Koh Panyee, the floating community in the Andaman Sea
Koh panyee or well-known “the village in the sea” the world tourist destination in Thailand which have expanded its reputation toward the traveler worldwide for ages. The wonderful island nestled in the middle of Pang Nga Bay of Pang-Nga province in the south of Thailand. Unfortunately, most tourists visit the island just for a day trip which takes only 2 hours. But to know more about Koh Panyee, it would be nice to extend your trip to stay the night at the homestay to tie in your experience with the rustic way of life of the locals that blended the entity to nature and inherited the traditional Muslim that is the primary belief of the people here.
Knowing Koh Panyee
Panyee Island or Koh Panyee located in Koh Panyee sub-district, Muaeng Phang-Nga district, a small island that is not less in its property as the strategic community in the middle of the Andaman Sea. Koh Panyee is about 1,600 sqm of land which most of the space is in the sea of Ao Phang Nga and the mangrove forest of Ao Phang Nga National Park. On the island has all necessary facility for living, i.e., school, health care center, mosque, and shops.
The word “Panyee” in Indonesian means “flag.” In the past, there’re three Java or Indonesian families, and one of them is “To Nabu” a leader of the evacuation of those people from Java, the agreement was anyone who finds the abundant land should flag as the symbol, and that became the name of Panyee Island finally.
Koh Panyee consists of 4 villages which are;
- The first village: Ban Tha Dan located at the area of the shallow water in Pang Nga Bay.
- The second village: Koh Panyee located at the area of the shallow water of Pang Nga Bay, as well.
- The third community: Koh Mai Phai (Bamboo Island) located on the island and the mangrove forest of Pang Nga Bay.
- The forth village: Koh Mak Noi located on the island of Pang Nga Bay.
As on limited space of the land of Koh Panyee resulted in the construction of the residences and school is in the water. Consequently, when the tide is high, it looks similar to the Panyee community is floating in the middle of the sea. Regarding those of structures were built to save from the change of tide that is the buildings constructed over the cleats installed into the ooze since the establishment.
Regarding the citizen of Koh Panyee, Muslim is the majority of the island, whereas other religions as Buddhism and Christ are the minor belief of the people, respectively. Most of the residents live the lives by traditional fishing; obviously, you will see many hinged floating baskets all around the area of the island. Apart from that, they run shops like souvenir and restaurant to serve the visitors who visit the island.
The floating football field of Koh Panyee
However, the real highlight of Koh Panyee that anyone who takes the trip to this remarkable island should not miss is “the floating football field” that also is one and only in Thailand. Indeed, it becomes the tourist magnet of Koh Panyee that attracts lots of travelers from around the world to come to see it.
The notable football field derived from the strong will of the children on the island who love to play football resulted in the establishment of “Panyee Football Club” or better known “Panyee FC” which has succeeded with the champion trophy from many tournaments. Presently, there are two football fields on the island, which are the first field that we can see the floor is made from wood and the new one which created by buoyancy.
What Interesting on Koh Panyee
The tourist attractions on Koh Panyee are variety and worthwhile for the tourists to check-in, for example
1. The Residence in the Middle of the Sea
A significant village of Koh Panyee community constructed in the middle of the sea without attachment to the land at all. This is a traditional Muslim village that has existed here for over two centuries and also the strategic landmark for travelers from all directions to visit throughout the year.
2. Tham Thalu
Or Thalu Cave, a look-alike islet located in the sea with the hole in the center, therefore it called “Tham Thalu” which means thread cavern. The site is favorite for the tourists to canoe and sees the lovely atmosphere there.
3. Phu Khao Khian
Referred to the Drawing Mountain where the visitor can witness the paintings from the ancient time, assumingly, they were created since the pre-historic age. The drawings are monkey, dolphin, and crocodile, for instance.
Well, the best time to visit Koh Panyee is between December and April annually. The tourists mostly favor purchasing the package tour from the agency which provided at various prices followed to how many locations to go. Certainly, Koh Panyee is one of those destinations. However, anyone who plans to take the trip to Pang Nga Bay we recommend you to make the trip to Koh Panyee by yourself that will give you a more exciting journey. Enjoying to explore door-to-door the simple way of life of the residents whether some conversations with them or better than that stay in the homestay accommodation. We guarantee that you will experience the spectacular beauty of the island that is different from your original perception, indeed. The tourist can get the boat to Koh Panyee at Harbor Pang Nga Bay.
The trip would not be completed without tasting the local food, Koh Panyee will not disappoint you since it is another place where you can find fresh and delicious seafood. Many restaurants on Koh Panyee, for example, Mutiara Seafood, New Fern Seafood, Sunny Seafood, Andaman Seafood, Panyee Seafood, and Panyee Bangalore Restaurant, etc. And the tourist who would like to grab some local bit you should not miss the delicious “Nam Prik Kung Sieb” (dried shrimp chili dip).
There are many styles of accommodation on Koh Panyee, such as Koh Panyee Homestay, James Bond Bangalore, Panyee Bangalore, etc. Wherever, you will touch the ambiance of the fantastic seaside and heart-taking scene of the Andaman Sea, plus witness the first light of the day considered one of the most beautiful sunrise views in the world.
And worry-free for the convenience since there is plenty enough infrastructure to serve the tourists, including mobile signal, electricity, and tap water.
However, the island is prohibited from all kinds of alcohol beverages; also, the visitors should not bring into the island, too. Furthermore, appropriate cloth and avoid any gambling on the island is highly recommended showing your respect and proper way to preserve the tradition and culture of the local according to their Islam belief (trust us, this will not limit your pleasant journey here).
How to Get to Koh Panyee
The tourist who plans the trip to Koh Panyee can go to the island by the long-tail boat that departs from the pier. A ship is about THB1,200 – 2,500 per charter trip, however, the price subjected to vary rate depends on the number of the passenger.
The boat trip takes about 3 – 4 hours which starts by taking the tourists to sightsee the beautiful panorama of Pang Nga Bay passing many attractions – Khao Ma Ju, Koh Hong, Tham Lod, Koh Panyee, Khao Phing Kan, Khao Tapu, for example. Otherwise, the tourist also can buy the tour package from Phuket, Krabi, or Pang-Nga that are many programs for you to choose.
The tour is about a half-day with THB1,000 per head included a meal.
Hiring the boat trip for Pang Nga Bay tour
- Harbor Pang Nga Bay Pier: it located at Takua Thung district that is not too far from the national park office. This is the most crowded pier with many selections for the tourist by following;
- 1 – 8 passengers is THB1,200 per trip
- 8 – 20 passengers is THB2,000 per trip
- 20 – 40 passengers is THB4,500 per trip
- Surakul or Krasom Pier located in Takua Thung district as well. The pier offers the long-tail boat service.
- 1 – 10 passengers is THB1,200 per trip
- 1 – 20 passengers is THB1,500 per trip
- 1 – 30 passengers is THB1,600 per trip
Anyway, the perfect capacity for the long-tail boat is about 6 passengers per trip.
- The Pier at Ao Pang Nga National Park which provides the long-tail boat for about 8 passengers. However, the services offered at the pier are by following details;
- 2 – 6 passengers is THB1,000 per trip
- 7 – 12 passengers is THB1,500 per trip
- 35 – 45 passengers is THB4,500 trip
How to go to the Pier
The tourist can travel to the pier by highway number 4 that heads down to the south to Koh Loi district and passes the Town Hall that is about 8 km distant from the town. There’s an intersection, and you take the left fork to enter the road number 4144 leading to Ao Pang Nga National Park that is approximately 4 km away from the intersection.
Alternatively, the tourist can get on the bus from town to the national park, which is about 7 km distant.