Asia Travel

Travel || The Floating Village (Koh Panyi)

We went on some really excellent day trips during our time in Thailand, but one of the most unique sights we saw was the Floating Village (Koh Panyi). Koh Panyi is a fishing village in the Phang Nga province of Thailand and the entire village is built on stilts. Aka floating. That’s right, not a single building is built on land. There are around 1,875 people living in the village today, and they are mostly descended from the original two Muslim families who first started building the village in the 1700s. 

The island is predominantly Muslim and there is a mosque built adjacent to the homes and markets. Due to the nature of the island, tourism is a large part of the economy, however, tourists can only visit during the dry season. The village predominantly relies on fishing to this day, and most of the fishing in the area occurs at night. During the day, the women of the area sell their goods on nearby James Bond Island or in large markets on Koh Panyi itself. We ate lunch at a large restaurant at Koh Panyi – the village does massive food and fresh water runs to the mainland every once in a while. 

The entire town seems like an experiment in ingenuity. One of my favourite elements was the football (soccer) pitch. The children in the village didn’t want to be left out from the world-wide pastime, so the families built them a floating pitch. Because it’s smaller than the average football pitch, there are fewer players on each side and there’s no goalie. Plus if you kick the ball too far, you have to dive into the sea to get it! Their club Panyee FC is one of the most successful youth football clubs in Thailand. 

Koh Panyi – the floating village – is definitely the most unique place that I’ve ever visited. What do you think your most unique travel place would be? 

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  • This is actually the coolest thing ever – the football pitch is the sweetest!

  • Aren’t floating villages just amazing! Unfortunately I can’t say I’ve seen the ones in Thailand (but totally putting them on our to-do list for the next Thailand visit now!), but I have toured through the floating villages in Brunei, such a great experience!

    • It must have been amazing seeing the ones in Brunei! I think it’s significantly bigger than the ones in Thailand! x

  • This place looks amazing!! I love the surreal places some people manage to live!
    I went on the floating islands of Uros in Bolivia/Peru years ago, and loved it!
    Great travel pics!!!

    • Wow! I just googled pictures of Uros and it is gorgeous! It must have been amazing to visit it! x

      • Ha – I’m just so glad I remembered the name right otherwise that would have been embarrassing!

  • Wow, this is so incredible and unique! Must have been amazing to see in real life. I can’t imagine living above water though, I would feel so uneasy! 😬

  • I can’t believe I’m only catching up with your Thailand posts NOW. (note to self: must subscribe so I don’t miss a post!) I wish I had had the opportunity to visit this floating village when we were in Thailand – it looks incredible, and your photos and words give a wonderful glimpse inside!

    • Thanks so much lovely! Koh Panyi was just so amazing and unique that I definitely didn’t do it justice here! x

  • Emma Fisher

    These photos are just so beautiful. So much atmosphere to them too. It must have been such a great experience to go there and see it in real life!

  • Meteora in Greece would be my most unique place:) the monasteries up on high rocks.

    • I’ve only ever seen pictures of Meteora but it looks so so amazing! I’d love to visit one day. x

  • Did that cat fall in the water at any point? Because, hilarity. I love cats, but I love hilarity more.

    • HA! No, sadly, the cat stayed firmly on the floating village. But there were a ton of cats. One of them is bound to fall in. x

  • Wow never heard of such a place it looks and sounds so interesting

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    I never knew it existed!! Looking amazing!

  • Oh wow, this is amazing! The ingenuity of it is incredible and so cool that they have a floating football pitch!

  • Wow that’s an amazing football pitch! Plus the whole village is bizarre that it’s floating! Sea level change will affect them so much over the next few decades! What an incredible place to go and see though! Alice xxx

    • It’s such an interesting architectural place to explore. I was reading the other day about how the Netherlands is exploring shoring up floating cities to combat sea levels, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. (Hopefully well!) Yet another reason why I need to prioritise finally visiting Venice though! x

  • Miu

    I assume you learn to play football very accurately when you have to go swimming to catch the ball every time you don’t πŸ˜‰