No trip to Phang Nga Bay in Thailand would be complete without a visit to what is now known as “James Bond Island” (Koh Phing Kan).
Although we usually try to avoid the most commercial and “touristy” areas we were very pleased that we gave this one a go.
It was great fun to walk round the island and then go back to the boat to watch the Man With the Golden Gun and identify all the places we had just explored.
We arrived on a blustery morning after a reasonably long dinghy ride from our anchorage at Koh Yang.
As we pulled the dinghy up on the beach we were asked to buy tickets for entry to the National Park. We had already bought tickets from the Rangers when we were anchored at Koh Phang but they were on the boat! The skipper valiantly motored all the way back to get them (fortunately it’s much quicker with just him in the dinghy.)
The beach you land on is where the villain (Francisco Scaramanga) of the movie has his cave. It is exactly the same as in the movie – right down to the hanging rock (left of photo).
There is a pretty path round to the other side of the island where you see the rock that in the movie contained Scaramanga’s weapon of mass destruction, powered by the Solex agitator which harnessed the rays of the sun.
The caves were totally empty so we had a great poke around and found a sweet Ganesha shrine. Although a Hindu God, Ganesha is also honoured in Buddhist Thailand, and is regarded as a remover of obstacles and the god of success.
There were a load of stalls set up around the water’s edge but most weren’t open as we arrived before the tourist boats. Those that were sold exactly the same stuff as the others – cheap sunglasses, plastic souvenirs and trashy jewellery.
While anchored at Koh Yang we went ashore searching for “a small community of thatched houses on the beach and a restaurant where coconuts, fish, crabs or prawns can often be bought from the villagers who maintain temporary fishing houses here,” according to the Southeast Asia cruising pilot.
We were intrigued by the dress – did it belong to a cross dressing fisherman ? Was it left behind by a visiting lady friend? A dress fit for one of Thailand’s famous ghosts? Or was it some kind of good omen left there to bring fishermen luck? Anyone out there know for sure?