Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Tina
Planning a holiday in Phuket, Thailand? Why not include the James Bond Island tour from Phuket in your itinerary? It is a highly recommended activity when you are in Phuket that is perfect for every type of traveler, including those traveling alone. James Bond Island is a popular landmark in Phang Nga Bay, made famous when it was featured in the 1974 James Bond movie “The Man With the Golden Gun”.
Phang Nga Bay is located between Southern Thailand’s mainland and Phuket Island. It is characterized by limestone cliffs, rock formations, and small islands. The James Bond Island from Phuket normally includes visits to other islands in Phang Nga Bay.
In this post, I am going to share with you everything you need to know about the James Bond Island Tour from Phuket.
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Where to Book James Bond Island Tour from Phuket
There are many tour operators in Phuket offering different join-in tour packages, making it a good destination even for solo travelers. One of the famous tours being offered is the James Bond Island tour from Phuket. The tour normally includes a visit to other islands in Phang Nga Bay like Hong Island, Naka Island, and Panak Island. You can book your tour online through Klook or on the website of the tour operator. You can also book your tour in travel agencies found all over Phuket. Some hotels are connected to tour operators so another option is to ask in the reception area of your hotel if they can help you book a tour.
I booked my tour with a travel agency in Patong the night before the tour. It was past 10 in the evening already but most travel agencies in Patong and even Kata close late. I booked the tour with the guy I met during the Phi Phi Island tour I joined that day.
Cost of the James Bond Island Tour from Phuket
There are different options for the James Bond Island Tour. You can do it by speedboat, long-tail boat, or big boat. The speedboat is the more expensive option, but the tour group is smaller and it is much faster to get to the attractions. We choose the speedboat option for our tour.
The listed price for the tour by speedboat for most tour operators is THB 3200 for adults. This is what you will see on websites as well as in brochures. But when you inquire about the tour with a travel agency, they will tell you that they will offer you a discount and say they will give the tour to you for half the price. Almost all travel agencies offer that price. But we were able to negotiate with the travel agency for THB 1500.
The fee includes round-trip transfers from your hotel by an air-conditioned van (if your hotel is located in Patong, Kalim, Karon, or Kata Area), coffee, tea and biscuits during orientation, lunch at the Panyee Gypsy village, English speaking licensed tour guide, insurance, national park fee, use of life jacket, canoe paddler, water, soft drinks, and fresh fruits served on the boat.
There is an extra charge transfer of THB 100 for those staying in Rawai, Naiharn, Kamala, Surin, Bangtao, and Tri Trang, and THB 200 for Phuket Town and Laguna. Those staying in Cape Panwa, Naiyang, Naithon, Koh Sirey, and Maikhao need to pay an extra THB 1000 and they will be picked up by a private car.
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Program Itinerary of the James Bond Island and Phang Nga Bay Tour
The pick-up of tour participants starts at 7:30 AM. My hotel, Must Sea Hotel is located in Kata and I was the second to be picked up. I don’t remember what time we arrived at the pier. When we got there, we first went to the office of the tour operator JP Andaman Tour for a short orientation.
When we got to the office, we had to wait for the other participants and while waiting we were asked to sign up for our insurance. Your passport number is needed for this so make sure you take a photo of your passport’s information page. (No need to bring your passport during the tour). They also gave us a baller ID/silicone wristband that we had to wear to indicate which group we belong to. They take back the baller ID after the tour.
During the orientation we were briefed about the places that we are going to visit, what to see and do, safety tips, etc. There are biscuits, tea, coffee, and water that you can have while waiting to leave for the tour.
The first stop of our tour is the Bat Cave in Panak Island. We were lucky that the water was not too high when we got there so we were able to get inside the cave. It was dark inside but our guide had a cap lamp with her so it served as our light. We didn’t stay long in the cave, the guide just showed us the stalactites and stalagmites, and the bats.
If you were able to read my previous post about the Phi Phi Island Tour I joined the day prior, I mentioned that I met a guy during the tour who was also traveling solo and happens to be a geologist too, just like me. We booked the James Bond Island tour together. It was interesting because when we got to the cave, he told the group that he is a geologist and he started sharing about how the stalactites and stalagmites formed. The other tour participants were listening at first, but it seems they weren’t interested about those things and only wanted to take pictures so one by one they started moving away from us.
James Bond Island and Khao Ping Kan
From the Bat Cave, our next stop was the Ao Phang Nga National Park. It is where the James Bond Island and Khao Ping Kan are located.
When you alight from the boat, the first that you will see is the Khao Ping Kan. It was formed from a crack. The rock slid down due to gravity fault. As the base of rock was scoured, the upper rock became heavy and slid down to rest in a leaning position.
Near the Khao Ping Kan there are stalls selling souvenirs and snacks.
As you walk further down, you will see Khao Ta Poo aka James Bond Island. It was originally a part of the island but was scoured out by the tide and was separated from the main land.
Visitors are not allowed to go near James Bond Island. While there were many tourists when we got there, the place wasn’t too crowded. Our guide said the place gets pretty crowded at a later time.
There are viewpoints where you can have your picture taken with the James Bond Island as your backdrop. Just follow the stairs. You can also take a picture by the beach.
If you follow the stairs you will reach the other part of the national park (picture below). It is also where the toilet is located.
Just like the Phi Phi Island Tour, for this tour participants are given a certain amount of time per stop before moving to the next. In this stop we were given 45 minutes to explore the national park.
Koh Panyee Sea Gypsy Village
Koh Panyee Sea Gypsy Village was our next stop. It is a Muslim village. It is essentially a floating housing area with restaurants, tourist shops, a school and a mosque. This is where we had our lunch and the food here was great. It was way better than what we had during the Phi Phi Island Tour. Food served were mostly Thai food, and I am very happy because we had Tom Yum soup again. If you’re on a vegan diet, you can tell your guide in advance so they could inform the restaurant to prepare a separate food for you.
After having our lunch, we still had enough time so we took a walk through the shops. They sell the usual stuff like shirts, bracelets, necklace, and other souvenirs. It is where I bought the postcard I sent myself and the other I gave to a friend. (I didn’t have time to go to the post office when I was in Phuket so I sent the postcard during my layover in Singapore. 😁)
After lunch, our next stop was the Hong Island. Here we moved to a bigger boat and from the bigger boat, we were grouped by two or three. Each group were assigned a canoe. Each canoe had a canoe paddler.
We were taken among the limestone cliffs rising out of the water and through caves. This activity reminds me so much of the kayaking activity in Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon in El Nido. Even the area where we canoed looks similar to the Small and Big Lagoon.
I really enjoyed this activity, I prefer this over the visit to James Bond Island.
Our last stop was Naka Island. Here we were given more than an hour for swimming, chilling by the beach or pay extra and do some water activities like parasailing or jet ski.
There are sun loungers in Naka Island that are free to use even if you don’t order drinks.
We enjoyed swimming here and afterwards we walked to check out the far end of the beach. That part was not crowded maybe because there are no sun loungers there.
What to Bring During the James Bond Island Tour
Here are the recommended things to bring when doing the James Bond Island Tour from Phuket:
- sunblock lotion to protect you from damaging UV rays, preferably a reef-safe one like Magwai Sunscreen
- camera, better if it is waterproof
- dry bag to keep your gadgets dry
- some Thai Baht to buy souvenirs, drinks on Naka Island and to give tip to the tour guides and the canoe paddler
- aqua shoes to protect your feet from sharp rocks
- good mood
I highly recommend the James Bond Island Tour if you are in Phuket. Like the Phi Phi Island tour, this tour is good even for solo travelers. Aside from me and my geologist friend, there was another girl in the group that was also traveling solo.
If you have to choose only one between James Bond Island Tour and Phi Phi Island Tour, choose James Bond Island Tour if you prefer swimming and Phi Phi Island Tour if you prefer snorkeling. Personally, I liked the James Bond Island Tour more because of the canoeing and the food at the Panyee Sea Gypsy village. The Maya Bay in Phi Phi Island Tour though is something that must not be missed so do both if you can.
For more pictures from the tour, check out my Instagram stories highlight.
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