Sea Gypsy Festival (Salone Festival)
English Chinese (Simplified)

Salone Festival will be held from 14th to 17th February 2004 at MakyoneGalet Village on Bocho Island near Lampi Island with the following objectives.

(a) To develop and promote Myeik Archipelago as a Tour destination.
(b) To promote tourism in acquaintance with Salone and Myeik Archipelago as one of the tourism attractions for International Market.
(c) To realize the actual situation of peace & tranquility in Myanmar.

To be more convenient and attractive for the International visitors, Ministry of Hotels & Tourism in co-operation with local authorities, relevant departments, local tour operators and travel agents will organize this as a tour package.

Salones and Mergui Archipelago

margui-01Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago, located in southernmost part of Myanmar (Burma), comprises over 800 beautiful islands. Due to its virtual isolation, the islands and surrounding seas are alive with an amazing diversity of flora and fauna.The only human inhabitants in the area are sea gypsies, namely Salone in Myanmar. They live on boats during dry season and remain on land during rainy season. They still practice the same fishing and boat building techniques used for generation.Being affectionate to sea, much skilful in swimming and diving, their ways of life and customs are so characteristic that traditional festival will be launched intending to attract international tourists as well as to operate marine eco-tourism around the islands in Myeik Archipelago.

Sea Gypsies

salone-01Among Myeik Archipelago many interesting features is a small village on the Bo Cho Island south of the Lampi Island. Culturally and ethnically separate from the others, the Salone exists in only a few isolated areas along the Myanmar Andaman Coast. These seafaring people-often referred to as sea gypsies live a spartan existence, shunning most of the trappings of modern society in favor of time-honored traditions. A shy and reserved people, most depend on the sea for their livelihood. Although fishing has always been their main priority, selling seashells to tourists is increasingly common.

If logistics allow (a fairly high tide is needed to bring a dinghy ashore here), a visit to these villages offers a glimpse into a unique culture. As you wander amid the huts and boats, remember that you are a guest in someone else's home and be respectful of your hosts' right to privacy. The villages may be closed to visitors during the full moon in March, when the Salone hold ceremonies involving ancestor worship.

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