Excerpt from a new story by Michael Shapiro:
“You want to try something special today,” says our Moken guide Ngoy at the start of our third day in Ko Surin, a group of islands in the Andaman Sea off the west coast of Thailand. “Let’s take the kabong!”
These are the first words Ngoy says to us today – the Moken don’t say hello, goodbye or thank you. “We just see one another’s eyes,” Ngoy says. “That’s enough.”
It’s our third day among the Moken, a nomadic sea people whose ancestors have drifted among the islands near what is now Thailand and Myanmar for thousands of years.
“The kabong is our traditional boat, the center of our universe,” Ngoy says. For countless generations it’s been everything to the Moken people: their home, their transportation, their means for catching fish. This boat took Ngoy’s village six months to build – today most Moken get around in Thai longtail boats, but they built this kabong to keep their traditions alive.
Read the full story here: Floating with the Moken: A journey among a nomadic sea people