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JAMES BOND ISLAND
James Bond Island is located in the bay of Phang Nga and is part of the Ao Phang Nga Bay National Park. Many people visit the island from Phuket despite being closer to the mainland of Phang Nga.
Khao Phing Kan
James Bond Island, once known as Khao Phing Kan, became world famous in 1974 because of the movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ from the famous James Bond film series. Thanks to those film shots, everyone was able to see this fantastic location and this little island in Thailand became extremely popular.
The island consists of two rocks connected by a stretch of beach. On the west side of the island is a narrow beach, here you are brought by boat and you have to pay the park entrance fee. The price is 300 baht for adults and 100 baht for children, with this ticket you have access to the entire Ao Phang Nga National Park.
It’s because of this part in the James Bond movie below, the island of Khao Phing Kan became very popular:
Khao Ta Pu
James Bond Island is only a small island. When you arrive by boat, you’ll immediately see the biggest attraction in the entire Ao Phang Nga National Park, the Khao Ta Pu rock rising out of the water. This characteristic elongated rock rises twenty meters above the sea. The underside of the rock has been worn down by erosion making this part a lot narrower than the upper part. It seems that this could cause the rock to fall over.
How long this rock will last is the question but for the time being there don’t seem to be any big worries. To make sure that the rock stays as long as possible, large boats and speedboats can’t come near it anymore.
The rock is situated 40 meters away from James Bond Island and when the tide is low you can even get a little closer. You can take beautiful pictures from the beach but for the best picture you take the specially constructed stairs to the top.
Khao Phing Kan
On James Bond Island you can see another beautiful natural phenomenon, Khao Phing Kan, the leaning rock and that’s exactly what the name Khao Phing Kan means. This beautiful smooth rock seems to have fallen over and is looking for support from another rock. A big gap in between has formed. This rock also had a role in the James Bond movie and is worth a visit and photo opportunity, you are there now anyway.
Where there are tourists, there are souvenir shops. so obviously also on James Bond Island. Nice to know is that some of the sellers live on the floating Muslim village of Koh Panyee. You often visit this island as part of the James Bond Island Tour. The goods you can buy here are often no different than the stuff you see at other tourist spots. The big difference is that the prices here are a bit higher. You will have to negotiate a lot to get a reasonable price for a memento of your James Bond Tour.
How to get to the James Bond Island?
James Bond Island can be visited by means of a tour. Most people start the tour in Phang Nga, or Phuket. But also more distant places like Khao Lak and Krabi are possible. From Phang Nga the tours are cheaper and longer in the area because the distances are shorter. In many cases you usually visit an extra island and temple. Always ask for the program before you book to avoid disappointment.
You can book a tour at any travel agency. From Phuket they usually use larger (speed)boats and you leave from the Ao Po Pier in the northwest of Phuket.
From Phang Nga longtail boats are used more often and you depart from Tha Dan Pier located ten kilometers from Phang Nga Town.
James Bond Island Tour
During the James Bond Island Tour you will visit a number of beautiful places. It’s the most chosen tour from Phuket and Phang Nga.
The boat trip to the different islands alone is a real treat with the overgrown rock formations that travel out of the emerald green water. It is almost surrealistically so beautiful! In the rocks are “rooms” (Hongs) where you can go in with a kayak and then end up in a mini jungle. An experience you won’t easily forget! Islands that are often visited are Koh Panyee, Hong Island, Koh Thalu Ok, Naka Island and Koh Panak.
Of course during the James Bond Island Tour you will also visit James Bond Island with its special rock in the water. Lunch is often on the island Koh Panyee after which you have time to explore the special village. Also read our article about this unique floating village.
Koh Panyee | Image: Sebastian Schock (Instagram)
Some James Bond tours also visit a relaxing island or another place where you can kayak. Most tours follow more or less the same route but there are also private tours or small-scale tours that offer more space for personal wishes. Which island you visit also depends on the tide, your boarding place and the duration of the tour. For example, most caves can only be entered at low tide.
Naka Island | Image: Travel-or-Die.ru (Flickr)
Early birds during sunrise over Phang Nga Bay
It can be very busy on James Bond Island. Don’t you like that? Then book an Early Bird Tour. You can dodge the crowds AND watch the sunrise over Phang Nga Bay, a great experience! You’ll leave much earlier than any other tour so it’s much quieter everywhere. Chances are, sometimes you’re the only one! However, you have to get up early, you leave around 05:00, early birds don’t have a problem with that, right?
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A visit to the island of Koh Thalu is part of the James Bond Island Tour. The island is full of hidden caves, mangroves and hidden lagoons that you will discover by kayak. You don’t have to do anything yourself while you’re cruisin the emerald waters as someone will paddle along in the kayak in front of you. For some caves you first have to lie completely flat to be able to pass under the opening, a special experience!
If the above is too exciting you can book the James Bond Tour without kayaking. Even if you have booked without a kayak, you can usually book it on the spot for about 300 baht per person. If you do want to kayak please check before departure what the possibilities are. Personally we think kayaking is one of the highlights of the tour. The kayaking tour takes about half an hour and if you don’t want to kayak you can wait for the big boats in front of the cave in the water.
Kayak Tours to Hong Island and James Bond Island
On a kayak tour you also go to the James Bond island but the emphasis is more on kayaking. With a boat you will be brought close to your destination after which you will change in a kayak. You will visit Hong Island. This island is known for its beautiful caves and hidden lagoons. Also Koh Pa Nak where you go with a kayak into a dark bat cave, is much visited during the kayak tours. There are full or half day trips possible.
From Phang Nga Town you can easily arrange the James Bond Tour. Sayan Tour has the most satisfied customers in Phang Nga Town. For a group tour with a longtail boat you pay between 1,100 and 1,300 baht. Often you will be on the road for a whole day. You can find Sayan Tour in the bus station of Phang Nga Town. As soon as you arrive in Phang Nga Town you will be approached by several guides for tours and accommodations. Don’t be overwhelmed and orientate yourself before booking. Read our Phang Nga Town article for more information.