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Panyee Island

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Koh Panyee Island is a fishing village in Phang Nga Province, Thailand notable for being built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen. The population consists of 360 families or 1,685 people descended from 2 seafaring Muslim families from Java.

Village life

The village has a Muslim school which is attended by both males and females in the mornings. Due to the informal nature of this education, many of the male children attend schools further afield in Phang Nga or in Phuket. Further emigration from the village is encouraged as the size of the settlement is restricted by dangerous water conditions in the rainy season.

A mosque based on the island adjacent to the settlement serves the predominantly Muslim population and is a focal point and meeting place for the community. A market stocked with goods from the mainland sells basic amenities such as medicine, clothes and toiletries.

Tourism

In the late 20th century, the community found it difficult to subsist solely on the fishing industry and the postman proposed to invite tourists to the village to benefit the residents. Nowadays this is one of the main attractions on tours of Phang Nga Bay from Phuket, often serving as a lunch stop.
With the increasing number of tourists, a number of seafood restaurants are present on the island, as well as various stalls selling souvenirs. In addition, their legendary football team’s old pitch serves as a major attraction. The village became a pit stop during a leg of the 19th season on the U.S. reality-competition show The Amazing Race.