By Laurel Tuohy
For fans of remote splendor and barefoot luxury, a new resort scheduled to open its doors next weekend may appeal. Awei Pila might not be the easiest spot to get to — the Mergui Archipelago island is a two-hour ride by speedboat from the mainland of Myanmar — but it certainly looks worth the effort.
The new resort is made up of 24 villas featuring a shabby chic by the beach aesthetic, with lots of flowy sheer white curtains and whitewashed wood.
The getaway’s air-conditioned tented residences all face a private white-sand beach, where visitors can chill out in the open-air restaurant or spa. Between the tents and the beach sits an organically shaped pool that appears more like a sandbar than a separate entity from the sea.
The setting is beachy and remote. The archipelago itself is off the far south coast of Myanmar and its various resorts are especially popular with honeymooners. Those who have been predict that, over the next decade or so, the area will become a major tourist destination and that those wanting to see untouched beauty should visit sooner rather than later.
Until they recently started building the resort, Pila island was barely habited, only acting as a sometimes home to fisherman taking a break from long trips at sea and a handful of Moken — also sometimes called “sea gypsy” — fishing families.
If visitors want to venture off the island, they’ll have plenty to see. Pila sits amidst a family of 800 islands, atolls, and coral reefs, which provide much to explore. For those that want to explore without finding their sealegs, there are 10 other beaches on the island that are most often deserted aside from lizards, dugongs, turtles, and hornbills.
GM Jon Bourbaud says that one of the resort’s primary concerns is minimizing their impact on their natural surroundings.
Awei Pila might not appeal to those that prefer urban centers and downtown areas, however. The island’s single village has just a temple and an old wooden pier. The area’s single beer shack does boast a pool table though, if you can find anyone to play with.
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