James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay

James Bond Island (Khao Ping Kan) is one of the many must-see places in Phang Nga Bay people want to tick off their list when in Phuket. There are many positive and negative opinions about this iconic island, and most are justified. Before that old 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?), no one knew about it.

The Man with the Golden Gun

The movie wasn’t even good (45% on Rotten Tomatoes). But, of course, James Bond Island 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”.

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 I know you would ask).

How the Island looks like from the back

So let’s list what’s right and what’s not about Bond Island. You will then be in a better position 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, the reason why 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 above mentioned 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 treats 😀

Longtail boats in Phang Nga Bay

What’s Not So Good

Not much considering what you get in return:

  • Bond island is a big tourist attraction, and the place is full of vendors selling all kinds of souvenir, just how it is everywhere around the world.
  • The place gets crowded at high season, with 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 🙂

Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay

More Photos

Our Readers’ Photos

James Bond Island Map

If you are on mobile, add the map here: https://goo.gl/maps/2oJ97vJGL9DuaBAu8.

4.1/5 - (76 votes)
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.