Sanook Explores The Mergui Offering Tranquility In This Untouched Piece Of Paradise
Be one of the limited visitors each year, exploring the Mergui aboard the meticulously maintainined 23m Princess, Sanook. The area has only been open to foreigners since the late 1990s, meaning each pure natural beach is deserted, so guests have them all to themselves!
A meticulously maintained 23m Princess, Sanook was given its special name because the main purpose of the 76ft motor yacht is to give its guests good times, a lot of joy and fun, and allow them to forget their worries.
Experience True Relaxation Rarely Offered In Our Normal Lives
Sanook is a special word in Thai, meaning to live life to the full, to be happy and light-hearted. Thai people will ask: “Sanook man”” which means, “Are you happy, did you have fun?” The hope is that when guests return from their charter and are asked “Sanook mai?”, they’ll reply “Chai, sank mak mak”, meaning indeed, very very fun!
The 800+ islands found in the Mergui (Myeik) Archipelago in Myanmar, formerly Burma, are one of the world’s most remote tropical cruising grounds, and it’s usually best to visit between December and early April, when there’s generally warm, sunny weather.
Operated by Asian Yacht Charters, Sanook offers a variety of itineraries between Phuket in Thailand and Langkawi in Malaysia, but for those seeking an exciting alternative – nearby – she can ply the waters of Myanmar to the north.
After a pick-up at Phuket airport, guests are driven to Ranong where they check out of Thailand, and then check into Myanmar. It’s like stepping into another world. Senses are awakened by all the new sights. This is where the adventure begins.
It’s truly an unexplored paradise as isolationist policies kept foreigners out for 50 years after British rule ended in 1947, and the area has only been open to foreigners since the late 1990s, with only a couple of thousand visiting each year.
The adventure starts in Kawthung, known as Victoria Point during British rule. The town is located at the tapered southern end of the country’s tail and is separated from Thailand by the Pak Chan River. The relaxed atmosphere will make you feel like you have stepped back in time. Sanook has an offical Burmese guide on board for the duration of the charter. As well as being very friendly and entertaining, he possesses in-depth local knowledge, enables you to interact with the locals and is there to answer questions.
There are so many islands and places to visit, and the small distances between them means there is always a beautiful view and a pristine white-sand beach or coral reef to explore.
Among the many islands to visit is the horseshoe-shaped Myint Khar (Horse Shoe Island), which has a lagoon in the middle, making an idyllic anchorage for Sanook. Being shallow, with crystal-clear water and a white-sand bottom, the whole lagoon is like a giant fish tank.
Za Det Gyi Island has rugged underwater terrain, while large tawny nurse sharks can be seen along with other abundant marine life. The coast of Hlaing Gu Island (Cavern Island) has caverns large enough for Sanook’s RIB to get through to explore this exciting environment. The adventurous can hike to the top of the islands, which are a nature lover’s utopia and offer the chance to spot gibbons, pythons, civet cats, monitor lizards, the mouse deer and even elephants.
Avid birdwatchers should look up for hornbills, white kites and white-bellied sea eagles circling above islands. Kingfishers, Frigatebirds, Pacific reef egrets, green imperial pigeons and emerald doves are also commonly sighted.
A national park, Kyunn Tann Shey (Lampi Island) is protected and has a vast stretch of mangroves, tidal creeks and rivers, which are perfect to explore by kayak or RIB… it is truly an explorer’s paradise. The only human inhabitants are the indigenous sea gypsies, known locally as Salon or internationally as Moken. These semi- nomadic people live a traditional life aboard their boats and may shyly approach Sanook, wishing to trade the freshest of seafood, such as seabass, skate, lobster and tuna.
Sanook’s range of toys mean guests can snorkel in pristine seas, paddle around on the two kayaks, ride the three-person jet-ski, or use the exploration RIB to explore an inland waterway or a mangrove system full of wildlife, and access beaches. There are also water- skis, a wakeboard, kneeboard and inflatable tubes, and the simple beach classics like frisbee and badminton. Diving can be arranged in advance.
While Sanook steers guests through the Mergui Archipelago, guests enjoy luxurious living on board and first-class service. Sanook herself is magnificent indoors and out, another sensational motor yacht by the world-famous Princess yard in Plymouth on England’s southwest coast. Her elegant, bright interior has a large open-plan saloon, formal dining area and a galley – often used as the ‘bar’ – that can be fully enclosed or opened via an electronically retractable partition. The Australian Captain has been on board for four years and has extensive regional knowledge, having cruised on her own yacht in the area.
The first mate/engineer has lived in Thailand for 20 years, the ever-smiling stewardess offers attentive service and the experienced professional chef can prepare gourmet Thai food bursting with flavours as well as international cuisine.
The large flybridge – accessible from the aft deck and also the saloon – is also well covered, by a full-length bimini. There’s seating for more than 10 up here, with a large sunpad that’s ideal for relaxing, reading, listening to music or just enjoying the views. Sanook can sleep between eight to 12 guests in comfort on the lower deck. The full-beam master suite midships features great views through triple vertical hull windows, a 32-inch HD TV and DVD player, a walk-in wardrobe, en-suite bathroom with power/massage shower, an oval double-ended bath, toilet and bidet. There’s also a forward VIP cabin with TV and two twin guest cabins, port and starboard, all with large en-suite bathrooms. Each twin cabin can be converted into a double bed or four Pullman bunks for children.
A 5,900-litre fuel tank gives long-range cruising capabilities, while the bow and stern thrusters and a shallow draft mean Sanook is able to tuck into secluded coves and bays.
She’s an ideal yacht for a week-long cruise with family and friends, and offers a superb way to explore the Mergui.
The memories into this almost otherworldly coastal environment remain forever.
For more information visit AsianYachtCharters
The 23m Princess motor yacht is also available for sale. Sanook provides the luxury, space and service of a superyacht, and offers a range of charter options in Southeast Asia. For enquires, email c[email protected]