Growing up an English girl with a father who is in love with Bond films, the thought of heading to Thailand and missing out James Bond Island seemed almost criminal so… it had to make the list.
There are ENDLESS options on how to visit this island but I had such an amazing day on the trip we chose and would recommend it to anyone. So, here I am to share my amazing experience with you.
Once we hit Phuket, Thailand we headed straight to the party and beaches at Patong bay where we spent more time (and money) than we had originally planned. Unfortunately, the travel bug had finally got hold of me and not the good kind that encourages you to get out and go for it… the other one, that leaves you rendered in bed or attached to the toilet 🤢.
After spending what felt like an eternity locked up in my hotel room with what I am self-diagnosing as food poisoning, 🤢 I was more than relieved to have felt good enough to drag my body out of bed and into the world. Somehow, with me curled up in bed thinking that I was never going to recover, my amazing travel buddie, Jess, had managed to wangle moving the trip twice with just a small admin fee of 200 baht per person. The fee was definitely worth it because it meant that I could finally go on the JAMES BOND ISLAND TOUR. (If you say it with an RP British accent you’ll get why it’s in bold 😅). Not only was I well, we also got beautiful beaming sunshine which I was eternally grateful for and meant a happy Homebird at the start of the day.
This tour held far more than just an erect limestone rock, so read on to find out how I spend my day as a James Bond (Island) Girl.
SPEED BOAT STYLE
Being Bond day, we had to really get in the mood and having already travelled by slow boat and big boat, speed was the next option to tick off the list and this seemed like the perfect trip to do it.
We were collected from our hotel by minibus and taken to the port where there was just a short wait for the rest of our group before we were escorted to our boat.
Life jackets on, the engine roared to life and we were speeding past all of the big boats and on to our first stop.
ICE CREAM CAVE
Cruising past Panak island and checking out all the stalagmites and stalactites (remember, tites go down) the tide was high so we were able to stop at the Ice Cream Cave. We entered this cave barefoot. Because of the high tide, it was muddy, sloppy and absolutely hilarious trying to orient my way around the dark cave with nothing but the light on my iPhone to help me. As well as ending up in fits of cackling laughter like some crazy witch who had been banished to this cave, we also saw an ice cream shaped formation and beautiful sparkling diamond rocks. Pretty cool start.
PHANG NGA NATIONAL PARK: JAMES BOND ISLAND
Next up was this limestone rock made famous by the James Bond film: Man With The Golden Gun.
I was kind of expecting a beautiful white sand beach here, but instead was greeted by a small stretch of sand that looked imported. Still, you can swim in the sea, walk up to the little viewpoint or just mess about taking stupid Bond style photos like we did. Either way, white sand beach or not, we had a good time. For you budding shopaholics, there are also loads of little souvenir stalls here too so you’ll be sure to find something for your Bond barmy family member or just for your own keepsake collection. Oh, and a heads up, much like the rest of Thailand the vendors are down for haggling so quote the first price high… as in double the price they’ll sell for high. Yes, I have become accustomed to haggling and feel like it’s gonna stand me in good stead for when I’m home and need a car or house… hopefully. 😅
PANYEE ISLAND (MUSLIM VILLAGE)
Amongst the Phang Nga islands was a Muslim village which we stopped at for lunch. Having been ill for three days I stuck to rice but the other food looked like good quality for a buffet and I was pretty gutted that I missed out on the tempura prawns. Although, if you’re vegan or vegetarian there wasn’t really much choice which may be something to consider before booking on this tour.
HONG ISLAND AND CANOEING
This was one of the absolute highlights of my day! Islands and canoeing – what’s not to like? Plus, we didn’t actually even have to graft because we had a guide with us who did the hard work and reminded us to get low and lean back so as not to bash our heads on the rocks.
Halfway through our canoe ride our guide out of nowhere asked “swim?” Not really thinking too much about how I was going to get back into the canoe once I was in the middle of the ocean, I complied and jumped straight in. The water was INCREDIBLE it was so warm, crystal clear and I was so overwhelmed that we were just surrounded by this magical wonderland of trees, rocks and beautiful water. Did I feel like a mermaid? Yes, my childhood dreams of being Ariel were finally fulfilled. #mermaidlife #mermaidgoals 🐚🦀🐠
Mermaid fantasy over I managed to pull myself up into the canoe without losing my dignity. Finally proof that those hotel room workouts and push-ups are actually working 💪. Okay, so it did take two attempts but I nearly flashed our guide first time so that needed to be dealt with 🙈.
Back in the safety of the canoe we spotted Scooby-Doo at the top of one of the rocks, not before spending a good 2 minutes saying “Where are you?” because he was really hard to spot, which made our guide chuckle. Mystery solved, we had a go at steering the canoe before being presented with a hand made leaf ring. Then finally it was all over and we were escorted back to our speed boat.
NA KA ISLAND
The final stop of the day was Na Ka Island where we got to chill out at the beach. We were given just over an hour of free time here which of course we used very wisely. TIME TO GET MY TAN ON. Most people would be some gorgeous shade of golden after spending two months in South East Asia, but not me. Still lilly white as a milk bottle with just a few freckles I decided to spend this hour topping up the tan and swimming in the sea.
If you’re up for a more adventurous afternoon activity there are jet skis to rent and paragliding too. Or, you can just kick back and soak up the sun with an incredible fruit drink or a cocktail.
Just when I thought that my day was unwinding and there would be no more excitement… enter man with slow loris. Before I could even consider my options the man was kneeling down next to us and the cute little bush baby had his tiny arms outstretched. He wrapped his little fingers around my hands and was clinging on with every fibre of his being.
Since holding this slow loris, I found out that paying money for a photo with one of these beautiful baby mammals is so much worse than I realised because in order to be safe for humans to touch they often have their teeth cut or pulled out so that they cannot give a “venomous” bite. These mammals have glands inside their arms which when mixed with their saliva are poisonous. Slow lorises can use this as a defence mechanism and a bite from this big eyed beauty can be fatal to a human, potentially sending them into anaphylactic shock and in some cases, result in death. Not only this, slow lorises are nocturnal animals and so bringing them out in the day goes against their natural cycle. After doing a little more research, I found out that the Thai authorities are looking into this type of pet trade as it is illegal. I didn’t realise any of this at the time and didn’t know if others did too, so I just thought that it was an important thing for people to be made aware of and that although I naively bought into this, it is not good for the animals. I just hope that this little guy gets looked after properly with the money his owner received from our photo. 💖
Speedboat, sunbathing, swimming, canoeing and caves were all ticked off in this trip and it was such an amazing, memorable day to be able to squeeze so much in.
If you find yourself in Thailand and feel bombarded by the amount of options to visit the James Bond Island then I would hands down recommend this “friendly tour” every time if you’re keen for a fun filled day cruising on a speed boat. Our guide was committed to making sure we were all happy and spoke very good English, giving us lots of information as we went.
I hope you enjoyed this post and as always, please like, comment and share if you know someone who might need help choosing a trip or is in need of some travel inspo.