Myeik , is a city in Tanintharyi Region in Myanmar (Burma), located in the extreme south of the country on the coast of an island on the Andaman Sea. As of 2010 the estimated population was over 209,000. The area inland from the city is a major smuggling corridor into Thailand. The Singkhon Pass, also known as the Maw-daung Pass, has an international cross-border checkpoint.
Myeik was the southernmost part of the Pagan Kingdom(Bagan) between the 11th and 13th centuries. After the Pagan Empire's collapse in 1287, Myeik became part of successive Thai kingdoms from the late 13th century to the middle of 18th century: first the Sukhothai Kingdom and later the Ayutthaya Kingdom. A brief period of Bamar rule interrupted this between 1564-93.
From the 16th century on, the city was an important seaport and trading center with the Europeans, who would land at Myeik (then called Mergui), travel upriver to Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) and then cross the mountains to reach Ayutthaya. The French officer Chevalier de Beauregard was made Governor of the city of Myeik after the Siam-England war (1687) that resulted in the English being expelled from Siam.
The Burmese captured Myeik in 1765 as part of an invasion that would ultimately topple the Ayutthaya kingdom in 1767. In 1826, the Burmese ceded the region to the British after the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826).
In the Pacific Theater of World War II, Imperial Japanese forces used laborers to construct the Mergui Road to aid their retreat after rail line were destroyed by Allied bombings.
THE TOWN AND STRAND ROAD
Strand Road (Kanna Lan in Burmese), which lines the waterfront, is a great place to start exploring Myeik .The life of the town is centred on this bustling road, and it offers the best views of the fishermen and their boats. Myeik's night market at the southern end of Strand Road. The Theindawgyi Pagoda, located on a hill in the centre of Myeik, offers lovely views across the town and harbour. If you walk 20 minutes north from here along Bogyoke Road as far as Mingalar Lake , you will find Myeik's market; clock tower; a number of charming colonial-era buildings; and a fire station with old fire trucks. To the east of Mingalar Lake is another good place to eat - the classy Mergui de Kitchen, housed in a colonial-era building that was once the top hotel in town.
ISLANDS OFF THE COAST
The outlying islands of the northern Myeik Archipelago can be reached on day trips from Myeik. There are some beautiful islands with white sand beaches off the coast of Myeik, with chances to meet the Moken people (or 'sea gypsies') who live on the islands and surrounding waters. Bear in mind if you are snorkeling that the water is not as clear here as further south in the archipelago, towards Kawthaung.
Islands that can be visited include Kadan (King), Kala, Marcus, Natthamee Yae (Drakes) islands; they are all within a few hours of Myeik by boat and tours include English language guides and full safety equipment.
UPRIVER TO TANINTHARYI
Another newly accessible place near Myeik is the historic town of Tanintharyi, which was once a waypoint on the overland route to Siam but is now a sleepy backwater. The four hour boat journey up the Tanintharyi River is an atmospheric one, lined by riverside jungle villages. Teak and betel nut are the main trade in Tanintharyi now, and after seeing the town market you can explore the nearby plantations.