James Bond Island Day Trip

Phang Nga Bay was one of my must sees in Thailand. We made it on our last day. It was great finale.

I found trips to Phang Nga Bay often mention and island or islands rather than the bay. James Bond Island, formerly known as Khao Phing Kan and/or Koh Tapu, is one of the most common trips. 

Our tour with Phuket Best Sea Marine, which we booked with our hotel, picked us up on time from our hotel and took us to a meeting point near the docks where they had coffee, tea, and water. We all checked in to our different trips and were given an energetic welcome and orientation by Sexy Sandy. We were strongly encouraged to buy water shoes for 600 baht cash that we didn’t have. Turns out we didn’t need them anyway. 

Our first stop was the Ice Cream caves at Panak island. We had hard hats for this one. I wasn’t that excited about a cave but it was pretty and pretty each to navigate. We brought a headlamp with us and it was helpful. Others used their phone flashlight. The rocks are sparkly and the caves lead to a window where you can look out over a lagoon. 

We went through some interesting and colorful islands on the way to our next stop, canoeing. We weren’t sure how climbing into a canoe from a speedboat would work but these guys have done it a few times. It was surprisingly easy. 

This was our favorite part of the trip. You relax in your canoe while your paddler takes you around and into caves and a lagoon, pointing out highlights. There are some tight spots where it gets crowded but it never felt dangerous. Wearing a life vest helped. 

Then we headed for James Bond Island, featured in The Man with the Golden Gun. This view is what it’s all about. A trail winds up the side of the island offering different vantage points. 

There’s more to James Bond Island than that view, but not much. It’s a small island. There’s a shrine of some kind, and small beach — there’s a better beach later in the trip — a couple of interesting caves, including one with a slanted wall, and a string of stalls selling tourist tidbits. No queues like at Maya Bay. It was easy to walk around and take photos. 

Then it’s off to Panyi Island, a floating Muslim village where we had a buffet lunch. You can see the gold minarets of the mosque from far away. Lunch was fine. There’s a whole string of buffets restaurants designed to feed tourists. 

We had a little time to walk around the village. We didn’t venture far. We saw some of the usual tourist stalls and this captive sea eagle. There are substantial houses in the village despite everything being built on piers

sea eagle

We saw more island scenery as we headed for our last stop. 

Our last stop was Naka island where we had time to spend on Panya beach. It was a sandy beach with calm water and nice views. They had chairs for 50 baht and beers for a typical 120 baht. We would have brought more cash had we known. 

We headed back to port after leaving the beach. Since we didn’t have cash on us for the water shoes they let us pay at the hotel. We ended up using a combination of US dollars and Thai baht, which they said was fine and we agreed on an amount before we took off. Here’s one last look at the famous rock. This day trip was a great way to end our time in Thailand. 

freestanding rock