Travel Tuesday; James Bond Island

My first trip to Asia was with my parents and brothers to Thailand about 15yrs ago. We went to visit Bangkok (BKK) and Phuket and I have to say it was an amazing experience. I can still remember stepping out of the airport in Bangkok and being overwhelmed by the smell, the crowd of people and all the activity going on at the airport.
After a week of exploring BKK and it’s tourist activities, we went down to Phuket for a week to relax and see some sights. On top of my brother’s list to visit was James Bond Island – as he was a major James Bond fan. I have to say it was impressive, but not because of James Bond. The nature was amazing and we had a great day out!

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So when we had visitors over a little while back, I joined them on a trip to James Bond Island. I was looking forward to seeing this island again and to see what changed and whether I could remember anything.

We joined a group tour for which we were picked up from the hotel at 8AM. After a short drive to the harbor {and a short wait for all the busses to arrive and to find our boat}, we were finally on our way to James Bond Island with about 20 other people on a speedboat. Our first stop on the agenda were the limestone caves at Panak Island. Usually I don’t really like to go into caves, as I don’t understand the fun of it. It’s dark, wet and there are usually many bats {which I think are scary}. This cave started out to be the exactly the same as all the others, however at the end of the cave there was a wonderful crack through which you could see the sea and an inner court that just looked amazing.

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Once we were back on the boat we proceeded to Hong Island, where we were put on a canoe with an experience paddler… I have to say it’s nice to be paddling around these limestones; it was nice and quiet, and it was a great way to see the limestones from each and every corner. However I was very unimpressed by the experienced paddlers… Before we got off of our speedboat the captain advised us to bring along a tip of THB100 per boat for the paddler. Not even halfway through the canoeing trip the guy on my boat started asking for his tip. Which I think is very rude. Isn’t a tip something you’ve earned when you do a good job? Not something you ask for even before you have finished your job?

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The third stop on the itinerary would be a visit to the Muslim village for sightseeing and lunch. The entire Muslim village is set on stilts, and so the sea and lovely lime stone cliffs surround the restaurant. After the delicious lunch we were able to walk around the small village and had some time for souvenir shopping.

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After lunch we finally set our course to the famous James Bond Island. This island was featured in the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun”. It was crowded and busy with tourists and souvenir stalls {many many souvenir stalls}. Looking out over the lime stone that was so striking for the movie, I could only think of how beautiful it must have been before. Still the sight is amazing and we were given the opportunity to take a swim before we headed back to the boat.

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On our way back to the mainland, we made our final stop at the beach of Naka Island. Obviously this beach was filled with tourists again. But I have to say it was nice to sit down, take a swim, and drink a nice cocktail on our lounge chairs. Before we knew it, it was time to head home.

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All in all the trip was nice, but very touristy {which should not have come as a surprise all together…}. The service was good, the food was scrumptious and I could not have asked for better company on this trip. I would not join for another James Bond tour, however I do think I would recommend it for friends visiting the island.

So how about you? Have you ever been to the James Bond Island? What was your experience? And if you’ve never been here, will you plan to visit James Bond Island on your next visit to Phuket? 

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