Sea "Gypsy" Village, Phuket

Sunday, 10 November 2013
The conference I attended, JMComm 2013, was held in Phuket, a sea-side town in Thailand. It is in the Southern part of the country, on the Western coast. It is less developed than Bangkok and perhaps less tourist-friendly. 

On Monday we went to the Sea "Gypsy" Village (that is the English name of the place, "gypsy" can be seen as a derogatory term but it was not our word) which was close to our resort on the bay. This is where indigenous people live and fish for a living. 

We could hear the boats going out early each morning to fish. In the village, we saw mostly women and children because the men were out pulling in the day's catch. While they fished, the women worked on the products in groups, shucking clams and oysters. 

Others were preparing food - perhaps for sale or for lunch or supper that day. 

We found the village to be authentic and quaint. Some comments online (on TripAdvisor) complain about poverty, garbage and odors. In my opinion, that's a fairly superficial summation of the village. When we walked through, yes, we noticed a fishy odor but it's a FISHING village! 

More memorable for me was listening to children playing and calling out "hello" in English to us. 

We also stopped to admire huge traps that were made by hand by the villagers for the day's catch. We never learned what they mostly fish for but the containers were large! 

The village is small and quiet and we felt like we were trespassing a bit into these people's lives. We were thankful that they allowed us politely into their space so we could learn about a culture that is somewhat rare - even in the far parts of the world.

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