James Bond island is one of those bucket list items many people want to tick-off their list when in Phuket. There are many positive and negative opinions about James Bond island and most are actually justified. Before that old 1974 James Bond movie ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ with Roger Moore and Christopher Lee (remember Count Dracula?) no one knew about it. The movie wasn’t even good (45% on Rotten Tomatoes). James Bond Island of course had a local name before: Koh Tapu, meaning ‘Nail Island’ for the pointy rock, and Koh Phi Khan for the island surrounding it, meaning ‘hills leaning against each other” (you know, where the plane lands and where the entrance of the lair is).
After the movie, the popularity of this remote area simply exploded, the same way it did for ‘The Beach’ in Phi Phi Island after the DiCaprio 2000 movie (19% on Rotten Tomatoes didn’t affect the massive popularity of Maya Bay in Phi island), to the Sky Bar at Lebua Hotel in Bangkok after the movie ‘The Hangover II” (33% satisfaction, because I know you would ask).
So let’s list what’s good and what’s not about James Bond Island and you will be in a better position to decide if you want to see it or not.
The location is out of this world! James Bond is in Phang Nga Bay and even the cruise from Phuket Island through the amazing limestone cliffs is breathtaking.
James Bond Island itself is very scenic. It’s a a natural curiosity and a great photo opportunity and the reason why it was selected for the movie.
It’s always fun to see the real thing from a movie, even old, but to realise there is no door to the secret lair!
It’s part of a nice daytrip to the above mentioned fabulous Phang Nga Bay and it usually includes a lunch at the surprising floating village of Koh Panyee
You can buy a delicious flat dry squid (Pla Mook Haeng)! Well that’s if you life this kind of treats 😀
What’s not good
Actually not much considering what you get in return:
James Bond island is a big tourist attraction and the place is full of vendors selling all kinds of souvenir, just the way it is everywhere around the world.
The place can be crowded at high season… lots of long tail boats and lots of people posing in front of the rock, you know the sill shot similar to the Pisa Tower: “oh look! I’m holding it!’. Fun times 🙂
Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world in my 20s and never stopped until I finally settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 22 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I now manage 30 online travel guides in Asia and beyond, including Phuket.com, Bangkok.com and Bali-Indonesia.com