point by the British, it was never an important trading port like Moulmein, Tavoy or Mergui (now Mawlamyine, Dawei and Myeik). This means it lacks the impressive array of colonial architecture of those towns or the sprawling Chinatowns of Malaysia’s Melaka and Georgetown. Today it displays an eclectic mix of crumbling old wood and brick houses plus some old and new concrete ones. Little rises more than four or five ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,000 words.)

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