Sunday, 3 February 2013

James Bond Island

It seems unlikely but Phang-Nga has a James Bond connection. It is also a major tourist attraction for the region. In Phang-Nga Bay there is a small island called Koh Khao Phing Kan. Just off the shore of a small beach on the island stands a limestone karst rock that is known locally as Koh Tapu or Khao Tapu. It is this karst rock that forms the iconic backdrop to The Man with The Golden Gun.

The beach and karst rock behind features in the 1974 Bond movie. It is one of the best Bond movies. The spectacular rock rising from the turquoise sea just off a clean white sand beach is the memorable hideout of the ‘baddie’ Scaramanga.

One local legend claims Koh Tapu was formed by a frustrated fisherman. Day after day he caught nothing but a nail that he threw back each time. In a moment of anger the fisherman cuts the nail in half and one half flies off into the sea and becomes the iconic rock we have today.

Koh Khao Phing Kan is part of the Phang-Nga Bay National Park. You can get tour boats out to the island. There is a government office to pay entry fee and a few souvenir shops. The southern part of the island has 2 sand beaches. You aren’t allowed to camp or stay overnight.

A trip to James Bond Island is usually included in tours of Phang-Nga Bay that will also typically feature visits to the floating island of Koh Panyi and the Monkey Caves.