(GPS: 7.98006, 98.29246) is a Muslim village in central western Phuket along the road from Surin Beach
to Bangtao Beach
. The Muslim inhabitants here are believed to be descendants of early Arab traders who intermarried with the local ethnic Malays.
According to historians, although Arab traders have been sailing past the coast as early as the 7th century, the Muslims only settled in Phuket following the fall of Malacca to the Portuguese, which created a sort of Malay diaspora across the region.
The settlement at Ban Bangtao is believed to have been established by an Acheenese trader. Today the village is still in existence and in fact the local Bangtao Mosque is the biggest mosque in Phuket, traditionally eking a living as fishermen but increasingly finding employment in the tourism industry.
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