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Bordering the Andaman islands to the west and the Thai and Burmese borders to her east she is a spectacular stretch of tropical water that is around 1,200 km long and 645 km wide. It is quite shallow in the north as silt deposits from the Irawaddy river for centuries have flowed into her and at its deepest near the Andaman Islands at over 4,000m.

The coastal areas are characterized by sea grass meadows and mangrove forests that cover over 600kms. Vulnerable species along the coastline are several dolphin species, four species of Turtles including the critically endangered leatherback, hawksbill, green and olive ridley turtle. Dugongs that enjoy seagrass are also critical in numbers who are sensitive to meadow degradation.

The coastline is rich in coral reefs and enjoys 16 marine reserves with 4 being considered for UNESCO World heritage listings.

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