Khao Phing Kan and Koh Tapu are two contenders for the title «Bond Island» in Thailand. All sources call them islands, which is surprising for me personally, because in its size, only Khao Ping Kan pulls the island, which is two peaks connected by an isthmus with neat beaches. And the second, Ko Tapu, is a twenty-meter-high rock with a base of about 4 meters in diameter. With the same success, you can call a giant sequoia a grove..
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If you have not read anything about the Bond Islands yet (which is unlikely, but - suddenly), then I will briefly introduce you to the course: a film about James Bond was filmed here - «The Man with the Golden Gun». In 1974, several episodes were filmed here and the final battle between the protagonist (Roger Moore) and the main villain (Christopher Lee). The film turned out to be so-so, the special effects will also amuse the sophisticated viewer of the 21st century, the golden pistol is generally a separate subject for banter, but the fact remains: unusual landscapes and fans «Bondian» attracted the attention of people from all over the world and provided this place with an endless flow of tourists. In a short time, the islands have lost their native place names in the colloquial speech of Thais and tourists, turning into one object of worship - Bond Island in Thailand..
On Khao Ping Kan, where your boat docks, there are a couple of beaches and a grotto, which are decently flooded during high tides. Ko Tapu (that very narrow rock sticking out into the sea) is a now forbidden fruit that cannot be touched, which cannot be landed and climbed - it is administered and protected by the Phang Nga National Marine Park. So, all arriving tourists can only circle around the Bond cliff on kayaks and take pictures of it from the shore, which is quite satisfactory for most visitors. We made a sebyashkku - and go ahead, explore the islands of the Phang Nga Bay. The fact is that a visit to Bond Island is possible, either by a private boat for a lot of money, or as part of an excursion for money..
I traveled with the Alpha-Travel travel agency. Below will be a detailed description of this entire excursion. Looking ahead, I will say that everything went well, no problems. They took me from the hotel, the Russian-speaking guide told different stories all the way, and then they returned back to the hotel. I can recommend.
Excursion to James Bond Island
I was charged 1650 baht for the trip for the whole day. Picked up first, at the place of residence - on the beach Kataat 8:00, and then we still drove around Patong and collected everyone else. We arrived at the departure pier at about 9.30 and waited for the rest of the group until 10, after which they together plunged onto the boat and set sail towards the horizon.
The guide communicated with us in Russian, and told not only the organizational issues, but generally did not skimp on comments about the national park, the islands and the program itself as a whole. By the way, it turned out that the islands are 70 million years old.
The first stop is Panak Island, 45 minutes. Sluggishly distributed among the kayaks and went to explore the cave on the island, and there are two to choose from, and where exactly to go is decided on the spot. You row not yourself, but special people - canoers.
One is the cave of the Bats, and the other is Brilliant. The stalactites inside that cave are said to shine like diamonds. In the same place we pass the lagoon, looking at the sky overhead, well, do not forget that there is always a problem of ebbs and flows, which have both a daily schedule change and a seasonal one, so here you are lucky. I was not lucky, so the boat was scraping against the bottom, and there was not enough water around in the lagoon.
Then we continue to sail north to James Bond Island. While we were sailing, we had lunch at the same time, right on the boat, ala a buffet.
James Bond Island is the main purpose of the excursion. But only 40 minutes are given to explore this attraction. It seems a little, but there, and 20 minutes is actually enough, everything is very compact and in general you can not go anywhere, just take a photo in the main place.
In addition to the rock sticking out in the water, for the sake of which they are going, there is another one, on the main large island. Remember that there are two islands. But not just a separate rock, but essentially just a slope. According to the guide, translated from Thai, the name of the big island sounds like «Sloping rock», and this place was considered cursed for a long time, since the rock is an incomprehensible flat surface.
A revolution in history took place when members of the royal family visited the island, touched the rock and left behind plaques. Thais have sharply changed minus to plus, and now here and locals come to make wishes, and in general a lot of tourists. By the way, there is a monument to the Ko Tapu rock in the Phanga province. And on the island of Khao Ping Kan there is a small market with souvenirs - they are sold by the Panya tribe. I don't know what kind of money they are, but the prices are 4-5 times higher than the norm.
To be honest, the Bond landmark left me indifferent. Yes, an unusual rock and a very beautiful place, but already so trampled-tourist.
Ten minutes after Bond Island, we arrived at the Lana Islands, where we could jump from the 2-3 floors of our ship. Mangroves grow along the entire coast of the island, between the roots of which silt is formed. The water is muddy, there are no fish and corals. Have you been driving for white beaches and snorkeling? You are not on this excursion. You better on Similans or somewhere in that direction, here the main thing is snorkeling and turquoise water.
Then, according to the plan, there was Hong Island, on the way back. Again on the kayak and - around the island, and there are no caves on Khong, only grottoes. Here again the same kayak drivers will ride you as the first time. It is imperative to sit down again to your own. This is done in order to tip him, 100 baht for 2 trips, but this is not necessary.
This is probably the most interesting thing about this excursion, at least for me. Such lagoons really resemble a lost world. You float through all these nooks and crannies, and there are tall walls around you. Moreover, the entrance to this lagoon is flooded at high tide, and if you suddenly gape and the water rose, then the boat will not swim back out. We'll either have to dive and swim underwater through the entrance, or wait until the tide is low again. I think it would be interesting to spend the night there in order to feel the atmosphere to the fullest..
At 17:00 we were already brought to the pier in Phuket and the trip ended.
Information to visit
Constantly asked for advice from a trusted local agency that I used myself. I advise: Alpha Travel. A wide range of excursions, including in Russian. It is convenient that you can write to them through the messenger and place an order directly on the website.
+66622100091 (Whatsapp, Viber, Line, Telegram)
View excursion prices>
An excursion to James Bond Island costs 1,600-2,000 baht, depending on the agency and the vessel on which you will sail. Lunch, soft drinks are included. Speed boats are always more expensive.
Going on an excursion, get ready mentally that everything will pass rather slowly, unhurriedly. On Bond Island (the purpose of the whole trip, in fact) we stayed 40-50 minutes plus a transfer by longtail from the ship and back.
I would say that this is more for an inactive excursion, for lovers of measured relaxation. They were all delighted! Honestly, my review may not be entirely objective, because in Thailand I have never been. After all, he spent about two years in it, having visited hundreds of attractions and visited all the resorts. If you are in Tai for the first time, then go once, you will get positive emotions in any case, especially since the excursion is inexpensive. Well, stone lagoons are really cool stuff, just for the sake of them you can go.
Snorkeling turned out to be unrealistic, because everything is muddy in the water, you just had to swim. Now, if it was possible to snorkel at the stops, then I would like it much more. But it is necessary to go to the other side of Phuket, to the islands in the ocean. And I would also give the opportunity to paddle on kayaks myself to warm up for a change. But apparently it is impossible to take away bread from the locals.
On the map
James Bond Island
James Bond Island
Phang Nga Bay National Park is one of Thailand's most impressive natural attractions. One of the most famous islands in the national park is called "James Bond Island". Most of the islands in the park are uninhabited; many have caves and tunnels leading to hidden lagoons.
More about the excursion.
Phang Nga Bay National Park is one of Thailand's most impressive natural attractions. One of the most famous islands in the national park is called "James Bond Island". Most of the islands in the park are uninhabited; many have caves and tunnels leading to hidden lagoons. More about the excursion.