Phang Nga Bay Tour – If you’re traveling to Phuket or you’re already there and thinking about visiting Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island, let me tell you, I’ve been there and couldn’t resist the temptation to go and see for myself why so many people were talking about it. So I’m going to tell you honestly about my experience there and let you decide for yourself whether to visit Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island or leave it for some other day.
By the way, have you ever wondered why it’s called James Bond Island? I can’t wait to tell you!
Phang Nga Bay Tour – What’s the deal with James Bond?
The island’s original name is actually Khao Phing Kan. You’ve probably already guessed it, the island became world famous after a James Bond movie was shot there; it was the 1974 The Man With the Golden Gun. Since then, Khao Phing Kan island and Phang Nga Bay witnessed a rush of visitors from all over the world, and people keep coming to visit it!
How to Get to Phang Nga Bay and How Much Does it Cost ?
James Bond Island is in Phang Nga Bay in the Andaman Sea (exact location here). It is situated 50 km away from Phuket where you’ll probably stay. Speaking of accommodation, I’d highly recommend this hotel in Patong; it’s relatively cheap and you could plan your trip from there very easily.
To go to James Bond island, the easiest way would be to book a day trip that would include transportation from your hotel in Phuket to Phang Nga Bay and then to James Bond island. A minibus will take you to Phang Nga Bay and then a boat will take you to the island. I would advice to book your trip online as local travel agencies may apply higher rates.
Book here: James Bond Island
What Does It Cover?
Of course, it depends on the type of trip you’re going to chose but if you’re going there on the long boat like I did, here’s what you’re going to get:
- A round trip starting from your hotel and covering transportation by minibus and boat
- A visit of the Suwankuha temple and the Monkey Caves
- A visit of a Muslim fishermen’s village on the Koh Panyee island
- A kayaking trip around Talu island on the Phang Nga Bay
- A visit of the James Bond island and the surrounding area
- Lunch at a local Thai restaurant
I mean honestly, for around $50, it couldn’t get better than that.
Phang Nga Bay Tour – Is it Worth It?
Let’s start with what I liked most about this trip and end with the rest.
Things I liked:
The Suwankuha temple visit was great. The temple is actually inside a huge cave that is surrounded by a whole lot of monkeys.
There’s also a really big Buddha laying on its back inside the cave.
I also enjoyed the visit to the fishermen’s village because there weren’t many tourists there and the people living there were very welcoming and kind. I also walked around the village and found a beautiful mosque there.
The kayaking trip was also really nice; Phang Nga Bay has breathtaking scenery to offer.
When you get to the spot where you can actually see James Bond island, you do wonder how that huge rock remains stable. It’s quite impressive when you get to see it with your own eyes.
The boat trip from the Phang Nga port to James Bond island was enjoyable.
In addition, lunch was delicious and we got served generous portions. I think it was soup for starters and then some rice with vegetables and some chicken. There was watermelon and mangoes for dessert.
The staff members who were with us throughout the whole trip were friendly and really nice to be around; it’s called the Land of Smiles for a reason.
Things I didn’t like:
The crowdedness of those attractions is the aspect I didn’t like the most. At some point, you start to feel like you’re part of a herd that keeps together, takes pictures of this and that and goes away. It’s a bit annoying to say the least because the trip’s itinerary is planned with the utmost precision and possibilities to venture somewhere else were tiny.
What I didn’t like about the kayaking trip was the fact that there was a guide there paddling so I guess we weren’t supposed to ourselves. I don’t know about you but It was kind of frustrating for me.
The guide would frequently ask you to take your pictures, hoping to earn a tip later If you don’t want to give a tip, make sure to mention that from the start so as to avoid any conflicts later.
Let’s Wrap This Up!
I’m not going to tell you whether to visit James Bond island or not; after all, it depends on what you’re really looking for. So if you’re more of an adventurous person who likes exploring places on their own without having to follow the instructions of a guide, I’d say move on.
However, if you’re likely to give more importance to those aspects when it comes traveling and don’t mind being surrounded by tourists, I’d say go for it!
To be honest, I’d rather ditch the guide and listen to my instincts, although I’d do it again if I ever get the chance, just to look at the beautiful Phang Nga landscape again.
Obviously, a successful trip also depends on your attitude. If you’re traveling to complain about the littlest details that would normally annoy you (given other circumstances), you’re going to complain a lot. If you get yourself a positive attitude to bring along the trip, you’re up for a great time.
There you go, I hope I helped you decide whether or not to include Phang Nga bay tour and James Bond island in your next trip to Thailand. I’d love to hear your views on this so don’t hesitate to tell me about them in the comments below.
Talk to you all very soon,