Published/Last edited or updated: 25th June, 2016
Myeik is easy to explore on foot. Here’s an easy itinerary to follow to take in a few tea shops, some architectural highlights and Mingalar Lake. Depending upon stops, allow a half-day to amble at an easy pace.
Start at the Myeik Shopping Centre (or Golden Mall) on Baho Road, where Stella serves a half-decent coffee. From here, head due north through any of the narrow residential streets, not so much home to colonial period architecture but very cute and quiet nonetheless.
You will pop out by picturesque Mingalar Lake. Filled with water hyacinths and lotuses, and bordered by a couple of pagodas, you’ll find a well placed tea and juice shop at the northeast corner of the lake. The southwest corner meets Phayar Gyi Road, beyond which are a series of streets running parallel to Strand Road. Plenty of old architecture lies along these largely well preserved roads. Another good stop-off is the YYA Cafe and Bakery on Gone Yone Road. (Don’t expect too much from the local-style bakery but coffee and juices are okay.)
Heading down any of these streets will bring you out on Naryi Sin Road, with the clock tower on your left and the main municipal market of Myint Nge ahead of you. The market’s lively and has very friendly vendors and customers — be prepared to say hello a lot, explain where you’re from and of course pose for lots of photos. From the market, cut down to the waterfront and take in a section of Strand Road with its views of the non-stop harbour action. There are more simple tea shops and curry houses around here, especially by Seik Nge jetty, the town’s main pier.
Continuing south, you’ll pass where the night market sets up. Taking two lefts after Myaseesein Hotel should see you on Bogyoke Road where, with White Pearl Guesthouse on your left, you’ll see the short steps up to Bu Pagoda across the street. The views aren’t spectacular but it is an interesting and obviously very old pagoda. There’s the gold-painted chedi, huge bodhi tree and look out for the Disney-esque multi-coloured stupa towards the rear of the temple complex.
Take the north exit out of the temple and you’ll find yourself on Office Road. With a bit of a breeze up the hill and slight distance from the fishy goings on down below, this area was clearly prime real estate during colonial times. In this picturesque and atmospheric part of town you’ll see plenty of old offices and villas. This area doesn’t seem to have changed much in 100 years.
Doubling back, an intersection to the north and opposite a fantastic pseudo-Gothic old mansion, is the delightfully named Green Eyes Tea Shop, with an equally delightful raised outside terrace. This is a great spot to watch the goings on and soak up the ambiance while you endure a cup of 3 in 1 and wave at the kids from the high school up the road.
From here, Office Road winds gently up the hill to pass Theindawgyi on the left which, with its truly awesome views over the town and port, is a good spot to finish our walking tour.
For those who like a neat loop, take the first left then next right after the pagoda to lead you back onto Baho Road, where the rooftop bar at Grand Jade is another cracking sunset spot. It’s just about the tallest building in what passes for downtown Myeik and they have a major though sacrilegious advantage over Theindawgyi — they serve cold beer and cocktails.
It’s best to do this walk in the morning if you want to enjoy the market and waterfront life; the harbour’s great at any time of day, but Theindawgyi and the Jade’s rooftop bar make for tempting sunset viewpoints.
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.