How far south can I travel by bus or car, without the need to take any boat/cruise and without any permits?

Lonely Planet Myanmar (print edition, Aug 1 2014) says:

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But briefly Googling, I find one November 2013 forum post that slightly contradicts the above, stating that you can get as far as Myeik by bus:

The 2013/14 summer is the first time in 50 years that overland travel on along this lush coast has been permitted. Here is how to get there....by intercity bus, flight, train or boat.

Before you ask, unfortunately the Mergui Islands are still restricted to those with prior permission from Nay Pyi Daw (as at Nov 13), but the mainland has plenty of history, culture and barely discovered beaches for the adventurous to enjoy. Maung Ma Kan, Nebule, Myawyik Island, She Moe, Palaw beaches just to name a few

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I am currently (March 2016) in southern Myanmar and from talking to other travelers it seems possible to travel overland all the way down to Kawthoung by bus.

Chances are good I will do just that and I will update my answer later on.


As of March 2016 there is still a lot of conflicting information out there and things are changing rapidly.

I spoke to people who when they were in Kawthoung, (the most southern town) were told: "that the road leading north is very bad and it is not advisable for foreigner to take a bus. The boat to Myeik was too dangerous and is not operating anymore, so the only way is to fly to Myeik ".

That's complete BS, the boats are still running, but only once or twice a week or not at all if there are not enough people.

There are overnight and possibly also daytime buses and mini buses going from Myeik to Kawthoung and back, (20000 ks or more) the buses looked pretty decent and had AC. The drive is about 12 hours.

The roads itself used to be very bad but has been completely redone in the last few years. I used it all the way between Hpa-An and Kawthoung and it's decent and sealed everywhere except for a few meters at both ends of many small one lane bridges. So the road is perfectly fine to use. Most of the time there is very little traffic.

I walked on it for at least 35 hours, so I should know.

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