Another super picture heavy-post – my apologies! On our 3rd day in Phuket, L and I decided to embark on a speed boat tour to the James Bond Island Tour from Phuket with a company called 2 Sisters Tour. We woke up super early to wake up for the shuttle and imagine our major disappointment to wake up to a freakin’ TROPICAL STORM that morning. We went down to the lobby regardless, where we were instructed to wait, and we were joined by other people who were supposed to go on a different boat tour. We expressed our concerns to one another while we waited, but then they got picked up and decided to go. We waited for a while, and eventually our shuttle driver showed up saying the tour was still set to embark. Patong was FLOODED, and so was a lot of the rest of the city. L and I were definitely freaking out. But, we arrived at Mhak Prok Pier after about an hour and a half. After waiting even longer once we checked into our tour at the Pier, we were led to our speed boat. Oh my goodness, Lord have mercy, that was the craziest ride ever. We bought these $3 ponchos they were selling at the pier, but we were literally SOAKED by the time we arrived at James Bond Island.
There wasn’t much to see once we were there; the weather was still crappy and we were a little underwhelmed. Regardless, we tried to make the best of the situation and got a bunch of photos of the “famous” island. Apparently James Bond Island (Khao Phing Kan) got it’s fame from being a part of the James Bond movies, “The Man with the Golden Gun” and “Tomorrow Never Dies.” The reason we wanted to go on this tour is because of all the picturesque images you see on Google and Pinterest – but we didn’t really get that view. Oh well!
Next stop on our tour was a canoe ride at Panak Island. Thankfully, the rain finally stopped, so we strapped on our life vests and slid into our canoe with the super sketchy, but super funny guide. We went through caves, Mangrove forests, and finally, he steered us into this little lagoon with absolutely no other canoes around us. I have to admit, I was a little nervous at this point. Call me ignorant, or a jerk, but you can never be too careful. It turned out to be one of the most beautiful, peaceful and breathtaking little lagoon but my heart was pounding a little too much to fully enjoy the view. He finally turned us around and we joined the others from our tour to head back to the pier. We tipped him quite a bit (secretly thankful we weren’t stranded there with nothing).
For lunch, our speed boat took us to Ko Panyi/Koh Panyee (Muslim Village). This tiny island built on stilts is quite the tourist destination. Although it’s still mainly a fishing village, they are gaining quite a bit of popularity for being a lunch stop for tours, and houses approximately 1,685 people. We enjoyed the meal – well, mainly L did. I was a little paranoid about getting sick. We took with us these strong Japanese tummy pills and we took them religiously breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Regardless, I enjoyed visiting this island and hearing about the island life, seeing the locals and how they lived. Really admirable, but also really makes you grateful for all that you have.
Another quick pitstop was to a little island, named Kaew Island. We climbed up this sketchy wooden ladder and used a flashlight to navigate through the cave to the “Ice Cream” rocks. Apparently they are made of salt crystals, and it takes 100 years to grow 1 cm! Wild stuff. It was a little tricky to get photos of these because of the low light, but it really was beautiful in person.
Our last and my personal favorite spot was the beach of Lawa Island. The weather FINALLY started clearing up and I couldn’t be happier. L and I jumped around on the beach, went for a quick swim in the ocean, and sunbathed on our beach towels – L even snuck in a quick nap. Absolutely beautiful, breathtaking and actually quite empty! We walked all the way down the beach to where there was nobody around and I’m so glad we did. After our stop at Lawa Island, we all boarded the speedboat and were taken back to Mhok Prok Pier. Overall, the tour was a-okay – we met some really cool people from all over the world, got to see things that many people never will in their lifetime, and enjoyed time spent together. I guess that makes it worth it.
Upon return to our hotel, we spent some time relaxing, and then we headed downstairs for dinner at the hotel that was a part of our hotel, the Blue Mango. Unfortunately I was so pooped and could barely stay awake throughout dinner, but definitely enjoyed this pad thai I ordered. It was quite an adventure filled day. This was our last night in Phuket, and I was pretty excited and so ready to finally go to Koh Samui – an island I had dreamed of visiting for years! Stay tuned for that part of our trip next week!