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Thursday, 9-Jul-2009 07:16 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Monkey Caves / Krabi

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Saturday, 4-Jul-2009 14:50 Email | Share | | Bookmark
James Bond Island/ Thailand

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James Bond Island, known originally and locally as Ko Tapu or Nail Island, found fame through the 1974 Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun". The film starred Roger Moore and Christopher Lee (as the three nippled arch-villain Scaramanga) but it was the scenic topography that helped make the film into a firm Bond favourite. It also turned the previously unknown Phang Nga Bay into a major tourist attraction.

Everyday tour buses packed with thousands of tourists leave Phuket for the daylong sightseeing trip driving two hours to Phang Nga Bay, often stopping at the popular Monkey Caves (Wat Suwankuha) to see the large reclining golden Buddha inside the caves and the large flocks of monkeys outside.

After this the bus takes them to Phang Nga Bay where they travel by long tail boat for lunch at Koh Pannyi, a floating Muslim fishing village that is referred to by some locals as "Bin Laden Village". After exploring the floating fishing village everybody gets back onto the long tail boat and heads for the prime attraction, James Bond Island.

A 15-minute boat ride later and the island comes into view.

The island that you disembark onto is crowded with stalls selling seashells and trinkets but unfortunately nobody has taken the initiative to create or sell anything of interest to Bond fans. No replica golden guns, no postcards of the film, not even a DVD of the film. The people on the stalls are pushy but easy to avoid, just don't go near them.

Beer is pretty expensive on the island at double the market price but it is not available at the Muslim fishing village so this is the place to get it if you fancy a can. Confusing signs are placed around the island that try to explain how the rock was formed but these are written in "Tinglish" so make very little sense. The tour guides normally give you 30 minutes on the island; just long enough take some pictures, have a drink and go to the toilet.

Sunset Cruises at James Bond Island and Phang Nga Bay

While the tour bus and long tail boat trips are more commonly promoted in tourist areas it is companies like June Bahtra that offer more exclusive and enjoyable trips. In fact fans of the film may prefer to take the trip they offer as you take a Junk similar to the boat that Scaramanga had. They offer sunset cruises that are famed for their romantic atmosphere and are hugely popular with those that want a more relaxed tour

Thursday, 2-Jul-2009 09:46 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Tuesday, 30-Jun-2009 06:22 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Monday, 29-Jun-2009 15:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

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