Attraction Koh Panyi Ao Phang - nga National Park Ko Panyi, Mueang Phang-nga District Phang-nga Thailand Published on: 26-06-2016
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Why Koh Panyi is special ?
A few hundred years ago, three families of Javanese fishermen sailed northwards, seeking out a new home where they could make a living for themselves and their forebears. They plied the waters around the island of Sumatra, emerging into the Andaman Sea and following the trajectory of the Malay Peninsula before settling in their unique spot in Phang Nga Bay. They planted a flag on Panyi Island – or so one version of their story goes – and this is the origin of the island’s name. “Panyi” in villagers’ ancestral tongue means “flag”.
The natural island of Panyi is towering vertical mass of limestone. Consequently, nearly all of the village sits atop a vast network of stilts that clings to the edge of the island’s coastline and then stretches out over the sea in maze of raised walkways and platforms.
What to explore at Koh Panyi?
Within this watery community you’ll find a village school with its own playground, a mosque with a gleaming dome and minarets to call the villagers to prayer and, most famously, a floating football pitch. Born from a dream of the island’s children and without even land to play a game, Koh Panyi’s football team took shape and achieved success as one of Thailand’s strongest youth teams.
You’ll find a dizzying array of souvenir stands, and there’s a proliferation of restaurants catering to visitors. You’re not stepping into an untouched village for sure. But, at the same time, as you wander the island and if you take the opportunity to step away from the groups of tourists, you’ll encounter the daily life, enduring heritage and unique adaptation to a life above the sea that makes Koh Panyi a place like nowhere else.
Koh Panyi is not a constructed tourist trap. It’s an authentic village with history and way of life all its own. The villagers have decided to capitalize on their uniqueness by sharing it with the world. Tapping into the tourist trade allows the villagers of Koh Panyi to supplement their fishing income and to continue their way of life, clinging to a towering rock in the middle of the bay.
How to get to Koh Panyi?
Most visitors stop by for a quick visit or lunch as part of a Phang Nga Bay tour.
If you wish to explore the island at your leisure, charter a longtail boat from Surakul Pier on Phuket. The cost is approximately 1,700 baht roundtrip. The journey takes about 20 minutes each way, and you can spend a couple hours exploring and relaxing on Koh Panyi. For a more serene look at village life, visit early before the tourist crowds.
You can also rent a guesthouse bungalow for the night if you’d like a more immersive experience. Wander about the island in the off-hours and sleep above the gentle murmur of the waves.
- An authentic and lovely fishing village
- An interesting way of life
- Picturesque, special, peaceful
- Nice environment, fantastic food
- Unique experience in a floating villag
Koh Panyi Ao Phang - nga National Park Ko Panyi, Mueang Phang-nga District Phang-nga Thailand
Tips for you
The villagers of Koh Panyi are very friendly and also very accustomed to interacting with visitors. However, visitors should also take a few small precautions to be respectful during their time on the island. As the village of Koh Panyi is a Muslim community, respect the local culture by dressing relatively modestly. Short skirts, shorts, bikini tops or other revealing clothing on women will not be appreciated.Experience
Me and my friend had a private tour guide where he suggest if we wish to see the Gypsie village after the kayaking and sightseeing at the National park and James Bond Island. As we are curious about the village, we agree to visit the place before we go back to Sheraton Grande Laguna hotel. With our 1 pump boat , a lady boat sailor and our tour guide travel about 30 mins from James bond island to Gypsie village. It was 5pm then we arrive at the place and found only few souvenier stalls open and the rest of the shops and restaurants are close. We bought few woodcarvings of tuktuks snd then we go back already to land. Just noticed that the place is really authentic thai living and the locals in the village are nice eventhough they don't speak English well. It was such a nice experience even the place looks sad .. quite, no music and dark.
Amazing. Biggest surprise on the trip to James Bond Island. I stumbled across a soccer match in progress on this floating village and wandered down every and any alley I could find