Ko Panyi, also known as Koh Panyee or the Muslim Village, is a fishing village in Phang Nga province known for being built on stilts. It is called Pulau Panji in the local language. The village is self-sufficient with its own mosque, market, medical centre, and houses. It is a popular stop for travellers visiting James Bond Island or other parts of the province.
Dating back to the 18th century when people from Java migrated to this province, this village was originally built on stilts as the local laws at the time limited land ownership only to Thai locals. Although some buildings have now been built on the island, including the settlement’s mosque, the village continues to exist on the waters today, earning the name ‘the floating village’. There are recently- constructed bungalows for anyone who would like to stay overnight at Koh Panyi, but it is more popular as a day-trip.
Apart from existing on stilts, Koh Panyi’s greatest attraction is its floating football pitch. Back in the late 1980’s, the local children were inspired by the FIFA World Cup and built a pitch of wood and old fishing rafts. After a lot of practice, their football team entered an inland tournament and even made it to the semi-finals. Since then, the villagers have been very enthusiastic about their football and Panyee FC is one of the most successful soccer teams in Thailand. One can visit their original floating pitch and see the new pitch inland.
Walking Tours are organised to explore the narrow walkways of Koh Panyi and visit the local shops. They sell souvenirs like batik prints, clothing, and seashell jewellery. Don’t be afraid to bargain as some shopkeepers may be selling these items at higher prices than the mainland.
As a popular fishing village, it’s no wonder that Ko Panyi is known for its seafood. There are dozens of restaurants across the village seeling both Thai and western cuisines. Most restaurants have a kind of sit-down, mini-buffet. Best of all, they don’t restrict servings.
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