"KAWTHOUNG: SEA GYPSIES AND KICK BOXERS." Top 5 Page for this destination Kawthoung by Hmmmm

Kawthoung Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 42 photos

JUST ANOTHER BORDER TOWN? I CERTAINLY THINK NOT! KAWTHOUNG IS A FISHING TOWN SITUATED ON THE SOUTHERN MOST TIP OF MAINLAND BURMA (MYANMAR). Actually its 1hour 30 south of Yangon by plane. Kawthoung Is a bustling town, full of day tourists, Thai visa extenders, freight haulers who constantly cross the frenetic Pakchan Estuary, shop keepers, money changers, and ubiquitous, omnipresent tauts arranging trips and scams for tourists and Burmese alike. A visit to Kawthoung on a sunny day is a feast for the senses.


I had come to Thailand, flown into Phuket, for the sole purpose of crossing into Burma overland. I didn't have long, and I squandered a lot of what time I did have on Patong Beach, soaking up rays by day and getting almost inebriated at night.

The trip was relatively easy. I caught a local A/C bus from the Phuket City bus terminal and headed north for 5 hours to Ranong. Which by the way is a bit of a destination itself. It is well regarded by Thais as a Place to de-stress in thermal springs. How ever Ranong does tend to smack a little of a border town.

A day later, using a mixture of Mototaxis, boats and personal steam, I found my passage accross the broad Pakchan River Estuary to the Burmese Border town of Kawthoung.

I am a New Zealander so I got a rather generous 3 days for my $5 US visa and not the usual 1 day express pass that I was expecting after reading my lonely planet and talking to other tourists. So that was great.

The trip over the Estuary itself was for me even better than arriving at my destination (See my travel Log 'Crossing Pakchan Estuary'). Ever since I can remember I have always wanted to see Burma. As a child I watched movies and read books about old stuffy English Gentlemen moaning about the heat as they surveyed Bagan. And now I was finally here. This little trip to Kawthoung is but a tiny little trip. And by no way can I profess to visiting Burma proper. But Kawthoung is in Burma, and it represents a part of Burmese culture I cannot see when I head North to the Cultural Capitals of Yangon and Mandalay. In Saying this I know I have to see Kawthoung again, because there are still a couple of things left to photograph.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great. Unique and authentic. Great surrounding Islands.
  • Cons:Tauts everywhere, and Ongoing Transportation is limited due to Bandits north.
  • In a nutshell:Do It! For the experience, for you!.
  • Last visit to Kawthoung: Jul 2003
  • Intro Updated Nov 30, 2003
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Reviews (8)

Comments (7)

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Dec 24, 2006 at 1:00 PM

    Mostly five star tips, excellent. Having trouble understanding the following though "they were to nearly as many wives)". As Pauline Hanson would say "please explain". Cheers.

  • Sep 2, 2004 at 9:44 PM

    Azza, your pictures of Burma are vibrant and really well taken. I was very impressed. Really!!!

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2004 at 11:19 PM

    you have a real special way presenting your pages.....all good, Aaron. like this one too. thanx for sharing

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2003 at 9:02 PM

    I have a real desire to visit Burma... home of my grandfather. This area is fabulous. Interesting the difference in Asian buddha's. Great page, wonderful info and pics.

  • ncfg's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2003 at 9:36 AM

    Hmmmm, Kawthoung seems a great place to explore. Nice info and pics. Thanks.

  • jenniferchin's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2003 at 12:40 AM

    Very interesting writings. Will eventually do the Burma Crossing as well ~ Thanks for valuable insights :-)

  • ettenaj's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2003 at 6:49 AM

    97 children wow he was a busy man!



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