Myeik archipelago pearl farms to welcome tourists in October

Local and foreign tourists can start visiting pearl farms in Tanintharyi Region in October as part of a tourism-promotion programme, according to the Myanmar Tourism Federation.

Pearl farms in the Myeik archipelago are not normally open to the public, but tourism operators convinced government officials to allow tourists to visit them, U Myo Win Than, a federation central executive member, said.

Among the 11 pearl farms that will be opened to the public are private farms on Golden island, Lga Lone La Phal island, Jalan island and Kyun Su island and a government-managed farm in Bokepyin township.

The farms will be opened three days a week, and there will be no limit on the number of visitors. A visit to the farms would only require a day trip.

Visitors to the farms can see the processes involved the production of pearls, such as preserving the oysters in floating houses and incubation places where the oysters stay until they produce pearls. They can also buy pearls and oyster products at the farms. Visitors can also go snorkelling near the islands.

“We need to carefully maintain the environment of these farms to ensure the quality of the pearls. Environmental conservation is compatible with eco-tourism,” U Myo Win Than said.

He said he is also a tour operator and runs a pearl farm, “so I know how to do pearl tourism without harming the environment.”

“The boats used in pearl farms are usually smaller than those used for tourism. The oysters in pearl farms do not produce pearls when there is noise, so we will pick up tourists using small boats,” he said.

“Only a few pearl farms are allowed to operate as tourism attractions,” U Myo Win Than said.

Most visitors to Myeik archipelago come from Thailand, but there has recently been a spike in domestic travellers.

Source: Myanmar Times

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