After leaving JBI we came upon Ko Payni, a floating gypsy village at the head of Phang-Nga Bay.Â Anachronistic as that sounds,Â it was nevertheless established by nomadic Malay fishermanÂ near the end of the 18th century. (Check out the brief video clip or double-click the panoramic below to get a sense of the scale of the environs.) At that time Thai law limited land ownership solely toÂ peopleÂ of Thai origin, so the resourceful gypsiesÂ built a settlement on stilts, skirting the law on a technicality while giving themselves easy access to the fisherman’sÂ life. As theÂ communityÂ grew prosperous, it expanded and today the village is home to some 1,500 people, a mosque, and even a football pitch, all built on barnacle-covered poles over the sea. As I arrived late in the day, I had time for littleÂ more than a coffee and a quick poke around, but it left me wondering what the village must be like in the moonlight – and at bed time as the water laps beyond the gaps of the wooden slatted floors.