What’s good and what’s not
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.
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 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.
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, 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 😀
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 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 🙂
Our Readers’ Photos
James Bond Island Map
If you are on mobile, add the map here: https://goo.gl/maps/2oJ97vJGL9DuaBAu8.