Thursday was day two of my island hopping. This time I was off to see the famous James Bond Island, where “The Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed. I’m starting to think that I should maybe watch all these movies now that I’ve actually been to their filming spots. I should probably at least watch a James Bond movie, period, at some point. Maybe.
Anyway, it was a perfect day for the trip. There was cloud cover all morning, which was great because it kept the temperature down so we didn’t bake on the boat — unlike the day before, where we were in and out of the water swimming and snorkeling throughout the day, only our last destination was actually for getting in the water. Plus, the boat was only about a third full, so it was a nice and small group. Most of this crowd was a bit older, and I got to know a couple from Texas and another from Australia over the course of the day.
In addition to Khao Tapoo, aka James Bond Island, we also did some fantastic sightseeing at Panak, Hong, Khao Ping Kan, Talu, Khien, and Naka Islands. Our first stop brought us to Ice Cream Cave, named for the glittering rock formations it contains. After trolling around the impressive rock formations of more islands, we stopped at Talu Island for some canoeing. As it turns out, it wasn’t canoeing so much as sitting in a raft — there was a guide in the back of each raft that paddled us around, so it’s hardly fair to say that “we” canoed, but whatever. It was a nice, relaxing ride around the island, paddling in and out of the plethora of caves. We actually had to lay down in the raft-canoe to get into some of them because the openings were so low; if we’d been there even half an hour later, the tide would have been too high for us to get in. The caves and coves around Talu were all awesome; like most of the other surrounding islands, Talu has sheer rock walls with the jungle growing straight off the sides. How the trees grow out of the rock (or the sea, for that matter, as many in the caves did) is just impressive.
Lunch for this tour was on Panyee, the floating Muslim Fishing Village. The place was really interesting, all of the homes, market stalls, restaurants, etc. suspended across the water. The food was delicious: sweet and sour chicken, fried shrimp, squid, cashew chicken, tom yum soup and rice.
After a bit more sightseeing around the islands, we stopped to just spend some time on the beach before heading back to port. The day was well worth it; the islands were all fantastic to see and all very different from the things I’d seen the day before.