Tung Dap Village

Thailand tourism local livelihoods

Thailand tourism deserted beach palms

Tung Dap is located on Koh Phratong Island, bordered by the Andaman Sea and accessible only by boat. A one-lane road connects villager's homes, with no automobile traffic or convenience stores. Transport comes in the form of one's feet, a bicycle, or on a small tractor with trailer.

Small-scale fishing is the predominant form of income. The villagers sell fish, squid, and crab at a local pier. Other sources of income include fish farming and collection of forest products.

Tung Dap is home to people of both Thai and Moken ethnicities. The tsunami of 2004 destroyed many of the homes that were located near the beach, and many families relocated to the safety of the mainland, although some remained.

Coconuts are abundant and served as a fresh beverage - don't be surprised if you are offered a whole coconut, still on the machete used to retrieve it!

The sea is a short, one-kilometer walk from the village school. The soothing waves rolling gently onto the beach serve as a reminder of the Moken villagers' history.

Homestay host Noi spent the first 24 years of her life as a sea gypsy, and offers a fascinating account of her time living on a "Kabang," which is a boat that serves as a home and a means of transportation for Moken people. Visitors to Tung Dap will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about Moken culture and traditions.