How A Thai Island Came To Be Named After A Spy

ClickTravelTips 4 Min Read

Bond. James Bond. 007. You may have heard of him, a tall, ruggedly handsome bloke with a Walther PPK pistol and a licence to kill, who likes fast cars, and yes, even faster women! We can forgive him for all that because he is also one of the most engaging and long-lasting fictional characters of all time, giving even the venerable Sherlock Holmes a run for his money. Bond was created by Englishman Ian Fleming, an actual World War Two hero turned author. The first 007 novel, Casino Royale was published after his retirement from his post as a commander in the Royal Navy, where he was involved in multiple secret operations that inspired the fictional spy. The transition from novels to film came easily, and the incredibly popular movies made James Bond a household name internationally. Bond was a true globetrotter, able to exist in any country seemingly without effort as he pursued his human prey.

One of those countries was Thailand, where James Bond’s legacy is fondly remembered to this day. The 1974 film The Man With The Golden Gun starring Roger Moore as our herofeatured scenesfilmed in Phang Nga Bay, a 400 km2 body of water lying between Phuket Island and the Isthmus of Kra. The site was chosen for its exotic natural limestone towers rising from the brilliant blue sea, a region of unsurpassed natural beauty. Diehard 007 fans love to make the trek to the filming location, a secluded lagoon between walls of sheer limestone cliffs. The absolute best way to visit this natural wonder and venerated pop culture site is by joining a Phang Nga Bay James Bond Island sea kayaking tour. Their expert guides can reveal secrets only the locals know that would make any would-be spy smile with delight. This low environmental impact method of travel is also the best way to view native species like white-faced gibbons, monitor lizards, and a variety of tropical seabirds whilst gliding silently across the lagoon’s emerald green, still waters.

What we have come to call James Bond Island is actually made up of two islands, Khao Phing Kan and Ko Ta Pu, listed among the best places to visit in Thailand. Khao Phing Kan was depicted as the secret base of Bond arch-villain Scaramanga, expertly portrayed by Christopher Lee, a seasoned actor who often appeared as malevolent enemies of the people such as Dracula and Saruman the White!

The needle-like structure of the second island, Ko Ta Pu, was extensively featured as scenic eye candy and has become symbolic of the film. This was just the beginning of Ko Ta Pu’s cinematic career, it went on to stand in for Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay in another Bond film, 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.

So, if you are a fan of the James Bond films, Thailand is the perfect destination for your next tropical holiday, where you can see and be right where all the pulse-pounding 007 action actually happened!

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