The short answer: no.
The long(er) answer: Only if you splurge for a speed boat, are a huge fan of the James Bond franchise and don’t mind not swimming to / touching the famous rock island. Oh and if you don’t mind a huge crowd of selfie stick wielding tourists. Let me explain our point of view.
During our time along Thailand’s southern coast, we knew we wanted to do a couple of island tours. Due to the fact that we were stationed in Phuket, we settled on the popular Khao Phing Kan, more commonly known as James Bond Island, that was featured in the James Bond film titled The Man with the Golden Gun. We knew it was a popular attraction due to the large amount of advertisements about the island so we braced ourselves for the inevitable mass of tourists during our visit.
Things to consider before visiting the island:
1. Go with a private boat tour (speed boat)
Our first mistake was opting to only pay for the big boat tour. With this option, you board a much bigger (which means more people), slower boat that results in having to take a transport boat to the actual island itself and only having a short 30 minutes to explore once you arrive. If you’re keen on visiting this island, this is one of those times you shouldn’t be a cheapo.
Our advice would be to splurge and go with the speed boat option. These carry significantly less people, don’t make you transfer boats and dock on the other side of the island, away from the main coast. Depending on your itinerary for the day, this may also give you more time on the island itself.
2. Are you a James Bond superfan?
The second condition is your level of love for all things James Bond. If you have grown up watching every single movie, own an action figure or two and also dream about being a world-saving spy in your free time, then for obvious reasons, this is a must visit regardless of its drawbacks. But, if like us, your level doesn’t go beyond the standard movies, then you may want to take other things into consideration when trying to decide how you will spend your time in Thailand.
3. How close did you want to get to the island?
Another thing to keep in mind when deciding to visit James Bond Island or not, is the fact that you will not be allowed to swim out near and/or touch the iconic rock formation seen in the pictures and the movie. We thought this might be an important tidbit to add in order to help keep expectations in check.
4. Crowds on crowds on crowds
Last but not least, the crowds. Man, is that island small and crowded. We aren’t really fans of big crowds taking selfies, so if you’re like us, this will likely not be your cup of tea.
So there you have it. Now that we’ve been, we can say we were happy (sort of) that we went, but looking back there are definitely some things we would have liked to know that could have possibly swayed our decision.
My advice would be to steer clear of this island if you are short on time and only to visit if you have seen everything else in the surrounding areas. There are a ton of beautiful islands in southern Thailand and it’s all about finding the one (or few!) that suit you the best.
Have you ever been to James Bond Island?
If so, was it worth it?
Let us know in the comment section below!
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