Asia Travel

Travel || James Bond Island

With Sam being a big movie buff, and me just liking to go on adventures, it seemed natural that we schedule a time to visit James Bond Island whilst in Thailand. (Actually called Khao Phing-Ka). It’s where 1974’s “The Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed. It’s also where Khao Tapu is located; the tall needle-shaped rock is (I believe it turns into a laser gun in the film? Or it’s Scaramanga’s hideaway?) Khao Tapu is located in the middle of Khao Phing-Ka Bay.

Khao Phing Ka is quite a rocky, limestone island with lots of caves and forest. There’s this amazingly huge limestone slab that’s leaning against another, forming a massive 20 meter high crevasse. The James Bond franchise actually returned to the Bay several decades later to film bits of “Tomorrow Never Dies” near James Bond Island. I’m not really into Bond (especially not the Daniel Craig ones #sorrynotsorry), so I think Sam was a bit more excited about the movie background to the area, but I was just excited to gape at such an amazing natural wonder. I’d estimate that the trip up and around the island takes around 20 minutes; in general, I think you’d need about an hour to spend on the island happily. There are a few stalls that sell knick-knacks and trinkets mostly made from shell and pearl by the women from nearby Panyi Island. 

I don’t know if the island National Park staff was just being super cautious, but it’s the only place on our adventures where we came across warning signs for Portuguese Men of War in the water, so that’s something to be aware of. It’s a protected National Park so carrying out litter and staying on paths is strictly enforced. 

Would there be any particular filming location that you’d be excited to visit? 

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  • I had to Google “Portuguese Men of War”. I was hoping for pirates.

    I have also managed to avoid James Bond throughout my entire life, up until last Christmas, maybe? They played a metric bitch ton of the older ones on TV and Mark and I watched them. I offered much sassy commentary. Dude just goes up to women and slaps them in the face if they’re not following his instructions to the letter. Like, not the bad women, frigging civilians. Bond is ridiculous πŸ˜‚

    • Ha, that’s a pretty fair summary of Bond. I’d only ever seen the Pierce Brosnan ones because they were on TV all the time between 1992-2005 so I have zero Bond appreciation. Sam went and saw the Daniel Craig ones all alone. x

      • Ha. We should watch all the old Bonds and make a podcast of our sassy feminist commentary. You need to see how bad those films are. People would hate us, but the world needs to know.πŸ˜‚

        • I think this is a brilliant idea. We’d have loads of trolls but I think we’d have loads of fangirls too! x

  • Haha, that last photo!! I remember visiting this island as well when we went to Thailand … I know that the island tours were, well, touristy, but I absolutely loved them … they were such a highlight of our trip! I really want to go back to Thailand and spend a longer time there … it’s so beautiful and there’s so much to do!

    • There’s so much to see in Thailand! I felt like we barely brushed the surface. WE didn’t get to go up North at all, which I regret. They are totally touristy, but sometimes that stuff really is the best. I’ve done the hop on hop off bus with my mom in London after living there for years and I think I enjoyed it more than she did. x

  • This is so cool! As soon as I started reading this post I recognised the scenes from the Bond films. My brother was a much bigger Bond fan than me but I do enjoy the films every now and again, they’re good escapism! I will definitely have to visit this place someday, it just looks stunning and how cool that the area is protected, and the animal lover in me was excited to hear there were Portuguese Men O’ War there too, although, like you, I would have stayed out of the water – you wouldn’t want to get stung! If there’s a place I want to visit from a film set, it would have to be Petra, in Jordan, it reminds me so much of Indiana Jones! – Tasha

    • I was/am a HUGE Indiana Jones fan. The way some people feel about Star Wars of Bond, I feel about Indiana Jones, so I would have really geeked out to be in Petra. It must have been amazing! x

      • Yes, that is definitely me! I hope I can visit Petra one day and see it in real life as like you, I will definitely geek out over it!

  • That stack is just amazing – it looks as though it’s defying gravity! I’m not a Bond fan, so I don’t recognise it as an iconic film set, but it looks beautiful nonetheless! Alice xxx

    • Haha, I have 0% Bond appreciation inside of me. Luckily, I had Sam to explain it all to me! x

  • HAHAHA! I love Sam’s action poses at the end. I think when we ever eventually get to Thailand we will have to take a trip here!
    Bee xxx

    • You definitely have to! It’s out of the way-ish but it’s included on nearly every boat tour of the islands in Thailand so they make it as accessible as possible! x

  • this is definitely something i’d visit if/when i ever go to thailand. looks lovely! and i love james bond, despite it being what it is in terms of misogny, sexism and other issues.. (although not really a fan of the daniel craig ones, either)! xx

    • I just don’t find Daniel Craig charismatic, so I don’t enjoy his Bond. In fact, the only Bond’s I’ve seen loads are the Pierce Brosnan ones because they used to be on the tv all the time when I was growing up. *Hangs head in shame* xx

      • exactly – i don’t either! i watched all of the bonds when i was about 15, haha. sean connery is easily my favourite. xx

  • Definitely looks like such a beautiful place to visit and that huge rock looks unbelievable! I think if I were to choose a filming location to visit, I’d have to choose New Zealand where they filmed The Hobbit and LOTR! Lovely photos Amanda πŸ™‚

    Kayleigh |

    • Thanks so much Kayleigh! I’ve seen blog posts of people visiting various LOTR locations in New Zealand and it all seems so stunning! You must have had the best time! xx

  • I love James bond, so I completely would have been excited by James Bond Island!

    • Do you recognise it from any of the old movies? As a non-Bond head, I didn’t sadly and Sam had to explain it all to me! x

  • Gosh, this is amazing!!!

  • Ace photos! My mum was here the other week and sharing pics on FB with us!

    Holly xxx >>> ME

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    Oooh I’ve been here! It is very cool πŸ™‚

  • very cool! I sometimes track down places from movies I’ve seen such as a cafe from the Before Sunrise movie or the bookshop from the Notting Hill movie:)

    • I definitely have a photo of me pretending to knock on the door that was Hugh Grant’s home in Notting Hill. Haha. x

  • Eek, SO cool, I’m so jealous! I’m a massive Bond fan and would love to visit the island one day!!

    C x | Lux Life – Luxury Travel & Lifestyle Blog

  • What a fun place to visit! It’s so cool when you get to see a location from a favorite film!

    • I wish I was a Bond fan so I wouldn’t have gotten more of the atmosphere but Sam got an absolute kick out of it. And I got to admire is beauty if not the movie reference! X

  • That is so beautiful! And I’m having massive holiday and sun craving and envy right now! πŸ˜€ I think the only real film location that excite me are Harry Potter ones…which means I should be 12 not 27 haha

    • Haha, Harry Potter locations are the ones that excite me the most too, and I’m even older than you are πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Miu

    I read your post and was like: Portuguese Men of War?! But google was my friend again πŸ˜‰ And fun fact: In German it’s called (translated) Portuguese Galley πŸ˜‰

    • Oh, I like Portuguese Galley – that name actually makes a bit more sense than the English one does! x