James Bond Island & Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
5 mins read

James Bond Island & Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

I don’t have the words to describe the incredible experience I had on this day trip, and I don’t have the photos to do it justice. This was one of the best things I’ve ever done on a trip, and if I can show to you just 10% of how it felt to be on it, I hope you’ll love it too.

Sailing around Phang Nga Bay

Where is Phang Nga Bay and how to get there?

Phang Nga Bay lies in the Andaman Ocean, between two major Thai cities – Phuket and Krabi. It is accessible from both places on day tours which can be booked as group tours via the normal tour providers, or solo boat and captain hire. Booking a group tour is the cheaper option (around £50-60pp), but a solo boat provides flexibility and privacy (cost around £175-£200). Travelling to the bay takes around 1-2hrs depending on boat choice (a speedboat obviously takes less time).

Luckily for us, we stayed in Phang Nga Bay itself, at the wonderful Six Senses Yao Noi. This meant the Bay was on our doorstep, and because it is made up of 42 islands, it meant we could see a bit more than just the main highlights.

Cruising Phang Nga Bay

We booked a private traditional longtail boat for the day which docked at our hotel beach to pick us up. I never imagined how beautiful this day would be and I am so grateful to be able to have experiences like this.

What to see in Phang Nga Bay

Mangrove Cave

Our first stop of the day was at a deserted beach, off of which is an incredible cave which you can walk through (with water up to waist height), until it opens up in to an epically beautiful open circle of white sand, surrounded by sheer cliff faces open to the sky, with mangroves growing in the middle. Photos can’t do it justice, I felt like I was in Tomb Raider. We had the entire thing completely to ourselves.

Approaching the beach

Exiting the cave on the other side with the mangroves round the corner

James Bond Island

My only ‘must see’ to the captain was James Bond Island, also known as Khao Phing Kan, made famous by the film The Man with the Golden Gun. This was the only stop that wasn’t deserted but as we beat all the day trips we still managed to get there before anyone had started swimming in the water or pretending to be Halle Berry!

Koh Panyee

At this point we were peckish so we decided to stop for lunch. We pulled in to an incredible village, all on stilts above the water and had the most delicious traditional Thai Food in one of the restaurants. The village is entirely Muslim so in respect I put my jumper on (I was already in a long dress covering my knees) – though later whole boat loads of tourists rocked up walking round in thong bikinis and moaning they couldn’t buy alcohol so I’m sure it didn’t matter too much and locals are used to it.

Koh Roi

We pulled in here, this time because I said I was hot and the captain suggested I swim immediately. It was another spot we had to ourselves, until a small group of 4 turned up with a picnic.

Koh Kudu

Our next stop was my favourite of the day – the absolutely incredible Koh Kudu. Deserted, with the most perfect white sand imaginable, it was just heaven. We lay out a mat and had some bubbly. I had to sit and pinch myself as I just couldn’t believe it was real!

Sandbank Beach

Our final stop of the day was because I exclaimed how beautiful a sand drift was, so the captain docked on Sandbank Beach, on the island of Koh Yao Yai. We walked along it, completely on our own and loving every second.

Not a bad end to the day!

After a 30 minute stroll, we were pretty overheated and didn’t have any more exploration in us (8 hours of 30 degree+ heat, climbing on and off boats, crawling through caves, wading in water, swimming and walking on sand in a nice dress meant I was a sticky hot mess), so the captain took us back to our hotel where we collapsed exhausted but so happy.

What a wonderful day. This area of the world is incredible and I feel so lucky to have seen so much of it completely to ourselves. I’m sure if I’d been on one of the big tours (up to 50-100 people per boat) it wouldn’t have been the same, so I really do recommend a private boat if you have a full day and budget to do it. This is an experience that will stay with me forever, and one of the best holiday days I’ve ever had. I hope the pictures did it some justice – stay safe and happy travelling!

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