If you pick your travel destinations either wholly or in part because of their status as iconic sites from cinema history (and why not?), then look no further than Phang Nga Bay. You may recognize the famous landmark in its harbor that made such a lasting impression on audiences in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun. Part of Ao Phang Nga National Park, the so-called “James Bond Island” (known locally as Ko Tapu or Nail Island) remains one of the most popular attractions on the country’s Andaman Sea coastline.
The area’s popularity is both a blessing and a curse. It’s impossible to approach the island without taking part in an organized, sanctioned cruise. This is due to efforts to reduce erosion of the limestone rocks and beaches. The upshot is that you’re unlikely to have a secluded moment on the island. That said, the benefits of a guided tour are not without merit. The surrounding area has several forested islands, a floating fishing village (known as “Bin Laden Village” due to the religious orientation of its inhabitants) and abundant marine life that are most advantageously sampled with a little advice and instruction.
One of the best ways to experience the pleasures of the island is via one of the many Phang Nga Bay cruise tours that are available. Less heavily promoted than the typical bus/tail boat tours that most visitors opt for, these packages tend to be less stressful, less packed and a lot more enjoyable.