I've been watching the Kardashian's episode trip to Thailand and I realized I have almost forgotten how many wonderful experiences I had in Thailand for my 30 B-day vacation.
I have spent a few lovely days in Phuket and took the time as well to explore the island and take a few day-tours to the nearby islands.
16 april: Discover Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island
Phang Nga Bay is one of the most spectacular attraction in Andaman Seas, featuring magnificent vertical cliffs and rocks, limestone rocks jetting out of emerald green water.
There are many local companies offering tours around Phuket, make sure you choose a tailored one, depending on your interests as a traveller. There is not a fix itinerary tour in Phang Nga Bay, it totally depends on your options.
Our tour included : beach time in the dreamy Hong Island and lagoon, lunch in a 150 years old village built entirely on water ( Panyee Village) , tour around the famous James Bond Island and time on Ping Gan island, canoeing in caves with stalactite and stalagmite formations.
First stop Hong Island . it is actually a group of small islands, the attraction being Koh Hong ( Room island, surrounded by high cliffs just like a room). This piece of paradise is not full of noisy tourists, or souvenirs sellers. it's more of an escape for those who just want to enjoy the emerald water, the white sand beach and the friendly coloured fish that swim around you.
Phang Nga Bay is home to more than 100 islands, all of them with strange shapes, huge limestones rising above clear emerald water. Some of them being featured in The Guiness Book of Records for their unique shapes.
The most famous, James Bond Island, became a major attraction after appearing in the 1974 James Bond Movie, "The Man with the Gold Gun". The original name is actually Koh Tapu ( the Nail Island, do to its shape). The island, made of limestones, it's bigger on the upper side and slim at the bottom. How it stands up and for how long, it's still a mistery. However, lately the authorities have banned the boats from approaching the area in order to protect it.
The best way to enjoy the scenary is by Ping Gan Island, where you can take the time, discover the rocky formations and have a nice view over James Bond Island.
However, Ping Gan has its own magic, with a rock leaning vertically, perfectly cut. The beach area however is very crowded with many tourist and souvenir stands.
Panyee fishing village: was a very unique experience as well. This village is built completely on water and is more than 150 years old. the location is now full of tourists from all over the world stopping by for lunch or souvenirs.
Caves exploration by canoe: while speeding around the huge national park of Phang Nga, tourists may as well take the time to do snorkelling or discover the caves with a canoe. I am not a sporty person and I wouldn't trust myself alone in a canoe. For this case you can have a guide, doing all the hard work 🙁 and explaining the strange rocky formations.