What to do on James Bond Island

James Bond Island, locally known as Khao Ping Kan, is located about 25 kilometres northeast of Phuket Island, in the bay of Phang Nga. This unusual limestone rock formation is one of the many places in Phang Nga people have on their Phuket must-see list. There are some positive and negative opinions about this iconic Island, and most are justified, but it is still an amazing place to see with your own eyes.

Before the 1974 Bond movie The Man With The Golden Gun with Roger Moore and Christopher Lee (remember ‘Count Dracula’ and ‘Saruman’ in Lord of the Rings?), few travellers knew about the Island. The movie wasn’t good, with a 45% satisfaction score on Rotten Tomatoes, but the fame has continued growing. As of today, we bet most young visitors didn’t bother watching the film, but there is a chance that the bus that takes you from your hotel to the pier will play onboard.

The Man with the Golden Gun

Of course, before James Bond Island, the Island had a local name: Koh Tapu, which means ‘Nail Island’ for the pointy rock, and Koh Phi Khan for the Island surrounding it, meaning ‘Hills leaning against each other ‘.

After the movie, the popularity of this remote Island exploded. The same thing happened for ‘The Beach’ in Phi Phi Island after the DiCaprio 2000 movie (19% on Rotten Tomatoes) and the Sky Bar at Lebua Hotel in Bangkok after the movie ‘The Hangover II” (33% satisfaction, because we know you would ask).

How the Island looks like from the back

How to visit James Bond Island

This Island is one of the most popular day trips out of Phuket Island, and every single tour counter in the streets will be able to book it for you, even for the day after in some cases. It often comes with a visit to Koh Panyi, the village on stilts.

Koh Panyi Village (Koh Panyee)

James Bond Island Video from above

So let’s list what’s right and what’s not about Bond Island. You will then be better positioned to decide if you want to see it or not.

What’s Good in James Bond Island

  • The location is out of this world! The Island is in Phang Nga Bay, and even the cruise from Phuket Island through the fantastic limestone cliffs is breathtaking.
  • The Island itself is very scenic. The place is a natural curiosity and a great photo opportunity, so the movie producers selected the Island.
  • It’s always fun to see the real thing from a movie, even old, and to realise there is no door to the secret lair and no radar coming out of the rock!
  • It’s part of a beautiful day trip to the fabulous Phang Nga Bay, and it usually includes lunch at the surprising floating village of Koh Panyi.
  • You can buy and eat some delicious flat dried squid (Pla Mook Haeng). That’s if you like this kind of local treat 😀

Longtail boats in Phang Nga Bay

What’s Not So Good

  • James Bond island is a big tourist attraction, and the place is full of vendors selling all kinds of souvenirs, just like it is everywhere around the world.
  • The place gets crowded in high season, with lots of long-tail boats and lots of people posing in front of the rock, you know, the silly shot similar to the Pisa Tower: “oh look! I’m holding it!’. Fun times 🙂

Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay

More Photos

James Bond Island Rock

Our Readers’ Photos

James Bond Island Map

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Willy Thuan
Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early and never stopped until I settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 27 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 run Phuket101.net and manage large international online travel guides.