Their very own paradise in the sea

Fancy playing football on water? Well, you can at the village of Koh Panyee in southern Thailand, thanks to its unique floating pitch.

Locals tell the story of how the floating field was inspired by the 1986 Fifa World Cup.

Children in the village were so struck by the event that they decided to build their own pitch from old wooden boards.

Building on water due to lack of space was not a new idea to the people in that area.

Most of the houses there are built on stilts over the sea. Rough and crude as the pitch was, it helped the local football team emerge third in a competition.

Inspired by the players' dedication, TMB Bank commissioned a series of advertisements that told their story.

This brought fame, and much-needed funds to help the villagers build the current pitch in 2010.

The 15m by 24m field has become so famous that tourists turn up in droves to witness it. This in turn has helped businesses there to thrive.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2017, with the headline 'Their very own paradise in the sea'. Subscribe