Ban Moken

Phang-Nga Province

Ban Moken on east Ko Surin Tai welcomes visitors. After the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, the Moken (from the sea gypsy ethnic group) resettled in this sheltered bay, where a major ancestral worship ceremony, Loi Reua, takes place each April. The colourfully carved bamboo poles dotted around embody Moken ancestors. This population experienced no casualties during the tsunami, which wiped out the village itself, because they understood nature's signs and evacuated to the hilltop.

The Surin Islands Marine National Park runs two-hour trips from Ko Surin Neua to Ban Moken (150B per person, minimum five people). You’ll stroll through the stilted village, where you can ask permission/guidance for hiking the 800m Chok Madah trail over the jungle-clad hills to an empty beach. Handicrafts for sale help support the local economy and clothing donations are accepted. Please refrain from bringing along alcohol and sweets; alcoholism is a growing problem among Moken.