Bonding in Thailand
Good days and Goodnight on island made famous by movie
BACK in the 1970s, producers of the James Bond movies were in a pickle when work started on Roger Moore’s second role as the iconic spy.
In a bid to capitalise on the massive success of Bruce Lee in Fist of Fury and Enter The
Dragon, the filmmakers wanted to set the movie The Man With The Golden Gun in the exotic East.
Scouts were sent out to Hong Kong, Thailand and Macau, where they discovered the wreck of the Queen Mary in Hong Kong and the hundreds of unusual islands in Phang Nga Bay in Thailand. When the production moved to Phuket, there was only one hotel and the entire production took over the small town.
After the film was released, Phuket became insanely popular and the island of Khao Ping Kan remains the most popular tourist attraction in the tourist region, which is affectionately now referred to as James Bond Island.
After travelling to a nearby harbour, you’ll sit in a longboat, which powers past many deserted islands on the way to your destination. Most tours tend to stop along the way to do some canoeing through a natural archway with a guide.
James Bond Island isn’t the deserted spot you saw in the movie. There are stalls and food available, with lots of spots to admire the iconic limestone rock known as Ko Ta Pu. For me, as a Bond fan this was a bucket list item to stand where Roger Moore and Christopher pher Lee did back in 1973.
After an hour on the island, the tour headed to a floating village for lunch h before heading ing home.
The other spot Phu- PhuPhuket is most famous for is Phi Phi Island, where you’ll find one of the most iconic beaches in movie history, Maya Bay.
The Beach, released in 2000, starred Leonardo Di Caprio.
Due to the massive popularity of this beach, the Thai government earlier this year decided to close the bay due to concerns about the environmental effects of the thousands of tourists who visit every day. If this is on your list, check if it will be open when you visit.
You can also take to the water on a speedboat to admire the hundreds of islands throughout the bay, some you can swim, snorkel and relax.
Dine at Phi Phi Island resort for lunch, a luxurious spot with a beach to die for.
A visit to Monkey Beach, a deserted spot populated by monkeys who climb the rocks with ease, is not without some entertainment.
Both destinations are best seen on a tour. It’s a good idea to book and pay in advance for the best deals. For more information, see Phuket.com or the Phuket 101 Facebook group.
STARRING ROLE: The limestone rock known as Ko Ta Pu, or James Bond Island, is on the bucket lists of many Bond fans after its appearance in The Man With The Golden Gun. INSET: Get up close with the locals on Monkey Beach.