The name is Bond, James Bond

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).  

James Bond Island

Although we usually try to avoid the most commercial and “touristy” areas we were very pleased that we gave this one a go. 

The island was made famous by the Bond movie “The Man With the Golden Gun” and has it all – a stunning lagoon, caves and some impressive rock formations. 

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. 

If you have seen the Man With the Golden Gun you will recognise this rock in the background
We arrived on a blustery morning after a reasonably long dinghy ride from our anchorage at Koh Yang. 

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).

The entrance to Scaramanga’s underground chamber

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.

Exploring the caves

More cave exploration
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. 

View from the caves

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. 

This is all there was on Koh Yang’s beach

Sadly all the evidence of habitation we found was a swing and an old tin shed with a woman’s dress hanging on a nail. 

The mysterious dress

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?

The view to James Bond Island from Koh Yang

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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