Koh Panyee is home to a small Muslim community village, with a population of over 1,600 people from 360 families, descended from two seafaring Muslim families from Java.

The floating Muslim village was created about two hundred years ago by 3 seafaring fishing families from Java in Indonesia. They were looking for a good location with lots of fish. If they would find that place they would let them know by hoisting a flag on top of a mountain top so others could join them. They found the sheltered spot by the high rock and hoisted the flag. That’s how the island got the name, Koh Panyee (also written as Ko Panyi) – which is Thai for ‘Island of the Flag’. Nowadays only the older generation in the village still speaks Bahasa Indonesia, the younger generation mainly speaks Thai.

Koh Panyee is mostly made up of huge and almost vertical limestone cliffs. The hundreds of huts, shacks, restaurants and houses where the villagers live are built on stilts over the surrounding shallow sea. 

The village has a school, a mosque, a health centre, lots of small souvenir shops, and a handful of large restaurants facing the Andaman Sea. There are even bungalows offering overnight accommodation. 

The most attractive point here is probably the football fields floating on the sea. Inspired by the 1986 FIFA World Cup, the children here built their first pitch from old pieces of wood and fishing rafts. After the team here became one of the most successful youth football teams in Southern Thailand and attracted more attention, the field was redone and added two more.

If you want to experience an overnight stay in the village, there is also a hotel for visitors, the James Bond Hotel (Bungalow). Rooms at the hotel are quite simple, however, they have balconies overlooking the spectacular Phang Nga Bay. You can rent a kayak at the hotel for 300 baht with which you can paddle around the village. The owners are very warm-hearted and can help you organize a private tour to the surrounding attractions.

According to vi.hotels.com AND seasia.co