Taninthayi Division

Location: Bordering Mon State in the north and Thailand in the south and east and facing Andaman Sea in the West, Taninthayi Division is situated between latitudes 958' north and 1516' north in the southernmost part of Myanmar. The sea along Taninthayi coast is dotted with nearly 800 islands. Islands in the south are called Myeik archipelago. The Division's area is 16,735.5 square miles.

Topography and climate:
As Taninthayi Division is located in the eastern mountain range region, its landscape is mountainous. Generally, mountains with nearly 3,000 feet in height run from north-west to south - east. Some of the mountain ranges run into the sea and rise again as islands along the coast. The 6,801 foot Myinmolekhat Mountain is the highest peak in the Division. Nwalaboh with an elevation of 5,063 feet is the famous mountain in the region. The mountain range linking Taungnyo Mountain Range in the north runs as the border Thailand and Myanmar. Long and narrow plains can be found along the rivers and the coastal areas.

Taninthayi Division has a tropical monsoon climate. The land which is located nearest to the Equator in Myanmar is warm year round with only slight changes in temperatures. The highest temperature of Dawei is 100 F. The average highest temperature of Myeik is 96.5 F and the lowest average temperature is 65 F. Annual average rainfall in Myeik is 162 inches and in Dawei is 215 inches.

Population, inhabitants, languages and religion: As the land is mountainous, it is a thinly populated area. Its total population is over 1.2 million, with a population density of 64 persons per square mile. Majority of the residents of the Division live along the coastal plains and river valleys. Launglon and Myeik townships have the highest population density. Taninthayi and Bokpyin townships have population density of only 14 to 15 persons per square mile. The inhabitants of the Division are Bamars, Kayins, Mons, Shans, Rakhines, Pashues or Malays and Salons who live mainly in Myeik archipelago. Majority of the inhabitants are Buddhists and speak Myanmar Language.

Formation of districts, townships and villages: Taninthayi Division has three districts -- Dawei, Myeik and Kawthoung -- formed with ten townships and 328 village-tracts.

Forests: Evergreen forests thrive in the region as it is located in the tropical climate zone with torrential rains. Mangrove can be found along the tidal marsh lands of the coast and along the banks of rivers and creeks. Sandbanks covered with forest can be found in coastal areas.

Sown acreage and produce: The Division has a total of over 380,000 acres of cultivated land. Paddy is cultivated on over 200.000 acres and rubber on 100.000 acres. It has coconut. oil palm, beetle nut. cashew. durian, mangos teen, rumbutan, pineapple and citrus fruits farms. There are nipa palm farms along the banks of tidal rivers and creeks.

Kawthoung Township, Taninthayi Division

Significant products: Offshore fishing is an important business in the Division which is a coastal region dotted with island along the shallow coastal waters. There are prawn and fish farms and jelly fish processing plants in the Division. Large oysters are bred in Pale Island at Myeik archipelago in producing pearls of significant size and high quality. Salt works are located along the coast.

The Division produces timber such as In, Kanyin, Thitya and Inngin woods for local use. It also produces firewood, charcoal, jute, rattan and resin. Bird nests can be found in the caves on islands of the Myeik archipelago. Sixty-two per cent of the nation's tin and tungsten comes from the Division whicl1 is rich in mineral deposits. There are mineral mines in various parts of the Division. Mined ore is being refined at Kamyawkin Smelting Plant near Dawei. A large pipeline is being laid to transport the natural gas drilled offshore to Thailand. Glass sand found in Kyunsu Township is transported to Thanlyin Glass Factory.

Interesting places: Maungmagan Beach Resort. famous for its blue waters and white sands, is located in Taninthayi Division.

Traditions and culture and festivals: Lukya Festival in Myeik Township. Thabeik Drifting Ceremony in Dawei Township, Golden Pot Burying Festival in Ye Township and the festivals to convey the 28 Buddha images of Dawei, Myeik and Palaw are significant traditional festivals in the division.

TV retransmission Stations: The TV retransmission stations built in Myeik, Taninthayi, Kawthoung, Bokpyin, Launglon and Yebyu townships cover nine townships in the division. There are six microwave stations in the division.


Prepared by THAN TUN WIN, Embassy of the Union of Myanmar , Brussels