They earn their
living on fishing, catching lobster, and other sea foods as well as collecting bird's nest
for the Chinese cuisine. Despite the close relation to other villages, the sea gypsies do
not integrate into Thai population. They still retain their own language, traditions and
ceremonies. Their belief in supernatural and traditional spiritual worship is still
influential in the community as seen in their traditional ceremony "Loy-Rua (Floating
Boat)".The village men will build a symbolic boat and place wooden statues of
themselves in it along with nail pairings, hair and popped rice. By performing this
ritual, they ask for forgiveness from the sea gods and for any offences they have made to
It is believed that all evil is carried away in the symbolic boat. Visiting their
village is thus a worthwhile experience.
Most Muslims on the island enjoy cock-fighting as their hobby; and in this hobby, gambling
is also involved. You can experience the exciting fight of the well-trained cocks. The
skilled fighting cock is considered as the apple of its owner's eye and also costs much.
Khao Mai Kaew
A couple of caves are located in the center of the island, offering a wonder of rocks and
caverns and housing the spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. Some sections in the cave
create a cavern pool that you can swim in.
To explore the cave, a guide is needed; a
Muslim family who lives near the trailhead to the cave offers guide service for 50 Baht
per person. The cave is located off the lower of two cross-island roads, down a narrow 1.5
kilometer-dirt path through the rubber plantation that ends up at the Muslim home.
Lanta Old Town:
This is a good place for experiencing the living of local people. Situated on the
southeastern coast of the island, the district capital locally called the Old Town offers
the rustic atmosphere of the town of the past years. Wooden houses, post office, police
station and hospital represent well its existence as a center of the island.
It is a must for flower lovers. The orchid farm is located on Long Beach or Pra Ae beach.
It is easily accessible by bike or motorbike. The entry fee is 30 Baht per person.