Phuket is, undoubtably, a vibrant place full of activities. Whether its private pool bars or offshore trips, there’s plenty to choose from. One of the most iconic trips on every ticket store is to Phang Nga Bay, given its namesake of ‘James Bond Island’ after its iconic appearance on Man with the Golden Gun.
Each sales rep is promising the best deal with a unique insight to Thailand’s neighbouring islands. Each seemed to cost around 1500baht ($50 AUD or £28 GBP) with a visit to three or four islands. During my own visit, I decided to book with the hotel as I felt that the trip was guaranteed, rather than handing over cash on Patong Strip, unsure of how legitimate the sale would be. Our host advised to travel by speed boat to avoid sea sickness (and I am too glad that I did, definitely the best advice that I was given in Thailand!)
The trip begins with a hotel collection (though the time promised may not be 100% accurate, ours arrived over 90 minutes late), where you are then taken about an hour from Patong to reach the docks. The trip itinerary is then fully laid out and boats are boarded between 9 and 11 am.
JP Andaman, the company that I travelled with, offered free food and drinks all day, starting with light refreshments on the hour long ride to the first island.
After docking, you are met by a number of canoes, ready to take you through a cave (not one for those who don’t like bats or small spaces), with individual travel guides to row: it’s truly eye-opening to see the inside of some of nature’s best kept secrets. It’s easy to forget how much natural beauty is offshore and rarely seen by the human eye.
The second tour was again an individual canoe tour through small passages with views that simply cannot be described with words, so I’ve included JP Andaman’s promotional video below. The entire trip itself was like living inside a postcard: complete clear blue waters and white sand. Lush.
At around 1pm the boat travels a short distance to stop for lunch and a swim in the Andaman Sea, this is the only chance to go for a dip but the opportunity to jump from the roof of the boat and enjoy the strange sensation of warm seawater.
The best is saved until last, James Bond island itself.
Boats are not allowed to dock here so guests are transferred with a traditional long boat. As the island is so iconic, this was the busiest area and often meant that there were queues for photo opportunities. This said, everyone was very gracious and by taking it in turns to take photographs, the insta-worthy photos were much more successful. Time here is limited but enough to have a quick look around and take all of the photographs necessary.
The tour finishes around 4pm before returning to your hotel. This means that the entire day costs under £30, ideal for a student or budget traveller. As all food and drink is provided on the trip and the majority of tips are massively optional, the trip is perfectly priced. I found the setup of the tour similar to a boat trip in Cairns, Australia. I paid £200 for that particular day trip to spend less time offshore. I’m convinced that this trip is the incredibly good value for money and would recommend to anyone.
Have you travelled to Phuket? I would love to hear about what you got to, tweet me or leave a comment below!
P.S: All opinions are my own and I was not reimbursed in any way for this post.