Spent a weekend in Koh Panyee with Spawn of S.A.M. recently.
Hundreds of years ago, muslims from Indonesia and Malaysia came north. And, because muslims were not allowed to own land, they were confined to a tiny sliver of rock in the Bay of Phang Nga. They put up a mosque on the solid ground and then built up a village on stilts around it.
They ate and sold seafood. They cultured pearls. And, generally kept to themselves until the advent of mass tourism, whereby they found themselves in great proximity to the Ao Phang Nga Park.
Their village makes a great stopping point for folks sightseeing among the islands. Multiple stilted restaurants sprung from the brine, serving fish and prawns pulled out of the water on demand.
There is a primary school for the younger kids. The highschoolers take a schoolboat to classes on the mainland.
Way back after the 1986 FIFA World Cup, a number of youngsters were inspired to take up the “Beautiful Game”. With no free and open green space, they laid scrap lumber across some fish traps and old pontoons. Maybe it was the rhythmic ups and downs, but they practiced their foot skills until they were good enough to win a number of tournaments
One can still kick it around on the modified field. And if you bring a ball, youth will gather and join in a quick pick up game. Actually, my sense is this happens about anywhere in the world. The main difference here is that when the ball goes in the drink, the youngest has to go fetch. That would probably be the rule anywhere, too.
If you go, try staying at the James Bond Bungalow. It has nothing to do with MI6, nor the movies, but rather it’s close proximity to “James Bond Island of “Man with the Golden Gun” fame. With an amazing sunset view, they offer an adequate place to sleep. Clean and comfortable. Breakfast is included, and they’ll find someone to cook you dinner if you like. They will organize private tours of the bays as well as your pick up and return from the pier.. And, they’ll loan you a waterproof ball to kick around down at the field. It’s a great way to interact with the locals.