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Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and a popular holiday destination. While Phuket’s sights and beaches provide an extensive program, there are also numerous tours in the area. A trip to James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay is one of the most popular tours.

Phuket – day trip to James Bond Island

Khao Tapu, the famous rock of James Bond Island, Phang Nga

There are many providers on Phuket for a trip to James Bond Island, but the tours are all very similar. What you can expect on a tour and how it works can be read in our experience report on the James Bond Island.

How to get to Phuket

Accommodation on Phuket – our hotel tip

Phuket: Tours and tickets

1. Ao Phang Nga National Park

Many of the tours to Ao Phang Nga National Park start in Phuket and the trip to James Bond Island is one of the most popular tours. We also went on this tour during our first stay in Phuket.

It starts in the morning between 9.00 A.M. and 10.00 A.M. directly at your hotel. There you will be picked up and – depending on the location of the hotel – have a 1 to 1.5 hour drive ahead of you. Then you will reach the Ao Phang Nga National Park. A visit to Wat Suwan Kuha is either at the beginning or at the end of the program. With us it was at the end, see last point.

Longtail boat on the James Bond Island tour from Phuket

When you arrive in Phang Nga, you change to a longtail boat, which takes you past plenty of mangroves and limestone cliffs to the island of Koh Panyee.

Note: The cost of the tour is approximately 1800 baht. You can either book it on site in Phuket at your hotel, travel agency or online in advance.

2. Koh Panyee

Koh Panyee, sometimes also spelled Koh Panyi, is a well-known fishing village in Phang Nga. Since it was built on stilts and not really on an island, this village is something special and many tours come by every day.

View of the floating village of Koh Panyee, Phang Nga

The village Koh Panyee is mainly Muslim, since there are living many families from Malaysia and Indonesia who immigrated in the 18th century. You notice that especially at the great mosque.

Fun fact: Since 1986 Koh Panyee has a large football field, which was built by the boys in the village. Today the team of Panyee FC is one of the most successful youth football clubs in southern Thailand and has already won several titles.

Floating houses from Koh Panyee near Phuket

The James Bond Island Tour makes a stop on Koh Panyee mostly for lunch. There is a buffet for the guests with some Thai dishes, rice, soups, and various fruits. A good snack for in between.

Longtail boat on Koh Panyee, Phang Nga

3. Koh Thalu Ok

After lunch we went to the next station: Koh Thalu Ok. This is a small island that actually consists of rocks and mangroves. You don’t get to go ashore here but if you have booked it beforehand, you can go kayaking to explore Koh Thalu Ok.

Kayaks on the James Bond Island Tour at Koh Thalu Ok

If you don’t want to kayak, you can wait on the large boat that serves as a dock for the longtail boats and this is where the kayaks start. Kayaking takes around 30 minutes before heading to the real highlight of the tour, the James Bond Island.

Marcel on the James Bond Island tour from Phuket

4. James Bond Island – Khao Phing Kan

Khao Phing Kan, which is the real name of James Bond Island, and the rock Khao Tapu in front of it, is one of the most famous destinations in the Phang Nga Bay. The impressive backdrop with the towering limestone cliffs has been shaped by the sea and wind for centuries.

View of Khao Phing Kan, James Bond Island

James Bond Island became known in 1974 because of the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun”. While only James Bond came to the island at the time, there are now streams of tourists. Our longtail boat moored as one of many on Khao Phing Kan. A half-hour stay is enough to take photos and explore the small island.

Marcel and Tobi in front of the famous rock of James Bond Island

Despite the mass of visitors and souvenir shops on site, the island makes a nice impression, at least for a short visit. The trip is particularly worthwhile due to the trip through Phang Nga Bay with its many limestone cliffs.

Boat in front of James Bond Island, Khao Phing Kan in Phang Nga

5. Wat Suwan Kuha

The last stop was the Wat Suwan Kuha (also known as Wat Tham) in Phang Nga. Another nickname of this temple is Monkey Cave, which is why you will see some monkeys in front of the entrance. Be careful, because the cheeky monkeys like to steal your belongings.

Monkey in front of Wat Suwan Kuha in Phang Nga

The temple itself stretches over several limestone caves that are about 40 meters long. The highlight of the temple is the 15-meter long, reclining Buddha statue, which looks a bit mystical in the light of the cave.

Reclining Buddha at Wat Suwan Kuha, Phang Nga

Apart from that, you can discover a few more statues or admire the stalactites of the limestone cave. The temple is fine for a quick stop on the way back, but less impressive if you’ve already seen a few temples in Thailand.

Buddha statues at Wat Suwan Kuha Temple, Phang Nga

The way back to Phuket

After visiting Wat Suwan Kuha, we went back to our hotel in Phuket in just under 2 hours. All in all, it was a very nice day trip and the James Bond Island was really worth seeing despite the many tourists.

An interesting fact at the end: Even if the James Bond Island is in Thailand, it was supposed to represent an island in Vietnam in the 1974 movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” with Roger Moore as James Bond. The movie was not given a permission to film in Vietnam, which was probably due to the relationship between the United States and Vietnam at the time.

Plan your trip to Phuket now

More hotel recommendations for Phuket:

Did you take a trip to James Bond Island, too? Or are you now interested in a trip to James Bond Island? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

Photos: Photo 3 (Koh Panyee): Natchapon Srihon/shutterstock.com – photo 6 (Koh Thalu Ok Kajaks): Allen.G/shutterstock.com – photo 8 and header (Khao Phing Kan): Nicola Pulham/shutterstock.com