If Koh Tapu doesn’t sound familiar to you, that’s because you may have heard its popular nickname instead: James Bond Island. The small island off the shores of Koh Khao Phing Kan was virtually unknown to tourists until it was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974. The islands are located on the west coast of Thailand, in Phang Nga Bay in the Andaman Sea.
James Bond Island is very small and you can’t go on the island itself. However, it’s very unique and immediately recognizable since it’s a 20-meter tall limestone tower karst, jetting up out of the sea appears to be balancing dangerously on the aqua blue waters.
James Bond Island and has become one of the main draws to the Ao Phang Nga National Marine Park and a must-see attraction if you are visiting Phuket or Krabi. Ao Phang Nga National Marine Park is comprised of over 40 islands with huge vertical cliffs, some with caves that are accessible at low tide and lead into hidden lagoons surrounded by solid rock walls.
The best way to experience the park is by canoe or kayak. Ask your hotel or resort to recommend a trusted tour operator or package with a private boat tour, and prepare to spend anywhere from a couple hours to a full day exploring the waters.
The islands aren’t the only attraction there, and we recommend exploring the mangrove forests, which are beautiful in their own way. They can be found through the many winding canals. Come in the early morning for the best light and most abundant bird life, including hornbills, kingfishers and blue winged leafbirds. You also might find a little slice of beach or a lagoon all to yourself after a little exploring!
The earlier you go, the better, as the waters surrounding James Bond Island and the rest of the bay get packed with tourists by late morning. Late afternoon is also a picturesque time, though you’ll have to contend with more visitors than in the early morning. Nonetheless, this stunning landscape should be at the top of your list when planning your trip to Thailand. From the awe-inspiring vertical islands, to the sparkling aquamarine waters, and hidden alcoves of mangroves and wildlife, you’ll never see anything else quite like it!
Want to see James Bond Island for yourself? Book a stay with one of our trusted partners and plan an excursion! See our special travel packages and hotel offers in Phuket and Krabi. Or if you’re tying the knot soon, sign up for a Thailand Honeymoon Registry and have your guests gift you with a private longboat tour trip to James Bond Island!