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?