Sea Gypsies. They sound like something out of a fairy tale or a children’s novel but they’re a real thing in Thailand and now 20 million baht is going towards a 4D animatronic Sea Gypsy Cultural Center in Koh Sireh. The project began in 2009 as a way to preserve and display the life and culture of the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies, but a few obstacles have popped up along the journey.
The project originally began with a 2 million budget and then a 5.4 million budget but things got a little out of hand and the venue quickly turned into a shelter for the homeless. The animatronic Sea Gypsy Cultural Center was originally set for completion in 2012 but operations have been on hiatus ever since with a few jump starts along the way.
At the beginning of this year, the Phuket Rajabhat University was hired to study the history of the sea gypsies and develop and design exhibits for the center. Once research is finished, it is expected that the project will be complete within 3 years and the center should then become open for business shortly after.
A 4D animatronics exhibit is expected to be put in place, which should draw in tourists and locals alike. The Cultural center is said to be one of many tourist attractions that will help with the development of Koh Sireh. Let’s hope that there is smooth sailing for the project from here on in.