The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami devastated the way of life of the Moken people, a boat-dwelling population who had spent two-thirds of the year sailing off the western coast of Myanmar and around southern Thailand, returning to land only during the monsoon season. Since the tsunami, they have struggled to return to their boats and many now live in isolated communities far from the mainland.

Nevertheless, the Moken community, including the children who are receiving education under the Thai school system, have not entirely abandoned their traditional way of life and are still very much attached to and adept on water.

Their plight has attracted the attention of non-governmental organisations and faith-based bodies. It remains to be seen how much of their practice and culture can be reclaimed in the near future.

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