A popular port of entry into Myanmar, Kawthaung was formerly known as Victoria Point. Interestingly enough it has a strong Muslim and Indian influence, in addition to a Buddhist monastery atop the hill to the north of town. The monastery has impressive carved guardian dragons and offers nice views of Kawthaung. The city is diverse claiming people of Bamar, Thai, Shan, Karen, and Mon descent. The most commonly spoken languages are Burmese and Thai, and the economy revolves around rubber, betel nut, cashew nut, coconut and oil palm. Kawthaung has a large port, but the fishing industry is restricted by the government and tourism is beginning to constitute a larger segment of the local economy. The nearby Mergui Archipelago plays a significant role in attracting visitors to the region thanks to the islands’ pristine forests, coral reefs, and wildlife.