Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back to Thailand -- James Bond Island

Better late than never, right? I know you (all 5 of my blog readers) have been waiting on abated breath for me to work on some more Thailand entries. So here we go. Our tour of James Bond Island and Phang Nga Bay.

We took a speedboat out from some remote area of Phuket towards Phang Nga Bay. The tour we took to Phi Phi Islands was from this fancy gated community with yachts at the boat docks. The area this tour started from was so remote that the tour and fisherman were the only ones around and it was way out in the middle of no where. Okay I guess we weren't the only ones there. These guys (and about 15 more of their pals) were hanging out too.

As we headed towards the bay our tour guides fed us some awesome tiny bananas, blood oranges (I have never eaten one before) and fresh pineapple. I cannot stress enough how amazing the fruit was over there.

Our boat leaving the docks (and monkeys) behind.

Our ride took off into the middle of the sea and all around us were huge limestone formations, some uncovered and others covered in vegetation. Our first stop was to be at the "bat cave", but thankfully the tide was not at the right spot and we just stayed in the boat. I really was not looking forward to walking through a cave where Thailand bats lived.
Bat cave that you can actually walk through.

After we left the bat cave we headed towards Koh Hong. Here we were to unload onto a big boat stationed in the middle of the sea and get onto tiny sea kayaks.

I have to admit I was a bit freaked. Getting on a tiny kayak in the middle of the sea in Thailand, with who knows what living in the water, was a tad bit unnerving. They gave us a person to paddle and lead us so it really was pretty safe. We took this kayak into "hongs" (caves), through little paths in the water trees and into different rock openings.
Trees along our path in the kayak.

One hong opening was so small that you literally had to lay down flat in your kayak to get inside.
Us getting ready to go through the opening to get inside the rock formation. You can see the couple in front of us laying back to get inside.

Our paddle guy was camera happy. (As you will see with the many pictures of Matt and I on the kayak) But I have to say some of them turned out pretty good.
After we got back on our speedboat they took us to Koh Pannyi, a tiny Muslim fisherman village to eat lunch. The whole village is built on stilts over the water.

When we arrived at the restaurant the meal was already set out on the table. For a person who doesn't eat anything that isn't land bearing it was a bit of an eyeopener.
There was a dish of white rice (which I ate alot of), cooked fresh vegetables (which I also ate alot of), some mystery chicken plate, two whole fish (head and eyes included), some mystery egg dish and soup.

Matt's bowl of soup and yes he ate all of it. (Like the tentacles?)

Outside the restaurant we were able to walk around the docks. There even was a man taking pictures (for a fee of course) with a giant bird. We opted to not be clawed and just took pictures ourselves of the scenery.

After lunch we went to James Bond Island. Ko Tapu or Nail Island, found fame through the 1974 Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun", hence the name James Bond Island.
Matt and I at the top of the stairs on James Bond Island. The upside down rock behind us is a famous landmark.

This was probably one of Matt's favorite places of our whole trip. Not because of the movie (which you would never had known they filmed there if it wasn't for a small sign in at a promotional products gift table selling old copies of the movie) but because of the amazing limestone rocks and caves.

After I managed to drag Matt away from the caves we went back up the stone steps (not something easy when not wearing shoes) we went to a private island to soak up some rays. The tour guide was funny telling us that if we went anywhere past the boat or into the jungle that we would probably not make it back without seeing some sea urchin or deadly snake. Needless to say I just stayed on the sand.
After a very long day we went back to the boat dock where once again we were greeted by these little guys.

As always I have many more pictures from this part of our trip posted here. Matt got a bit carried away with the pictures of the limestones.

Up next? Patong Beach, Phuket and the nightlife.


lil ole' me..... said...

Um, glad you couldn't walk through the bat cave! That would have freaked me out!!!

And, no way would I eat tenticle soup. Kinda makes me shudder.
I'd stick with the rice!

Love reading about and seeing pics of your trip! :)

Kelli said...

Wow! What an awesome trip that must have been! I would love to travel somewhere exotic like that one day. Love the monkeys...not too crazy about the bats. SCARY!

Looks like you guys had a fantastic time.

Signed - One of your "5 blog readers". haha! :)

it's me, Val said...

Limestone pictures, that is funny.

I think those animals are coatis. I think, but not sure. Heather would know. Coatis live all over South America and they were everywhere in Brazil, especially the rural areas. Now I'm really curious...

Great pictures. Love the white dress. It's hot.

And the tenacles . . that's squid, isn't it? I'd eat it. It's pleasantly yummy, I think :)