A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand - James Bond Island

Day 7


View The long trip! on wheretonow's travel map.

The highlight of todays trip was supposed to be a trip to James Bond Island, so called because it exploded at the end of the James Bond “The Man with the Golden Gun” film, instead we (and the others on the bus) were fascinated by trying to figure out if our tour guide was a guy or a girl? Did they say their name was Bill or Bell? Mal or Mel? The other reason we booked this tour was we were getting a bit more sea kayaking, but as it turns out, all we got to do was sit in a canoe while another dude paddled us around pointing out features of a pretty interesting island, Khao Ping Gar, including King Kongs nose, a crocodiles jaw and very large formations looking much like a males honourable member. The other thing he kept doing was ask for money, first to support his family and later because of his asthma. No paddling for us.

Lazy Canoeing

Lazy Canoeing

Another long boat ride across to James Bond island where we are greeted by a little market with about 50 stalls, all seemingly selling the same crap. Round the corner is James Bond Island. It’s a bit like one of our own 12 Apostles, only a little bigger with some scrubby shrubs growing on it and not on the Great Ocean Road. Of course you can’t stand here without taking a few bad James Bond pose photos.

Posing James Bond Island

Posing James Bond Island


Bond, James Bond

Bond, James Bond

Phang Nga Bay, where James Bond Island is, has so many islands poking out of the water in every direction, another we visited (for lunch) was Panyee with its ‘floating’ village. This place is a real labyrinth of restaurants and stalls where you could get you picture taken with a monkey dressed up as a baby (no thanks). It’s a very pokey little place built on stilts above the water, we had to ask for help to find our way out of the restaurants into the market area. It’s good as a guy walking around these local crafty markets because you just don’t get hassled.

On the way back to Ao Nang, there were two more places to stop. First, Suwankkuha Temple Cave, where we were told we could pay our respects to the large golden reclining Buddha and the monkeys. Well, there were a lot of monkeys, people posing with monkeys climbing on their heads (ooo yucky), and a large reclining Buddha, but there was also a pretty nice cave. It was big. Divided into the Light Cave (mostly open) and the Dark Cave (like the Bat cave, except without the secret entrance). The Dark Cave was quite deep and opened up into a great cavern with a very steep set of stairs chiselled into the back wall. The air inside was think and warm, it was sweaty work getting up to the top, but a nice view and worth the shaky knees on the way back down. Last stop was a little series of waterfalls and swimming holes to cool off. The water was clean and cold, the fish nibbled our legs and there was enough water coming over the waterfall to just about strip the bathers off anyone unsuspecting - hey Nee?

Posted by wheretonow 10:18 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Thailand - To Ao Nang

Day 6


View The long trip! on wheretonow's travel map.

Ao Nang turned out to be a very popular beach resort town on the mainland just next door to Krabi. Lots more tourists here, the streets remained busy till well into the evening. The trip was a minibus ride (including 2 car ferries) for around 2 hours. Was interesting to see an elephant, a very large elephant being transported on the back of a small truck across the ferry. Arrived in Krabi and caught the local bus (a bigger ute) down to Ao Nang. There are loads of guest houses scattered around town so it was pretty easy to find a decent place (Jinda House) to stay for a couple of nights.

With a free afternoon we grabbed a scooter and went exploring, first abound town, then a bit further a field. There are some wonderful long flat beaches around Ao Nang, when the tide is out you can walk from the beach out to small rocky islands. The limestone cliffs are everywhere and amazing. Sheer faces rise up from nowhere then fall away just as spectacularly. Its an odd landscape. We followed a couple of touristy looking signs through the rubber tree plantations and stumbled across a very new nature walk - a boardwalk set above a crystal clear stream. When we arrived it was hot, it was so tempting to just jump right in. The only other people there were couples taking corny pictures of each other (with some serious camera equipment), not that we’d do anything like that, no. It was a really nice spot though, a beautiful stream rolling down out of the mountains and further down into a mangrove system. By the time we left, it looked like rain, so back on the scooter and into town. Dinner, a stroll around town, book in a tour to James Bond island tomorrow, then off to bed.

Off Ao Nang Beach

Off Ao Nang Beach

Going independant

Going independant

Nature Walk

Nature Walk

Posted by wheretonow 10:11 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Thailand - BuBu, Boo Boo

Day 5


View The long trip! on wheretonow's travel map.

Very exciting. We are off early for some sea kayaking to visit Talabeng Cave and Bubu Island, been looking forward to a paddle. It into the back of a ute, sorry taxi, again and picked up a couple of Dutch guys and a couple of Americans and headed to the pier. Talabeng Cave was about a hour trip by long boat from Koh Lanta. What’s a long boat? Well, it’s a long wooden boat of course, with a propellor on a long (5m-ish) pole hanging out the back with a big loud diesel tractor motor strapped to it. They build up a good head of speed, but boy they are loud. Just don’t look too had at their weathered and rusted condition, instead we choose to think of it as an authentic Thai mode of sea travel.

The long boat took us out through the mangroves. Not a whole lot to see until we pull up to Monkey Forest to feed the ‘wild’ monkeys - well, monkey. For a good while there was just one sad, sorry looking, filthy, smelly, diseased monkey (that’s about everything nice I have to say about monkeys). Eventually, a few more hairy, feral monkeys arrived to join the party. We threw pieces of banana and pineapple at, sorry I mean to, them. Nee thought the baby monkeys were very cute, I thought it was funny when a monkey jump on the boat behind Nee and made her scream. Secretly, I’m glad monkeys live in the forest and I don’t.

We push on to Talabeng Island and cave where we start to find out a bit more about the days kayaking. it’s a bit windy so they tell us, so we cannot paddle around the island, just along on side of it. Ok, so be it. Then we find out after our 40 minute paddle in the morning, the kayaks are getting packed up and put away, end of paddle. Now that we are out here it doesn’t sound much like the full day sea kayaking adventure we were sold in the shop.

Talabeng Island was not really that interesting - maybe I was just tired from doing all the paddling. There were a couple of small caves, inhabited by Anacondas our guide tried to tell us, a story I think they made up to stop us going in the caves so that we would finish quicker and their work would be done. No anacondas, but we did spot a little Iguana, and watched some old fishermen drop a few lines out hoping to hook a Barracuda. Here is also where Nee decided that her sun glasses might look better on a Barracuda or Anaconda and over the side of the kayak they(accidentally) went. We made to around to and inside Talabeng Cave. It included one very large stalactite and a rope that could be followed a hundred meters or so up through and out to the top of the island. Now that would have been fun but not on the menu for todays trip. It was good to see the guides fishing rubbish out of the water as they paddled along - you’ve got to respect them for taking some care and pride in the site.

Back to the long boat for a short trip over to BuBu Island for some lunch and a swim. Lunch was good (fried rice with seafood, and fresh fruit), but BuBu was ordinary. The beach was sandy but completely covered in stones just inside the waters edge - ok no swimming, there must be something else to do…umm maybe not. Its about a two minute walk from end to end with very little of any note. I can’t believe that there is a resort here (if you’d call it that) and that people are staying here, there’s nothing but a few dodgy little huts and a beach that cannot be used. We couldn’t find the Professor, or Marianne, the Skipper or Gilligan. Each to their own I suppose. We are supposed to spend a couple of hours here, but instead we suggest to the guide that we leave early and have an extra through the mangroves on the way back. Thankfully, he eventually agrees, it’s a much nicer way to spend a half hour then marooned on BuBu.

When we got back after the kayaking tour, we took a stroll along Klong Nin beach. This is a nice beach, lots of sand, lots of bars and restaurants along it. Had a swim and a short bake, then built Mr Coconut. We found a coconut washed up on the beach that someone had drawn a big smiley face on. So for a laugh we built a beach version of a snowman (ok just a pile of sand) and plonked the coconut head on top. A couple of sticks for arms and Mr Coconut was ready. A few people would stop and smile as they passed along the beach and Mr Coconut was pleased.

Gerard's Mr Coconut

Gerard's Mr Coconut

Found a 7Eleven in town to stock up on water and snacks and tucked into a delicious big banana pancake from a street stall on the way back. Renee had been dying to get a pedicure, so we stopped for one on the way. There was a lot of funny faces pulled as the toes were scrubbed, clipped and polished, but the final result was a bit messy - looked a bit like the paint was applied with a roller, or worse, by me.

Dinner, on the beach again this time lying on rugs and cushions, candles burning all around dug down into holes in the sand. More curries, yum, and a seafood hot pot that was set alight in a balls of flames before us. Looked great, tasted even better. After dinner, the beach bar cranked up the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and a couple of guys put on an awesome fire dancing show - so fast and so smooth. Nice! Go for a stroll along the beach after dark and it was easy to catch 2 or 3 of these fire dancing shows and the were all pretty good. It just makes you want to have a go at it. Looks so good on the beach, especially with some good tunes pumping.

Klong Nin beach

Klong Nin beach

Lantern on beach

Lantern on beach

Posted by wheretonow 10:07 Archived in Thailand Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

(Entries 13 - 15 of 22) « Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 »