Koh Panyee is a small fishing village in Thailand’s Phang Nga Province, about an hour and a half north of Phuket Town. It is about 20 minutes by longtail boat from Surakul Pier in Phang Nga Province. With only 360 families, Koh Panyee hosts only 1685 permanent residents. The most striking feature of this small island is its vast vertical limestone cliffs, which are visible when descending to Phuket. All cabins, cabins, and restaurants are built on stilts over the shallow sea surrounding it.
The timber and concrete pilings that support this wonderful community are indeed a fascinating and unique feat of informal engineering. Recorded history suggests that settlement on Koh Panyee is attributed to nomadic Malay fishermen in the late 18th century. Temporary land ownership laws are only for persons of Thai origin. Therefore, to avoid this technical problem, the colonists primarily built their houses and businesses on stilts within the island bay.
Koh Panyee History
The Legend of Toh babu
An Indonesian Muslim fisherman named Toh babu is said to have discovered this small fishing village, also known as the Muslim Village. Therefore, all residents of Koh Panyee are descendants of Toh babu. Toh babu’s family and two others Allegedly, these families were the first to settle on Koh Panyee around 200 years ago. According to legend, Toh babu, his clan, and the other two families left Indonesia on boats searching for a new home.
They promised to raise a flag at the habitable site they discovered so that others could follow them and settle together. Toh babu found the fish-rich island of Koh Panyee, and raising the red flag drew the rest of his people to the region. Therefore, the island is Koh Panyee or “Flag Island” in Thai.
Life in Koh Panyee
Life in this quaint little fishing village is still relatively simple. While 40% of the locals are still fishermen, most people here have now turned to tourism for a living.
Although the initial village was complex without electricity, fresh water, or telephones, today, technology has improved the town. Electricity still costs six times the regular cost on this island.
Koh Panyee has a mosque, a school, a clinic, a few restaurants overlooking the sea, and a variety of small souvenir shops. Some recently built bungalows on Koh Panyee offer accommodation for as little as 300 THB. monitored by a single police officer.
Koh Panyee Soccer Club
This small town has a floating soccer field. After the 1986 FIFA World Cup, the inspired children of the village built this excellent field out of old scrap wood and fishing rafts. The children of Koh Panyee formed a local soccer team and competed in the Southern Thailand Schools Championship. Final at an indoor tournament and even won second place despite playing barefoot. This inspired the city to play sports and build a new sports field. The wooden soccer field is still standing and is a must-see for tourists.
Dress according to local culture. Avoid short skirts and shorts. T-shirts and jeans are acceptable. However, be careful to avoid t-shirts with inappropriate quotes or images. Wear comfortable, well-supported shoes.
Since you will be walking on stilts, mainly on these wooden structures, it is advisable to wear shoes with good footwork. Bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses when you go outside. A la carte menu would give you better options than a tour. I was having lunch. However, tour lunches offer better portions than an a la carte menu. A kayak tour of the lagoon near Koh Panyee is beautiful but can get crowded in high season. Bring a camera. Add a day to your itinerary and rent cheap bungalows to save money.