James Bond Island, Thailand

James Bond Island, Thailand

No self-respecting James Bond fan could possibly visit the Islands of Thailand and not visit the home of The Man with the Golden Gun. Truly, a bucket list entry fulfilled. I have stood on the very spot where Sir Roge & Sir Chris faced off. Or should I more correctly say James Bond aka 007 & Francisco Scaramanga duelled. Thankfully no sign of the wee fella Nick Nack who gives me the heebie jeebies.

So, my day trip started with an early pick-up from my hotel followed by a visit to the Monkey Temple, or Wat Suwan Kuha, with lovely bunch of people including the 5 year old VieVie from Belgium, her mother and Mr Mustafa (who bore an uncanny resemblance to the rapper French Montana) & his extensive family. As the name would suggest, there were monkeys everywhere and very friendly & cute they were too. I wouldn’t have said it was a temple in the traditional sense but more of an enormous cave. Inside was a large golden reclining Buddha, several shrines and a very interesting walk through to different parts of the cave temple. There are toilets, both eastern & western, outside by the entrance if required. Functional but nothing fancy as you would expect.

 

              

We thereafter boarded a traditional longboat at a very busy pier and set off for a waterside lunch at the fishing village of Koh Panyee which is built on stilts. Lunch was absolutely delicious. I have no idea what it was, only that it was the vegetarian option. There was a large souvenir shopping area at back of the restaurant which then leads on to the rest of the village which interestingly is predominantly Muslim and has a beautiful Mosque with golden domes. They even have their own football team which are reputed to be rather good too!

Back on the longboat, we raced through the waters of the Phang Nga National Park & all its stunning limestone pillars/islands which were a little choppy and caused much drenching & hilarity. The approach to James Bond Island, or Khao Phing Kan to give it the correct name, was borderline dangerous so Mr Mustafa & co. took it upon themselves to get everyone onto the island safely. Good job too as I have no doubt that I would have flattened the crew members had I slipped as they were rather on the petite side. A very short walk… and there it was… That iconic limestone island jutting out of the water. I couldn’t help but squeal with delight & dance with joy and wish that my dad was with me to see it. He’s not dead or anything, I just wished he was on the trip as he is also a fan of the James Bond films. Traditionally we eat chocolate & watch whatever Bond is on TV at Christmas together… So much to see and so little time! My one criticism would be the short amount of time on the island but I guess that there is a high volume of people like me to be accommodated. Unfortunately this meant that the little beach was very crowded with lots of people who were ‘doing the James Bond pose’ so I took off up a little path with VieVie (my new best friend) and found a quieter spot for photo opportunities. Further along the path was another beach which featured in the film, cue more squealing & dancing and an impromptu paddle in the water with VieVie’s mum. Time up and we had to head back to the boat before it left without us. A point which was made clear at every stop.

Being somewhat clumsy & accident prone, I opted not to join in with the kayaking around the sea caves on the way back as I took this excursion without my travel buddies and had the safety of my precious phone now containing priceless photos to consider. Couldn’t possibly take the risk of His Royal Dadness not getting to see me at Chez Scaramanga! It did look fun but I have no regrets. I got what I came for.

And so our day came to an end… Pleasantly pooped and incredibly happy. For the 2nd time during my trip to Phuket I got to walk in the footsteps of movie legends and say to myself ‘I can’t believe I’m here and seeing this with my own eyes’.

Top Tip : My words don’t do this place justice so just go and see it for yourself.

Categories: Asia

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