Urak Lawoi Heritage Project
Urak Lawoi or Chao Ley are an Aboriginal Malay people residing on some of the islands in the Thai Andaman Sea.
It is estimated that there are around 6,000 Urak Lawoi or Chao Ley who all speak a language related closely to Malay but influenced by Thai. They are one of several southeast Asian ethnicities referred to as "sea gypsies" (Chao Ley in Thai). Their way of life has been changing rapidly in recent years, due to tourism and the opening of National Marine Parks.
Project Urak Lawoi aims to raise awareness Urak Lawoi' people, their culture, and the challenges they face in conserving their traditional ways of life so naturally tied to the environment of the Adang Archipelago.
The local community of Koh Lipe faces the same challenges as most other formerly sea-nomadic communities in the world.