James Bond island is the most famous island destination in Phang Nga Bay. The location consists of several islands, commonly called Khao Phing Kan. Out of this archipelago, James Bond Island is the most picturesque and looks like a nail leaning against the water. This peculiar limestone cliff rises above 40 m vertically from the astonishing emerald water.
James Bond island (known locally as Koh Tapu) has become famous after the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.” In the film, the villain (Christopher Lee) had his secret property and hideout in this spot. While in the movie, the island and the beach looked a lot bigger; in reality – the beach is a few square meters in size and also filled with souvenir stands. There are no James Bond souvenirs here, as one might expect.
Koh Tapu or James Bond Island is a tourist destination par excellence in Thailand. The entire area encircling this island is indeed magnificent with its signature rocky pinnacle, another sample of how our Mother Nature works her magic.
In 1998, local authorities banned tourist boats from approaching Koh Tapu to prevent the erosion of limestone rocks, which could collapse the island. That pushed travelers to a tiny beach that faces James Bond island. Since then, this location has become one of the most Instagrammable in Thailand. Besides, the surrounding islands of Khao Phing Kan also have some exciting caves to explore. Still, caution should be applied during high tides when caves and most of the beaches are usually flooded. The waters around James Bond island are shallow but murky and have a pale green color. Undoubtedly, not a snorkeling destination.
Nevertheless, tourists flock here daily, mostly day-trippers from Phuket or Krabi. Being part of Ao Phang Nga National Park, Koh Tapu is also close to Koh Yao islands, and very accessible from Khao Lak. The entire area of Phang Nga Bay offers many spectacular islands worth visiting.
Apart from James Bond Island, nearby, there is also the sea gypsies village of Koh Panyee, where fishermen have been living on the water for decades. On the way to Koh Tapu, you will also discover many mysterious caves, secluded bays and lagoons, such as Koh Panak and Hong island. Phang Nga Bay is stunningly beautiful, and it’s a one in a lifetime experience to personally identify such an iconic monolith of James Bond island or Koh Tapu.