- Kyaw Soe (Kawthaung)
Kawthaung of Tanintharyi Region has a beautiful long coast studded with isolated islands with their own white sand beaches and also richly endowed with various trees and plantations, mangrove swamps, wide varieties of fauna and flora and different species of birds. The most striking off shore feature of the region is coral reef that attracts all the local visitors and tourists as well.
With the development of tourism in Myanmar, the number of both local visitor and the foreign tourist to Kawthaung are rapidly increasing as the area is widely famous for its pristine beautiful natural endowments, especially coral reef and variegated sea weeds. Tourists make a remark that the pristine and unspoilt natural features of Kawthaung coastal area is more attracting than Phukhet of Thailand.
Kawthaung having the pristine corals has become the main attraction spot in Myanmar Tourism Industry.
Coral reefs are constructed by small living marine creatures called corals of coelentrata class that usually flourished in tropical marine region. The moving living corals once attached to a rock become sedentary for life and build their house secreting calcium and form the coral reef. Some corals are living solitary life while some are in colony. Reproduction in the colony makes growth of the colony having hard calcareous (calcium carbonate) structures and eventually forming the great reef being composed of the calcareous remains of assorted species of coral creatures with different forms, shapes and colours.
The coral reefs also play an important role in ecology of marine habitat. Coral reefs are breeding and growing places of some types of fish. According to the researches, there are 42 fish species, 42 species of crabs, 50 species of hard-shelled snails, 41 species of clams, 35 species of sea leech, 73 species of sea weeds, 11 species of algae and 333 planktons.
Most of the tourists and local visitors visit Kawthaung and its off-shore islands with ardent passion to see and record the corals and marine life of the sea by snorkeling.
Some fishermen and greedy businessmen lacking awareness on environmental conservation do the grasping and stupid works such as catching fish with dragging net in the shallow part of the sea, fish catching by blasting, anchoring the fishing boats in the reef area and careless disposal of waste and garbages. Such hazardous and selfish activities are the major challenge to the conservation of corals and the rare species of marine fauna.
Competitions in all sectors are now highly keen in the world of globalization and the tourism industry is not an exception. So beautiful attractions especially corals along the unspoilt coastal region become the lifeblood of Myanmar hospitality industry which is the source of national income without any limit. The awareness campaigns were done by some tour companies, nevertheless not so effective as the campaign did not have the wide coverage of the region. The tourists, marine workers and people living in coastal villages should expansively be include in the activities of awareness campaign.