For our last day in Thailand, we decided to venture out and see what else there was to see. Guess what? There’s a whole lot of beauty, a ton of islands and endless sparkling water.
We booked a speed boat tour to Phang Nga Bay through the desk in our resort lobby. The tour company picked us up at our hotel and shuttled us to the marina where a boat was waiting for us. We were introduced to our tour guide – a local guy who spoke both English and German – and were given some snorkeling gear before we set sail.
The first stop on our tour was Koh Phi Phi where we had an hour to swim or snorkel or hang out on the prettiest beach I’ve ever seen. The crystal clear water faded gradually to a vibrant aqua blue. The island was stocked with rainbow umbrellas and cosy beach chairs for sunning – a slightly manufactured, yet all-too-wonderful setting.
Marc and I attempted to snorkel, but I had a bit of a panic moment and decided to give up. I guess I’m just not cut out for underwater breathing. It’s just too unnatural for me. We wandered around the beach for the rest of the hour, searching for the perfect piece of coral and staring out into the blueish green abyss.
We boarded the boat and headed for Koh Panyee – a floating fishing village about an hour north. The ride took us past hundreds of tiny islands protruding from the water. They looked as if they had just been haphazardly drop throughout the bay. Some seemed to be smaller than the boat itself. There was stunning beauty in every direction.
Koh Panyee was maybe my least favorite part of the tour. It’s the worst tourist trap we’ve experienced in our travels. If you venture beyond the buffet style restaurants that cater solely to the boat tour masses, you will find a maze of souvenir stands and women just begging for you to purchase their generic trinkets. It’s a shame really that something that began as a unique cultural entity has turned into such a thing, but I’m sure that the tourism alone keeps the island alive so I can’t blame them for it. It’s also a great location for tours to stop for lunch.
After lunch we headed to our main destination Khao Phing Kan – also known as James Bond Island. I’ve been dying to see this gorgeous rock ever since I saw it on Pinterest. When I realized it was close to where we would be in Thailand, I decided we just had to see it. Of course, it was made “famous” in The Man with the Golden Gun – with Roger Moore as James Bond – but I’ve never seen it.
I mean, look at that thing. It’s just balancing there on it’s teeny tiny base. How it doesn’t just topple over is beyond me. The area surrounding Khao Phing Kan is a national park and there’s some other interesting geological sights just around the corner. Like this thing. This is only half of it. I couldn’t get a good picture of it since I don’t have a wide angle lens, but it made me feel like the smallest thing in the universe.
After our stop at James Bond Island, the boat returned us to the marina where we were given popsicles and cool cloths as refreshment, and we ditched our snorkel gear. The sun had been beating down on us all day, and it was such a relief to take the air-conditioned shuttle back to the resort. We ended our beautiful day with dinner at the resort’s restaurant over looking the beach.
Want to see the rest of our trip? Check out these posts:
- 4 Days in Phuket, Thailand: Part 1
- New Year’s in Phuket, Thailand
- 4 Days in Phuket, Thailand: Part 2
- Phang Nga Bay Boat Tour
- What I Packed: Phuket, Thailand
Published: January 28, 2014. Updated: April 7, 2022.
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