The nation of Thailand is one of the most fascinating places to visit, particularly if you have an inexhaustible budget.
From the mainland to the islands, Thailand has some of the hottest beaches in Asia. The culture is an endless bounty of newfound knowledge and a refreshing change from the home we call the Western Hemisphere.
Nonetheless, the west has extended into Thailand, creating one of the most famous places in Thailand to the western world. Gaining global attention for its luscious beaches and beautiful tree-covered rocks towering hundreds of feet in the air, one particular island is a must-see for us westerners traveling to Thailand.
This island that I speak of gained recognition back in the mid-1970s when it was filmed during the famous James Bond movie titled “The Man with the Golden Gun.” In fact, the island, although it bears the native name of Ko Phing Kan, is more commonly known as James Bond Island. If this destination is not in your itinerary but you are traveling to Phuket, you might as well stop in. You won’t be disappointed.
The towering rocks that surround the gorgeous coast of this rain-forest type island are called karsts, which are massive pillars of limestone covered in bare-root trees. Many of the karsts are streaked with orange colors, presenting a beautifully vivid contrast to the crystal blueness of the ocean and sky. The beaches of James Bond Island, like many of the beaches in the region, are covered with ornate shells rather than traditional sand.
As with all tourist hotspots, native vendors are constantly trying to sell you something. On these sumptuous beaches, children implore you to buy postcards, most of which start at a rather high price but are bargained down next to nothing.
There is a “tourist area” further down the beach from where the main docks are, but unless you are up for a bombarding of vendors, it is best to stay further up on the hills overlooking the bay. A spectacular view can be seen from up there of the surrounding ocean and island, and the towering karsts.
Many different ways are available to get to the island, whether by sea-kayak or tour boat. Most of the tour boats offer the same sort of amenities and route, so it really doesn’t matter too much which one you pick. If you take the Jonge (also called the dschunke), you get to travel through a dark sea-cave as well as visit sea-gypsies. Nonetheless, the experience will greatly enhance the trip to James Bond Island.
All in all, if you want a piece of western culture found in the eastern world, visit James Bond Island. You will definitely not be disappointed by its beauty, its culture, and its history.