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Koh Panyee is a tiny fishing village in the Phang Nga Province of Thailand, about an hour and a half north of Phuket City. It's approximately a 20-minute longtail boat ride from Surakul pier in Phang Nga province. A small place with only 360 families, Koh Panyee, houses only 1685 permanent residents.
The most striking feature of this tiny island is its vast, vertical, limestone cliffs, which are visible as you descend into Phuket. All the huts, shacks and restaurants are built on stilts over the surrounding shallow sea. The wooden and concrete piles holding up this extraordinary community are indeed a fascinating and unique feat of informal engineering.
Recorded history suggests that the settlement on Koh Panyee is attributed to nomadic Malay fisherman towards the end of the 18th century. The laws of the time-limited land ownership only to people of Thai origin. Hence, in avoidance of this technical issue, the settlers, for the most part, built their homes and businesses on stilts within the island's bay.
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