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Krabi People

The people of Krabi represent a mix of different races who over history came to settle from different regions. It is said that each group of people represent a different page in the history of Krabi.

The Chao Ley or "Sea Gypsies" reside on various of the islands in Krabi's waters, and traditionally made their living from wandering around fishing and diving for their livelihood. Their small communities are in danger of overexposure to tourism, and inevitable assimilation, however some of their traditional ways are presented in the yearly sea gypsy sailing ritual held in May on Koh Lanta, Koh Pu and Koh Cham.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Southern Chinese people flocked to Thailand in search of work and many made their way to the south of Thailand to work in local industry. In more recent times, there involvement has been high in oil palm plantations and gypsum mining. Despite the assimilation of Chinese people and their descendants with local people over time, many retain vestiges of their Chinese heritage. Many still retain the ability to speak Chinese, have Chinese (and Thai) names, and observe Chinese rituals and religious beliefs.

Being in close proximity to Malaysia, southern Thailand is also home to many Muslim communities, and Krabi itself has a strong Muslim presence.

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