Located in the Phang Nga Bay in Thailand, James Bond Island is known locally as Ko Tapu. It is one of two offshore islets known collectively as Ko Khao Phingkan within the Ao Phang Nga National Park.
Ko Tapu was made famous by the 1974 major motion picture The Man with the Golden Gun. This James Bond film shows scenes of Ko Tapu as well as of the surrounding area and as a result the entire Phang Nga Bay area is referred to as James Bond Island.
The Ko Tapu islet is itself just a large rocky formation jutting from the sea about 200 meters from the beach. This signature formation is easily recognizable and is one of the most popular day-tour destinations that depart from Phuket.
Hotels, resorts and tour companies offer a variety of day long excursions to James Bond Island. You can go on a bus charter, speed boat or even by traditional Junk boat. However you arrive your day will be filled with spectacular scenery, Thai hospitality and enough time in Phang Nga Bay to satisfy your inner Bond.
Boat excursions that leave from the northern end of Phuket Island are arguably one of the best ways to enjoy all that the area has to offer. This day-long leisurely excursion will take you on a meandering cruise through the myriad limestone islands and islets and will periodically stop for you to enjoy some snorkeling or just to relax on secluded beaches. A short stop at Phang Nga Bay limits your exposure to the thousands of tourists who’ve come to see the famous James Bond monolith. These cruises are offered either by day or in the evening to take advantage of the sunset and are offered on traditional Junk boats.
The bus tour from Phuket is the most common tour taken by tourists interested in seeing James Bond Island. The tour begins by bus but also includes time in a long-tail boat. Often included in these day long tours is a stop at the floating Muslim village on Koh Panyee Island. This interconnected village comprised of multi-colored floating homes and shops presents a surreal experience to the visitor as they walk along the ‘streets’ that are suspended over the water. In addition to this stop, many of the bus tours also include stops for snorkeling and relaxing on a pristine beach.
Another popular option for the day long excursion to James Bond Island is by speedboat. These tours offer a more intimate look at the area and offer the usual snorkeling, sun bathing and time in Phang Nga Bay. These particular tours are smaller, more private and offer a chance for customization that is not available on a larger tour. Want to spend more time in a particular location? That’s not a problem. Want to see the famous islet without ever leaving the boat? Again, this is not an issue.
No matter how you travel to James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay, be sure to have your camera ready as well as your bartering skills. There are many souvenirs for sale on the beach of the bay, as well as cold beverages. The area really is stunningly beautiful and how often do you get a chance to personally identify with such an iconic monolith such as Koh Tapu?