Next stop of this tour, James Bond Island, where Roger Moore filmed Man with the Golden Gun many years ago.
We are on Kao Ping Gan. The name means literally leaning mount. It is really a huge rock split in two; the smaller half slid down and the remaining one now appears to be leaning. You can see the huge split when on the island.
The pointed island behind Lifoong is Kao Tapoo or James Bond Island, it is in a little bay of Kao Ping Gan and a popular tourist destination. Tapoo means nail.
We have a short stop here, and then it's back to the boat, with lunch waiting on board.
Koh Panyi is a village which is in the middle of the sea in Phang Nga Bay with a limestone mountain as backdrop and houses which are built on stilts. During your trip to Phang Nga Bay you will be taken to this island for lunch. We were told that the village football team would wait for the tide to go down so that they could play football on the open land once the water cleared. Quite an interesting place where you can get lots of sea shell and artifacts for cheap. Pearls, Trinkets and sea shells are cheap too. They make their living from sale to tourists. We got a lot of cheap stuff from there which was quite expensive in Phuket. Bargain hard, very hard, Just walk if they dont agree. They will surely give the price you asked for.
If you make an Excursion to the Pha Nga Bay, you will not only see James Bond Island, but also visit the swimming city of the Sea Gypsies.
Not the whole city is actually built into the water, one small part (where the mosque stands) is on a small island.
Behind the Mosque you can see a big tree. This one is only still standing because it is an Iron Tree - and the wood of them does not swim.
Most of the sea gypsies are muslim (hence the mosque).
They live of the fruits of the sea - that they do also sell and of the tourists that come visiting them.
If you arrive you will soon have a whole bulk of people around you, trying to sell you something.
Just say "no" if you don't want anything.
It is also easy to get lost in the many small alleys ... stay with the group if you have not enough time.
I highly recommend canoeing in Phang Nga Bay. This normally involves taking a large boat out into the bay (usually from the east coast of Phuket). A typically trip will normally visit 4 islands. You're transported to each island by the large boat and transfer to the canoes to explore each island. Canoeing is the only way to explore these islands properly!
Most tour companies serve lunch and snack aboard the large boat and will take you to an island where you can just lay on the beach.
It's not actually in Phuket province, but Phang Nga Bay is one of the most popular trips for visitors to Phuket. Understandably so, as the limestone formations in the bay just north of Phuket are quite spectacular and a definite must-see.
Most trips start in the early morning, and turn back to Phuket mid-afternoon; but since I'm not an early riser I found one that started at about midday. The tours seem to go via a pretty standard set of places; my main aim was to visit James Bond island, since all the tours seem to go there, this wasn't a problem!
Most of the tours, including mine, go out onto the bay in long-tail boats, but this wasn't a problem when I was there as the water was very calm. You do get a life-jacket! The boats aren't all that fast, or noisy - so there's plenty of time to sit back and take in the scenery.
Phang Nga bay is one of the most spectacular places on earth. If you arrive by plane in the day, the view on the left side is amazing. Rocks, islands and pinnacles rising from the sea are a unique view.
Maybe some of you watched a 007 movie "the man with the golden gun" whose final scenes were shot here.
However each of these small islands hide nature treasures, even monkeys live there and there are spectacular small beaches.
These islands are called "hong" or "rooms".
The only way to discover these world is by canoe, as you can enter only through small caves. Every agency in Phuket organize such a trip. Absolutely a must!
Take a cruise on the June Bahtra, the sail boats with the bright red sails. The excursion is pricey for Thailand, something like $40-50 American per person. But I felt that we got our money's worth. We were picked up at our Phuket hotel and brought to the marina on the far northeast corner of the island. We set sail around 10:00 a.m. and had a full day on Phang Nga Bay. We visited the amazing karst islands, including the James Bond Island; a floating muslim village; and took a late afternoon dip in the warm luxurious Andaman Sea.
We were provided snacks, lunch and drinks on the boat and were provided with a German guide who spoke English, German and Thai. The rest of the Thai crew were very friendly.
Really, there is nothing like visiting the exotic Thai seas under sail--a motorboat cannot hope to do this lovely place justice.
John Gray`S Sea Canoe. In all of our activites and adventures we have had, sea canoing with this company was one of our absolute favorites.
Fun, friendly guides, great food and grest service, and most of all, some of the MOST beautiful scenery in the world--you canoe through sea caves into lagoons which are basically pristine. It is like stepping into a time machine and seeing what the world must have been like before we humans left our footprints on it.
Phang-Nga Bay makes a perfect day-trip from Phuket. Spectacular limestone rocks, mangroves, caves, hundreds of tiny islands... beautiful!
The most popular attraction is Khao Phing Kan - the James Bond Island - made world-famous by the movie "The Man with the Golden Gun". A visit to Ko Panyi, a sea gipsy village, is also included in every tour.
There are different kinds of tours available varying in price and duration. Your can book one from any local tour operator or through your hotel.
I will add a Phang-Nga Bay travelogue with more photos & a story of our trip very soon!!
In Phang Nga Bay there are still communities of Sea Gypsys living in villages like this. They are built in the lee of the rocks as protection against storms. They are mostly Muslim's in the villages and you can just make out the blue tops on the white towers in the mosque at the back.
You must must must go to Phang Na Bay. Although it very touristy, the natural wonders of this bay are amazing - limestone rocks jut out of the water as you cruise past in your long boat.
Everyone comes here to see James Bond Island, called so because it featured as the hide out for the secret weapon in the Man With The Goloden Gun - I still havn't seen it and I've been back for a year!