"This article is about the city. For the archipelago, see
Mergui or Myeik (MYname|MY=ၿမိတ္|MLCTS=mrit mrui.) is a city in
Tanintharyi Divisionin Myanmar(Burma), located in the extreme south of the country on the coast of an island on the Andaman Sea. The area inland is a major smugglingarea into Thailand.
In the 18th century, Mergui was a port belonging to the Thai
Ayutthaya Kingdom. It became an important trading center, especially for the Europeans, who would land at Mergui, travel upriver to Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) and then cross the mountains to reach Ayutthaya.
The French officer
Chevalier de Beauregardwas made Governor of the city of Mergui after the revolt against the English there in July 1687. [Smithies, p.99] De Beauregard was named Governor by the king of Siam Narai, in the place of the English Samuel White. [English intercourse with Siam in the seventeenth century - Page 365 by John Anderson - 2000 [http://books.google.com/books?id=-3M82RmDjC0C&pg=PA365&dq=Beauregard+Siam&lr=&sig=8vTeRdbcTe13edj80dpKaQl0bz8] ] The French were then expelled from Mergui following the 1688 Siamese revolution.
The British occupied the region after the
First Anglo-Burmese Warof 1826.
The population is engaged in
fishing, production of rubberand coconuts, manufacture of fermented shrimp paste, the collection of edible bird's nests and pearlfarming. Offshore, the 800 islands of the Mergui Archipelagohave a huge potential for tourist development. Tourism in the area is in the form of live aboard boats [http://www.merguiprincess.com/mergui_cruise.htm] as land based accommodations are non-existent on the islands. This keeps the area very attractive as low impact tourismpreserves the area's natural beauty. see [http://www.mergui.org]
The inhabitants of the area are descended from many ethnic roots (Burmese, Chinese, Karen, Indian, Mon, Salone). They speak burmese in a distinguished ascent. The
Saloneor Moken, are famous as the Sea Gypsiesthey are said to be related to island tribes from Malaysia.
The town is home to
*Smithies, Michael Three military accounts of the 1688 revolution in Siam, Orchid Press, Bangkok, 2002, ISBN 9745240052
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