As part of our Thailand trip Tats and I went to Phuket. The main reason for going was to visit James Bond island in Phang Nga Bay. Its rock was made famous by the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun.
We went in January which is meant to be the best time for visiting Thailand weather wise. Unfortunately this year there had been a lot of unseasonal rain so it was a little cloudy but it was still hot.
We stayed in Patong Beach at Lub d Phuket Patong. We had a really nice room and we even had Netflix.
We hit Patong Beach straight away. There were lots of tourists, especially Russians, and beach sellers kept trying to sell me fake Ray-Bans. There were lots of water sports on offer. The beaches were sandy and the water was warm. Despite the tourists I really liked this beach. The sea was calm and it was very relaxed.
The streets near the beach were full of bars and restaurants. You can hire a moped if you want to go round the island and find the quieter beaches.
We went down to Bangla Walking Street, know for its crazy nightlife. I was constantly offered free ping-pong shows.
A ping-pong show in Thailand is when a women shoots ping-pong balls out of her vagina. I took a look at the “menu” and I’m still not sure how the turtle show works…
It’s free entry but you need to be prepared to part with lots of money for drinks and sometimes an exit fee.
We had some beers and enjoyed the party scene.
I was a little put off by the amount of young families here. It’s hard to party with little children and babies around.
Muay Thai boxing match
On Friday nights there are Muay Thai boxing matches at the Bangla Boxing Stadium. Tickets were 1,700 THB (about £40) each for the cheapest seats. We didn’t buy them as in Thailand £40 goes a long way on food and drink.
We headed to Banzaan Market for food. It’s open every night until 11pm. Upstairs there’s a food court selling meals. They looked really good.
We got a squid kebab and freshly squeezed fruit juice from the outside market.
James Bond 5 Island by speed boat
I was keen to visit James Bond Island so we booked a tour. There’s loads of tour stands in Patong Beach. We went to the one next to our hotel. The tours have different options and prices depending on how many islands you want to visit and by which type of boat, from long-boats to high-speed boats.
If you have limited time and are only going to do this once, I strongly advise to do all 5 islands and go by speed boat.
The price displayed was 3,800 THB but we haggled and it went down to 2,500 THB per person (which I think is the price they offer everyone).
The tour group was called BB SeaLion and we had 16 people in our group. The people running it spoke fluent English and this really helped. A buffet lunch, and Coca-Cola and juice on the boat were also included.
If you do go by speed boat and have long hair, remember to tie it up when you’re on the boat as it’s incredibly windy.
Tips: Take sunscreen and a towel. There’s space on the boat for a backpack. Your legs get wet when you get on and off the speed boat so wear sandals or flip flops and shorts. Remember to wear swimwear as you can go in the water later.
They sold plastic waterproof cases at the start of the tour for our phones which came in handy when we were getting on and off the boat.
The 5 Island Tour covered:
- Panak Island
- Ice Cream Cave
- Hong Island
- Panyee Island
- James Bond Island
- Lawa Island
We didn’t stop here but circled around it in the boat. You get really close and the limestone formations are cool. It’s a good introduction to Phang Nga Bay and the beauty it has to offer.
Ice Cream Cave
This is the first stop we got off at. The guide showed us around the cave and explained how it was formed. It really does look like ice cream. It’s very dark inside and there were some bats.
This was my favourite part. Kayaking around Phang Nga Bay. You don’t actually kayak, someone kayaks for you and you sit back, take photos and enjoy the stunning views.
It’s encouraged that you tip the guy kayaking 100 THB so make sure you have change.
This island is a floating village and has almost 1,500 people living there. Wooden and concrete pillars hold up the houses and shacks.
Restaurants cater to the large amount of tourists who visit. We had a buffet lunch here, which was included in our tour. Afterwards we walked around the island and looked in the souvenir shops. I also went to look at the cats.
James Bond Island
The highlight of the trip! Visiting the famous James Bond rock. I was so excited to see this and it lived up to expectation.
Firstly, it’s packed with tourists. Trying to get a photo without other tourists in takes patience.
Secondly, it’s a difficult walk to the rock from the boat, especially in wet flip flops, so take your time. The rock isn’t going anywhere.
Lastly, it’s fun pulling poses such as looking like you’re touching the top of the rock and the James Bond Golden Eye pose. You won’t be the only one doing this.
This is a beach stop to rest up. Luckily the sun came out and we enjoyed sunbathing and the warm water.
It’s also where the tour company try to sell you a video of your day. The guides filmed the day, it was a little annoying at first but I got used to it.
This long day totally exhausted us and we went back to the hotel and watched the Hangover 2 on Netflix in preparation for Bangkok.
I wouldn’t go back to Phuket as it was a bit too “party” and touristy for me and I did all that I wanted to do – James Bond island and kayaking in Phang Nga Bay. These attractions are a MUST on a trip to Thailand.
I found Koh Phi Phi and the other islands had much more to offer. They are more beautiful and I liked the laid back island vibe Koh Phi Phi had.
I hope this blog post helps you see what Phuket has to offers.
Please DO NOT go to Phuket FantaSea. The abuse of elephants here is horrendous. This place must be closed down.