Phi Phi Island Culture Guides

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Local People and Their Culture

Phi Phi Island Culture | Phi Phi Island culture and events
Local People Of Phi Phi Island
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Phi Phi Island is the home of Sea Gypsies. Like their ancestors, the local people of Phi Phi Island make their living by fishing and from tourists who flock to Phi Phi Island to experience the magnificence of their environment and their culture.

The origin of the Sea Gypsies is unknown on Phi Phi Island -- mainly because their culture is nomadic and began without permanent ties, inhabitants or writing tools. It is said that Sea Gypsies could be descendants of the Malaysian colonies that evaded the Muslim invasion of Burma. Others believe that the local people of Phi Phi Island are descendants of the original Indian race - the Vedas. Thai Buddhists, Muslim Malays, Arab traders, Indians, Chinese and Europeans also make up the mix of the local population of people on Phi Phi Island. It is certain that each of these groups has left a cultural mark on Phi Phi Island. Most mornings and evenings, the Mosque can hear a call to prayer in the Phi Phi Don village. Community spirit and a cultural devotion to the Mosque faith draw most locals to prayer.

Phi Phi Don's local Sea Gypsies

Phi Phi Don Chukit Resort is home to many Sea Gypsies. As were their ancestors, the local people of Phi Phi Don are in their element by the sea and have temporary homes made of driftwood according to the season. The families who live on Phi Phi Don Island came from Koh Yai to the north of Phi Phi Island in the Phang Nga Bay, and from Joh Lanta and Krabi province. During high season, they form communities on the west coast in Lodalum Bay. During low season, they move to the east, seeking shelter from the occasional westerly winds. To catch fish and make a living, the local people of Phi Phi Island often row their small boats for miles. Their fishing and boat building skills have been past down from one generation to the next, and they are skillful in swimming and diving. As is true to their culture, fishing is important and most of the local men pride themselves as being good fishermen. The best are full time captains of the dive and fishing boats. The local children of Phi Phi Island go to school near Bayview Resort, but they must attend secondary school off the island.

Local Newcomers On Phi Phi Island

Thai businesses have come to Phi Phil Island in masses to open silver, clothing, and Thai massage shops. Westerners are also settling in Phi Phi Island to take part in the thriving diving business.


Last Updated: 29 Feb 2012


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Transporting goods by local longtail boat to Phi Phi
Local people unloading at the pier of Phi Phi Island
Local Phi Phi longtail boat captain
Local fresh fruit shop on Phi Phi Island