Voluntourists treated to stories of Moken culture
Claudine and Gill (UK) were among Andaman Discoveries’ first voluntourists in Tung Dap village, each enticed by our March special tour offer. Their two-day homestay allowed them participate in and assess several newly-developed cultural activities (and with her nine years’ of experience managing international development projects, Claudine’s feedback was invaluable!). However, the highlight of the trip was homestay host P’ Noi’s evening tales of the seafaring lives the Moken “sea gypsies” — who comprise about half the village’s population — were still living a generation ago.
“Perhaps the most enjoyable and memorable part of our stay was listening to the stories of our homestay host, P’ Noi. After we had eaten we would sit on the floor in P’ Noi’s beautiful wooden house listening to stories from her Moken childhood. P’ Noi spent the majority of her childhood aboard a Kabang — a traditional wooden boat which the Moken use as a home, fishing boat, and for transportation. The Moken used to spend months at time on the ocean, t raveling around the Andaman Sea in search of the fish which made up the majority of their diet.”