TIN THAN YULocated 125 feet above the sea level, Kawthaungis at the sounthern tip of Myanmar border. It is 420 miles far away from Yangon and it lies between 98 degree and 34 degree 35 minutes of east latitude. It enjoys the humid weather as it lies very close to equator. It shares 36 miles borderline with Thailand and just 5 miles away from Yanaung in the eastern part. Flowing from north to southern,Parcham River serves as the natural border line in the east of Kawthaung, In the north , Parcham River flows closely 25 miles along the land area of Bot-Pyin township.
It covers the area of (1041-991)square miles, holding ten township, 18 village distracts with the population of 121397 as of 2001 statistics. Most of the population is Myanmar Buddist, speaking Myanmar language.
In the ancient times, world traders never used the route of the Mylasian archipelago in sailing their trading voyages. They passed through the towns along Tanintharyi cosatal regions in Myanmar territory to do the trading to Thailand and China. The area of future Kawthaung lies as part of this old trade route.
Since that time, Thailand eyed the sea-side towns of Myanmar which have promisingtrading prospects in the future and tried to colonize these areas in many ways.
After the triumph of Alaungphayar, these areas were under the reigon of Myanmar Kings in Kongbaung dynasty for 65 years. After the First Anglo-Myanmar war in the year 1824, Rakhine and Tanintharye wer annexed to the British Colony Empire upon their demand. At that time, Kauthaung was not set up as a town. In 1826, these areas were reigned by the British colony differently as Myeik district and Vitoria district. The edge of Myanmar border where Kawthaung is located was named as Victoria Point in honour of Queen Victoria.
After 1859, Chinese and Thailand came to the place of the future Kawthaung to do the mining business. They settled down there and later named the area as Kawthaung in Myanmar language.
After 1865, many Pachu (Malay) villages appeared along the coastal regions who settled there to do the sea-related vusiness. In 1872, the British government facilitated the area as town and set up a government office in 1891.
100 years later, in the year 1972, Kauthaung was designated as a twon with 5 quarter as of the announcement vy the Ministry of religion and internal affairs. Victoria Point is renamed as Bayintnaung-Point later. The lighthouse in Parchan riverdenotes Myanmar water area andYanaung from Thailand. Thus people used mortar boats to cross the river and have been doing business on bilateral interest. Sice ages ago, Yanaung and Kauthaung have been lively centres of trad for two countries.
If one wants to go to Yanaung, he can get temporary border crossing premit from the immigration office built on the top of White Pagoda called “Myayisland” or “Thaunginisland” opposite to Kaungthaung. One can access to Yanaung after paying the border crossing fees, showing the documents and being checked by the custom. One must take the checking again at the immigration office near Yanaung Jetty “Yhanphala” which means wooden bridge.
95% of the globetrotters can enjoy the pleasures of staying at B.O.T system based hotels in Myanmar site like Adaman Club Hotel on Thahtay Island as well as marine – based eco-tourism.
After paying the entry visa fees at Myanmar – Thai border, they come here via motor boats for luxurious relaxation. Those tourists who come to Kauthaung through Thailand border can get the visa from the branch office of the Ministry of Hotels and tourism at Kauthaung so that they go and visit Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and etc. Kauthaung airport was opened in 1995 and since that time , Myamar Airways and other Airlines ply Yangon-kauthaung flights.
Since 1998, the hovercraft service emerged and these crafts ply Dawei-Myeik-Kauthaung within a day and it creates comfortable transportation for the local populace. Now, through the Union Highway, the highway express services offer transportation from the mainland to Kauthaung along the Tanintharyi coastal route.
For, the Ocean liners, two harbours exist in Kauthaung. Myama Quay stands beside the Strand Road near the Central Market and the Royal habour can be reaced 3 miles away from town.
For getting the hotel building permission since March 1990, many hotels emerged including Kauthaung Hotel, sufficer for the local guests. Under the colonial reign, kauthaung produced lead and rubber as the main raw materials. Now the town get the fame with the business like mining, marine products and culture. It is the haunts of fishing boats locally called warlat or war tan as well as the timber merhants. Kauthaung boats over fishing-registered 10000 fishing boats and they can do the fishing within 50 miles from the shore, selling the fish and prawns caught to Kauthaung government wholesale centre. From there, the marine products can be exported to Thailand and Malaysia via Border Trading system.
Near-shore fishing occupies the area of 500 miles from the shores and off-shore fishing can be done by the large vessels and big fishing nets outside 500 miles away from the shores. It earns more but fishing boats cannnot go to the ocean if the wind speed in the ocean is over 35 miles per hour.
The whole town looks, green and lush , studded with Palm-oil plantations rubber plantations and the cashew plantations. No coconut tree can be found there. Hillocks are flattened and many houses are built in terrace on one side, facing the shore. Due to the narrow lanes and streets, only Honda Motorbike culture facilitates the public transporation.
Once can go to rubber forests, cashew plantation by riding the mortorbike taxis to the north of Kautharung , along the tree-shaded asphalt road and even to the bathing beach, located 10 miles outside the town. This asphalt road goes along the curve and holly ways of natural landscape and so it is very convenient to enjoy the natural scenes on the way. At 10 miles bathing beach, the sea water is blue. Despite the absence of hotels and motels, it offers other services for swimming in the beach.
Driving toward north about 20 miles, Maliwon waterfall can be see not very far from the left side of the road. The waterfall lacks attraction due to its weak water volume. But at the back to the waterfalls, one can takeatiring trekking to trace the main source, 50-feet high waterfalls at the summit. The thick water volume is falling with the height. It looks marvelous with the thicker volume of waterfalls in the rainy season. Not far from the waterfalls stand some old concretebuildings which reveal the fact that hydro-power electricity was generated from this waterfalls during the second world war. Many kinds of orchids can be seen almost everywhere. Malewon means “ a place full of blooming zuneflowers”. 25 miles further north exists Malewon natural hot spring, 100 feet far from the right side of the road. You can even boil the egg at the naturally boiling spring.
V.E.S group timber company sponsored for this asphalt road and it will join with the Union Road at Mar yan village. Kauthaung is only 142 moles away from Bokpyin along the highway road. Dawei-Myeik-kauthaung Union Road is 353 miles long.
One can enjoy the lovely scenes of the environs of kauthaung from the boat. Some famous islands are Mway island, Khayu island, Barwar island, Myinse island, lighthouse island, Salone island, Leigyi islands, ywarma island, Thahtay island, yardanartheigyi island, threZardet island, five Pyinsadipa island, Ngar island and Palawkarkyanlo island. Since they are close to the town, they will bost as lively and significant economic-centred islands in the future.
After gaining independences, Shwe Pyi Aye Pagoda was built in 1949, aiming to prevail and restore peace in the region. This pagoda stands as the most oustanding view point of the town in Anawartownship. In 1952m a Bo tree from Sri Lanker was planted on the pagodas precinct. White-washed Aung Taw Mu pagoda stands tall on the cliff of the hillock. Ngarthone lone mountain offers panoramic view of the whole town and the sea.
In southesastern shore stands magnificently the Bronze Statue of Bayintaungbuilt to mark the Bayintnaung Point. This very point denotes the end of Myanmar southern most border.
Many more joint-ventured companies will come and invest to do many kinds of business in the area in the near future and thus this area will surely become a promising land for the entrepreneurs.
It is very important to give priority to do the environmental consevation before settling the business sector one after another as per the saying “Protect first, management will follow later”. Then it willbring about the benefits of the local culture without any possible problem.
It will be fair to take accountability for the future generation and to take into consideration of the sustainability of the sustainability of the resource for the next generation. Then only, our precious marine products from the sea water will be sustainable for many more centuries to come, earningabundant profits for the welfare of the country populace who enjoy doing meritorious deeds and sharing the marits to all the beings in 31 planes.