Thursday, July 16, 2009

Andaman sea

There is a archipelago in the Andaman Sea - in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean- with about 800 pristine islands, beaches, jungle, lush tropical vegetation inhabited by sea - gipsy turned into fisherman, pearl diver and amber collector. A similar situation with islands in the archipelago in Thailand is at Trang Archipelago, Surin Islands and Tarutao Islands.

It's the territory of the Salon or Sea Gypsies. What has happened amongst these islands since men first came to live and move amongst them, there is no record, and there never will be any now. Here and there only the curtain of the unknown is lifted for a passing moment. Their main, and it would seem their earliest, human interest centre in the colony of the Salon, which has made of these islands its last refuge.

To enjoy this adventure trip in real time you have to book a scuba diving live aboard trip at Phuket Thailand.

When or whence they came to the Andaman Sea, one can only guess ; and whether they had any human predecessors it is difficult even to conjecture.

But it is probable that they are an extremely ancient people,

kindred of that aboriginal stock which peopled the mainland before the advent of the Htai. The main body of these aborigines drifted away under the pressure of the Htai to the south, there to develop into the Malay race. A

fragment of them retreated to the shelter of the islands further down like Phuket island in Thailand ; others cut off from civilizing influences, they have made no progress, and too weak to face their adversaries, they have developed the nomadic life, the habit of few possessions, of flight at the sight of a stranger.

The attrition of time and the cruelty of man have worn away the race to its present proportions. It has too long bowed down its head, too long ceased to make any effort after greater things to have any future before it. The Malay who is of kin will acknowledge no relationship, and in times that are past he has been its most cruel oppressor. Myanmar or Burma and Malaysia have a long time common history from the colonial area, very close was the relation between Myanmar islands and Penang island in Malaysia.

The fire of Islam, which has molten the Malay into a people, has never warmed the aboriginal Salon. A great gulf of time must therefore separate them and these islands must have known the Salon for far more than a thousand years. Also the
Phi Phi islands in neighboring Thailand have a big sea gypsies community, in Thailand they call them Moken.

ISLAND VILLAGE THE MERGUI - MYEIK ARCHIPELAGO  MYANMAR BURMAAlmost the first account of the archipelago, written by a European traveler, is that of Caesar Frederick the Venetian. It has all the charm and interest of early travel ; and is best told in the language of his time.

" From the port of Pechinco," he says, " I went to Cochin, and from Cochin to Malaca, whence I departed for Pegu - Bago eight hundred miles distant, that voyage was to be made in twenty five or thirty days, but we were for months, and at the end of three months our Ship was without victual’s. The Pilot told us that wee were by his altitude from a city called Tenassiry - Tenasserim, a city in the Kingdome of Pegu - Bago, -today its around Ranong- and these his words were not true, but we were (as it were) in the middle of many Islands, and many uninhabited rocks, and there were also some Portuguese that affirmed that they knew the land. I say being amongst these rocks, and from the land which is over against Tenassary - Tenasserim, with great scarcities of victual’s, and that by the saying of the pylate and two Portugalles holding them firm that we were in front of the aforesaid harbor, we determined to go thither with our boat and
Islands Salon Sea Gypsy Lving on the Boat MyanmarIslands Salon Sea Gypsy Living on the Boat Myanmar movingfetch victual’s, and that the ship should stay for us in a place assigned ; we were twenty and eight persons in the boat that went for victual’s, and on a day about twelve of the clock we went from the Ship, assuring ourselves to be in the harbor before night in the afore said port ; wee rowed all that day, and a .

great part of the next night, and all the next day without finding harbor, or any sign of good landing, and this came to pass through the evil counsel of the two Portuguese that were with us


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