May 27, 2019
Latest News

Mergui's hidden paradise could revive Myanmar's fledgling tourism

Nga Khin Nyo Gyee, Myanmar, Dec 7 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of white, coral sand beaches with crystal clear waters, and lush vegetation, spread over some 800 islands in the Andaman Sea, remained undisturbed on Friday, the only signs of life being lines of wandering hermit crabs.

Less than a dozen of these idyllic islands in the Mergui archipelago in southern Myanmar are populated and that too sparsely.

It is only now that the islands with all their tropical splendor are emerging as the vanguard of Myanmar's fledgling tourism industry after the country remained closed to the outside world for more than half a century.

"The hermeticism (of the country's former military regime) kept this region away from the outside world. Most of these islands have never been explored so there are many possibilities of finding unique species," Georgie Aung, a member of Project Manaia, a marine research organization, told EFE.

Manaia's marine biologists are mapping the region for a better understanding of the colorful coral reefs and help in the preservation of the archipelago, known as Asia's last tourism frontier.

Myanmar's transition to democracy has opened the doors for the development of the tourism industry in the country that saw a million visitors in 2017, a figure that may repeat this year.

But the lack of infrastructure and heavy military presence along the borders has kept the region out of the tourist circuit despite being virtually a stone's throw away from Thailand's coast.

"It is necessary to inform in advance about the routes of the itinerary and hand over the identifying data of the travelers (to the border authorities) for their approval," said Min Oo, a guide and former member of the army.

Passage and navigation is restricted in at least 30 islands due to the presence of army bases.

"Mergui shares its southern border with Thailand, which makes it a hotspot for smuggling or human-trafficking," Min Oo said.

Half a dozen exclusive hotels on these islands offer accommodation to few adventurous travelers.

"The Myanmar authorities must learn from the Thai experience and develop a sustainable tourism industry to preserve the archipelago," said Bjorn Burchard, a Norwegian who owns a hotel on the island.

Burchard, who arrived in the country a quarter of a century ago, managed to lease part of the island three years ago for 50 years to set up his ecological hotel complex.

"We use the natural resources of the island for bungalows, solar energy for operation and biodegradable products to leave minimum ecological footprint possible on the island," the 61-year-old hotelier said.

By Noel Caballero

News history
Workers in Turkey rely on traditional method to turn oak trees into charcoal

Workers in Turkey have been making charcoal using a traditional method that involves arranging the trunks of oak trees into large circular piles.

Renault confirms it has received a merger proposal from Fiat Chrysler

Paris, May 27 (efe-epa).- The Renault car manufacturing group confirmed on Monday that it had received a proposal from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to...

New Zealand's 'wellbeing budget': revolutionary innovation or empty rhetoric?

By Rocio Otoya

Fiat Chrysler unveils Renault merger proposal

By Sean McLain, Nick Kostov and Eric Sylvers

Waiting in long lines to buy food is Cuba's current crisis and biggest joke

By Atahualpa Amerise

Mexico's plans for embattled energy sector spark criticism

Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Champions final to generate 123 million euros, 66 million will stay in Madrid

Madrid, May 24 (efe-epa).- The UEFA Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid will...

Trump pledges another $16 bn for farmers hurt by Chinese tariffs

Washington, May 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday approved a second aid package for US farmers, this one for $16 billion, with the aim of...

Experts stress using digital tools to make Colombian companies more dynamic

Cali, Colombia, May 23 (efe-epa).- Increasing human beings' use of digital tools is the vehicle whereby Colombia's business sector will develop, several...

China, Brazil agree to boost trade, cooperation

Beijing, May 23 (efe-epa).- The vice presidents of China and Brazil presided here Thursday over the fifth gathering of the Sino-Brazilian High-Level...

ECB officials warned Eurozone economy may not rebound as expected

By Tom Fairless

Xi pushes for innovation so that China wins the new technological Cold War

By Jesus Centeno

FAA's acting chief won't predict when Boeing 737 MAX will return to flight

By Andy Pasztor

Deutsche Bank CEO signals more cuts to investment bank

By Jenny Strasburg

Israel blockades stem exports from Gaza

By Laura Fernández Palomo

Carlos Ghosn attends first preliminary hearing in Tokyo ahead of trial

Tokyo, May 23 (efe-epa).- The former head of Nissan and Renault on Thursday attended the first preliminary hearing ahead of his trial, as his defense team...

Massive seaweed influx in Cancun's hotel zone

Cancun, Mexico, May 22 (efe-epa).- The hotel zone along the beaches in the Mexican resort city of Cancun on Wednesday experienced a massive influx of...

Journalism in digital age must rethink how to reach its audience

By Gina Baldivieso

Geneva, May 22 (efe-epa).- Venezuela's health minister said here Wednesday that economic sanctions imposed by Washington are to blame for shortages of...

Bucking US sanctions, American Airlines expands flights to Cuba

Havana, May 22 (efe-epa).- American Airlines, the leading international carrier serving Cuba, said Wednesday that it intends to offer additional flights to...

The UK's British Steel begins insolvency proceedings

London, May 22 (efe-epa).- British Steel Ltd., the United Kingdom's second-largest steelmaker, has started insolvency proceedings after the country's High...

Rare earths emerge as China's possible trump card in trade war against US

Jesus Centeno

India's antitrust watchdog surveys e-commerce firms including Amazon, Walmart

New Delhi, May 22 (efe-epa).- India's antitrust watchdog is assessing the domestic e-commerce sector, a step that could have consequences for Amazon.com...

Internal review reveals sexual assault cases in New Zealand parliament

Sydney, Australia, May 22 (efe-epa).- The New Zealand parliament on Wednesday admitted that at least three cases of serious sexual assault had taken place...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.