In the past, if you mentioned the name “Koh Lanta ” there may be only few tourists who would know the I10land. Unlike Samui, Phuket or Phi Phi Islands. Who knows that not far from Krabi Province with little travel time, there is a beautiful island hiding within the sea of Andaman. The beautiful sand beach that we see around the island plus the peaceful atmosphere are what attract tourists who want to run away from all the confusion to come and feel the touch of pure nature and get fascinated by this Koh Lanta Island.
Koh Lanta Yai preserves its community spirit in both family and business life. With clear, cool waters and superb white sand beaches stretching along a 27 kilometer coastline, its paradisiacal appeal remains unmarred by mass tourism. The island, which reaches a height of almost 500 meters at its extreme end, also boasts a mountain range covered with rain forest.
The Koh Lanta archipelago is made up of over fifty small islands, though only three are inhabited: Lanta Yai , Lanta Noi and Ko Ngai. Lanta Yai is the most attractive to tourists, with its impressive beaches and activities for visitors. Approximately 10,000 of the regions’ 20,000 inhabitants reside on Lanta Yai.
It’s here you will find the ancient Sea Gypsy Village, home to the indigenous settlers on Ko Lanta who live in harmony with the sea. Sanga-U Village lies in the southern tip of Koh Lanta in Krabi Province. This Uraklavoy or Sea Gypsies village has a population of 420 people with 117 households, settlement in a small traditional fishing village called “Ban Sangkha-U”. The name “Sangkha-U” means “stingray” in Chao-Le dialect.
The legend is that there was once a large stingray that landed and beached in Ao Prao inlet. The stingray later turned to stone. From that moment the local villagers saw people walking in that area as if there was a settlement there, they believed that these were the 'Lords of the Sea' and their own ancestors. Since the stingray is called Sagga-U in the Chao Le dialect they called these people Toh-I-Sagga-U and this is where the name Sanga-U Village came from. The unique lifestyle of the Chao-Le (sea-gypsies) in Ko Lanta has been almost completely unaffected by the booming tourism on the island.
They still retain their own unique language, traditions and ceremonies. They earn their living on fishing or catching lobster, other tasty shellfish and collecting bird's nests for the Chinese cuisine.