Showing posts from May, 2017

Why is James Bond Island a Famous Tourist Attraction?

James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand became famous in the 1970's after it was featured in the popular James Bond movie "The Man With The Golden Gun". After the movie became a worldwide blockbuster tourists in Thailand began to show interest in visiting the islands and tour operators began offering day trip packages. Over forty years later James Bond Island tours by longtail boat, speed boat cruises and sea canoes or kayaks remain a major attraction for tourists holidaying in Phuket, Khao Lak and Krabi in Southern Thailand.

Why is it called James Bond Island?

Ko Khao Ping Kan and Ko Tapu became known as "James Bond Island" due to the islands being featured as locations for the blockbuster James Bond movie "The Man With The Golden Gun" starring a Roger Moore and Christopher Lee.

Where was the Man with the Golden Gun Filmed?

Famous Bond Director Guy Hamilton started filming the Man with the Golden Gun on location in Hong Kong in November, 1973 before heading to Bangkok and then Southern Thailand in 1974. The external shots of Scaramanga's island lair were filmed in Phang Nga Bay and the islands of Ko Khao Ping Kan and Ko Tapu aka James Bond Island. At that time the area was not yet a famous tourist attraction and there were limited facilities available for the cast and crew of the movie with everything including food and water having to be flown in.

Which James Bond Movies Were Filmed in Thailand?

To date, there have been two James Bond movies which were filmed partially in Thailand. The first was "The Man With The Golden Gun" which was shot in Bangkok and Southern Thailand in 1974. The second was "Tomorrow Never Dies" which included shots in Phang Nga Bay nearby the location of James Bond Island.

Why are James Bond Island Tours so Popular?

The majority of tourists who visit James Bond Island come from Phuket, Thailand which is just a couple of hours bus ride away from Phang Nga National Park where James Bond Island is located. 
Along with the James Bond movie connection Phang Nga Bay is also an area of outstanding natural beauty to which a steady stream of tourists of all nationalities are attracted.

Selling of the various different James Bond Island Tours is almost ubiquitous amongst travel agents in Phuket's tourist areas. It remains a popular staple on traveler's to-do lists when they visit Thailand and for good reason - where else in the world can you pretend to be James Bond dueling with Scaramanga?

What's the Best James Bond Island Sea Canoe Tour Itinerary and Deal?

One of the ways for tourists to visit James Bond Island at a more relaxed pace is to take one of the canoe tour day trip packages available from any quality travel agent in Phuket.

This means instead of visiting James Bond Island as part of an overlarge group of tourists you get the much better opportunity to explore the natural environment in your own canoe up close to the island and all around the beautiful Phang Nga Bay.

The itinerary for the James Bond Island Canoe Tour should look something like this:

07:30  Pick up from your hotel 09:00  Depart from the pier in Laem Sai 10:00  Arrive at Phang Nga Bay and go to explore sea caves by canoe 11:45  Departure to James Bond Island 12:45  Return to cruiser and enjoy a Thai Buffet lunch on board 14:00  Arrive at Lawa Island for swimming or relaxation at the beach 16:00  Return to the pier in Laem Sai and transfer to your hotel 17:00  Arrive back at safely at your hotel
To get the best deal on Sea Canoe Tours check …

Ko Tapu / Khao Tapu at James Bond Island

Ko Tapu, Koh Tapu or Khao Tapu at James Bond Island is the tall vertical rock island that stands out in the middle of the bay of Koh Khao Ping Kan and it is this funny looking rock that featured so heavily in "The Man with the Golden Gun" movie by hosting the solar panels for harvesting the power of the sun and for powering Scaramanga's laser gun.

Ko Tapu actually translates into English as nail island or spike island and it got this name due to its tall and rocky nature.

The limestone rock is around 20 metres tall with a diameter ranging from about 4 metres at the bottom and up to 8 metres at the top (hence the name of nail island).

To get the best deal on Sea Canoe Tours check out our partner's special offer: James Bond Island Sea Canoe Tour Package

James Bond Island Longtail Boat Tour Itinerary

Before you head off on a James Bond Island Tour you should check out the following itinerary for a a great Longtail Boat Tour Package which the majority of visitors take to visit the island. The tour itinerary will give you an idea of what to expect during your sightseeing:

10.00-10.15Pick-up from your hotel by minibus to the pier in Phang Nga province.
Visit Monkey Cave at Suwankuha Temple.
Sightseeing in Phang Nga Bay National Park by Longtail Boat.
Special Thai lunch in the Muslim fishing village of Koh Panyee Island and a chance to experience the local life style.
Explore the nature and sea caves by canoe at Talu Island with experienced guides.
Visit the famous and much loved James Bond Island.
Depart from the pier to Phuket.17.30-18.00Arrive back at your hotel.

The 3 Best James Bond Island Tour Options

There are 3 most popular options for tour groups and tourists wishing to visit James Bond Island and the current choices are as follows:

1) James Bond Island Tour by Longtail Boat.
2) James Bond Island Tour by Sea Cave Canoe.
3) James Bond Island Tour by Speed Boat Cruise.

All these options have their own positive points but, either way, all three of them will provide a memorable day out to visit James Bond Island.

Have a great time!

James Bond Island Tour with Longtail Boat - Schedule & Price

This is the following standard schedule and price of a day trip tour package to James Bond Island via traditional Longtail Boat Tour Package for tourists departing from hotels in Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga:
Prepay Longtail Traditional Boat Tour at your hotel or nearest travel agent for a price ranging from 1,100 to 2,000 Thai Baht ($34 to $62) per person, depending on season and promotional pricing (always check for an extra discount :) ).Tourist Bus will usually arrange pick up at your hotel or nearest collection point between 9am to 10 am in the morning.The Tourist Bus will then proceed on a 1.5 hour journey to Phang Nga Pier however there is a short sightseeing break at the Monkey Caves attraction where visitors can see the caves with special Buddha statue, feed the monkeys and also grab quick snacks and refreshments before continuing to the Pier destination.Once arrived at the Pier you soon are loaded onto a Traditional Thai Longtail Boat which will start off your sea adventure wi…

Top 3 Bond Island Tour Packages with Best Prices?

If you have to ask the price for something then the common wisdom is you probably cannot afford it. However in Thailand it is far better to arm yourself with all the info about specifications, costs, add-ons and extras.

If you are like 90% of tourists to Southern Thailand and Phuket then you will find there are three most popular types of tour packages that will be most accessible, affordable, fun and good value for money.

Check out the following links to our partner to find out all the key itinerary details, timings and costs before you decided on the best package that suits you, your friends and family the most:

1) James Bond Island Tour by Longtail Boat.
2) James Bond Island Tour by Sea Cave Canoe.
3) James Bond Island Tour by Speed Boat Cruise.

Have a great time visiting James Bond Island!

Was a Castle built on James Bond Island by an Irish Billionaire during the global property boom?

No, of course not you silly sausage. The heavily viewed image of a castle on top of a famous tourist island in Thailand was never built nor even considered by anybody in Thailand nor in Dublin where this "Castle Rock Ireland" was stated to be located somewhere off the coast of the Irish Republic.

However a magical half castle, half island was merely a creation from the imagination of one naughty prankster's mind combined with set of decent photoshop skills and a burst of self-propelling viral hoaxing via social media. Mind you with architectural ambitions like this its no wonder the Irish Property Bubble imploded!!

The image in fact combined Koh Tapu (aka Nail Island aka "James Bond Rock") and a very nicely integrated selection of Lichtenstein Castle in Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany which resulted in a magical fairy tale castle perched upon a tropical island somewhere along the Emersld Isles. This photoshopped piece of trickery was soon being twittered and faceboo…

5 Best James Bond Island Photos, Movie Poses & Island Snapshots for 007 Sharpshooters

Whether you are a professional photographers armed with a top of the range Canon DSLR or just a happy snappy tourist using your iPhone camera you will both be essentially aiming to capture a similar handful of photos. Based on my much enjoyed long tail tour boat trip to the island I can say that the 5 Best James Bond Island Photos, Movie Poses & Island Snapshots for 007 Sharpshooters are as follows:

1) A photo of the James Bond Island "Rock" (sadly without laser gun)
2) Recreating the Bond & Scaramanga Beach Duel Movie Pose

3) Taking some clever "Rock in your Hands" photo shots

4) Being lucky enough to photo potential Bond Girls in your tour group

5) Being officious enough to take snaps of the Official James Bond Island Sign

Is there a hotel based inside Scaramanga's Lair on Ko Khao Phing Kan? Which other hotel areas are suitable for the James Bond Island tour?

Not only is there no hotel on James Bond Island but there is not even a place where Scaramanga could have built his impressively complex Bond Villain Lair.

The island is just not big enough to accommodate such a building (although it could be partially submerged somewhere I guess) and all those interior movie shots were filmed at Pinewood Studios in the UK while the exterior was just a simple facade.

In fact, the only buildings that exist are the souvenir shacks and a decidedly un-Bond like concrete toilet block.

This means that the nearest and best hotels are all pretty much based an hour or more away on
Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi or Khao Lak.

Bond lovers should have no fear when deciding to book at any of those four provinces as they will all absolutely be able to offer a variety of suitable tour packages to get you to James Bond Island.

Many tourists either book a tour through their hotel or try to find a deal with one of many package tour agents who can be found around every single …

Are the 007 Movie Skyfall Island and Koh Khao Phing Kan located near to each other?

No, Koh Khao Phing Kan aka James Bond Island is based in Phang Nga Bay and nearby to Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi in Thailand but the island used in the new 007 movie "Skyfall" starring Daniel Craig is actually a place called Hashima Island in Japan.

Hashima Island also has a nickname due to its unique appearance and is called locally by Japanese as "Gunkanjima" which means Battleship since the island resembles a large battleship in terms of size and layout.

Similar to the filming experiences in Thailand on Koh Khao Phing Khan the Hashima Island in Japan was mainly used for external shots while internal filming inside villain, Raouk Silva's secret lair where shot at Pinewood Studios in Great Britain and with CGI helping to fill out the other parts.
Hashima Island is just one out of 505 islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture that all remain uninhibited and are located just under 10 miles from the main area of Nagasaki.

The islands used to be the sites of major coal min…

Top 5 Things to do on James Bond Island aka Koh Khao Phing Kan?

These are the top 5 things to do on James Bond Island once your tour group arrives at the 007 movie themed tourist attraction in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand:
Walk from the boat docking area, up past the tourist souvenir shops then down and around to the beach area next to the bay where Koh Tapu aka "James Bond Island Rock" is located.Take photos of yourself in famous poses and re-enacting the best scenes from the movie with your family and friends taking on the roles of 007, Scaramanga, Nik Nak and Ms.Goodnight.Browse (but probably don't buy) from the multiple rows of identical souvenir shops who surprisingly don't sell much in the way of James Bond merchandise or keepsakes.Take lots of cool photos of the "James Bond Island Rock" and surrounding area. Get ready to leave as this is pretty much the extent of the average island tour and because it is so popular there will be more groups preparing to land at the same time as you leave. However despite the relatively…

How do you get to James Bond Island from Phang Nga, Phuket, Phi Phi or Krabi?

As demonstrated in the "Man with the Golden Gun" 007 movie there are only two main methods of approaching James Bond Island; the first is by air and seaplane ala Roger Moore while the second, and much more common method, is by sea via long tail boat, speedboat, Chinese style Junk or even by Kayak if you are so environmentally and energetically inclined.

To find out more just check out the details for each of the top 3 tour packages available now:

1) James Bond Island Tour by Longtail Boat. 2) James Bond Island Tour by Sea Cave Canoe. 3) James Bond Island Tour by Speed Boat Cruise.

What does the real name of James Bond Island "Koh Khao Phing Kan" mean in Thai?

The island cluster that tourists actually visit and walk around on (and where Scaramanga's beachside lair was located) is named as "Koh Khao Ping Kan" in the Thai language which roughly translates as "Island with Hills Leaning Together".

The tall vertical rock that stands out in the middle of the bay of Koh Khao Ping Kan is known as"Koh Tapu" which means Nail Island or Spike Island in Thai due to the unique stature of the rock island which Scaramanga had turned into a laser based weapon of mass destruction in the Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun".

Of course all of these islands are now known to every 007 fan around the world, and to every tour guide operator in Phuket and Krabi, as James Bond Island.

Where is James Bond Island located on the Thai Map?

Where is James Bond Island located on the Thai Map?
The location of James Bond Island in Thailand can be seen clearly on this Google Map snapshot as being in the west side of Phang Nga Bay, with Phuket and Phi Phi islands being found below to the South and Krabi province to the East:

Looking at a close up satellite map shot of the island cluster it is visibly recognisable that Koh Phing Khan and Koh Tapu are indeed the filmset location made internationally famous by the James Bond and Roger Moore movie "The Man with the Golden Gun" and which have forever since been known as the popular tourist destination of "James Bond Island":

James Bond Island Introduction

James Bond Island, known originally and locally as Ko Tapu or Nail Island, found fame through the 1974 Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun".

The film starred Roger Moore and Christopher Lee (as the three nippled arch-villain Scaramanga) but it was the scenic island topography that helped make the film into a firm Bond favourite.

It also turned the previously unknown Phang Nga Bay in Thailand into a major tourist attraction with James Bond Island Tours continuing to be a popular day trip from Phuket and Krabi to this very day.

James Bond Island as a Tourist Attraction in Thailand

Everyday tour buses packed with thousands of tourists leave Phuket and Krabi for the day long sightseeing trip to James Bond Island.

It normally takes a quick two hour drive to get to Phang Nga Bay and often with a stop on the way at the popular Monkey Caves (Wat Suwankuha) to see the large reclining golden Buddha and the large flocks of monkeys outside.

After this the bus takes tourists to Phang Nga Bay docks where they often travel by long tail boat for lunch at Koh Pannyi, a floating Muslim fishing village that is referred to by some locals as "Bin Laden Village". After exploring the floating village everybody gets back onto the long tail boat and heads for the prime attraction of James Bond Island.

A 15-minute boat ride later and the island comes into view.

The island that you disembark onto is crowded with stalls selling seashells and trinkets but unfortunately nobody has taken the initiative to create or sell anything of interest to Bond fans. No replica golden guns, n…

Sunset Cruises at James Bond Island and Phang Nga Bay

While the tour bus and long tail boat packages are easily available and widely popular with tourists there are also companies like June Bahtra that offer more traditional island tours.

In fact, some fans of the "Man With The Golden Gun" may prefer to take a tour like this as it features an authentic Siamese Junk similar to the boat that Scaramanga had in the movie.

There are a few different companies that offer sunset cruises to James Bond Island and around Phang Nga Bay. These are well-known for having a more romantic atmosphere for those wishing to see this area of outstanding natural beauty with a loved one.

Was James Bond Island Damaged in the Boxing Day Tsunami?

According to some online news media at the time James Bond Island was said to be extremely hard hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, although I have found no reports of casualties in this specific area. When I first visited James Bond Island in 2006 there was no visible damage to the island or rocks nor was there any mention of fatalities or even injuries from that tragedy of nature.

The Man with the Golden Gun - The Movie That Created a Thai Tourist Attraction

Released in 1974, the Man with the Golden Gun was the ninth movie in the EON Productions James Bond series and was Roger Moore’s second outing as Bond. It was also the movie that created a Thai tourist attraction now known as James Bond Island.

In the film, James Bond comes up against the villainous Francisco Scaramanga, the world’s most expensive assassin who charges US$1 million per hit. Each time he uses his golden gun and never needs more than one golden bullet. He also has an extra nipple. Because Bond villains are weird about that sort of thing!

A fast-paced, high octane chase takes place starting in Hong Kong and ending up in tropical Thailand where 007 duels with Scaramanga and his Golden Gun on the beach of the now world-famous James Bond Island.

While it was said to have been in Chinese waters in the movie the actual location of James Bond Island aka Koh Khao Ping Kan in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand.

The rest, as they say, is history and the movie's success created a major Th…

The Man with the Golden Gun - Geographic Errors & 007 Movie Trivia

According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), in the Man with the Golden Gun Scaramanga’s flying car is meant to have been found "200 miles west of Bangkok", which would actually have put it somewhere off the coast of Burma and nowhere near to James Bond Island.

Added to that the island they end up heading for is said to be about an eight hour sail from Hong Kong. That is at least 1,000 miles from Bangkok in the other direction.

Also of interest is the fact the movie was nearly made in Cambodia a few years earlier but had to be postponed due to the Vietnam War. Had that terrible conflict never happened perhaps it would be some island in Cambodia that would have benefited from the millions of dollars in extra tourism.

Tomorrow Never Dies and James Bond Island

Interestingly, the 007 movie Tomorrow Never Dies starring Pierce Brosnan was also filmed in the same general area of Phang Nga Bay ( as was the Man with the Golden Gun. However, after looking carefully for it in Brosnan's movie I could not find James Bond Island anywhere.

The Man with the Golden Gun lyrics

Although they do not mention James Bond Island I am posting the lyrics to the movie's theme tune. For posterity (and because they are funny) here they are:

He has a powerful weapon
He charges a million a shot
An assassin that's second to none
The man with the golden gun

Lurking in some darkened doorway
Or crouched on a roof top somewhere
In the next room, of this very one
The man with the golden gun

Love is required whenever he's hired
It comes just before the kill
No one can catch him, no hit man can match him
For his million dollar skill

One golden shot means another poor victim
Has come to a glittering end
For a price, he'll erase anyone
The man with the golden gun

His eye may be on you or me
Who will he bang?
We shall see. Oh yeah!

Love is required whenever he's hired
It comes just before the kill
No one can catch him; no hit man can match him
For his million dollar skill

One golden shot means another poor victim
Has come to a glittering end
If you want to get …