Phuket Map and Travel Guide

Phang Nga Bay Eco Tour from Phuket

Hi, I’ve just returned from Thailand, where I was lucky enough to have a few days on Phuket, Thailand’s largest island and a major tourism destination. The tour I chose was travel’s Phang Nga Bay Eco Tour, which operates from Phuket and takes in some amazing islands in the surrounding waters. The tour uses two different boats, this classic Trader, which creates very little wake and gives the tour its Eco branding, and one of these long-tail boats, which you see all over Thailand and are useful for getting onto shore.

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It only takes a few minutes at sea before it becomes clear that the islands in the Andaman Sea are very special. There are hundreds of them and they typically rise vertically outta the water like spires or boulders with no beaches or shoreline to speak of. As you get closer, you can see the stalactites that commonly form at the base of these very weird islands. You’ll also see birdlife and local fishermen, many of whom are sea gypsies, one of Thailand’s smallest ethnic groups. The tour stops at three islands, the most famous of which is Ko Tapu, or James Bond Island. Actually, it stops at Ko Khao Phing Kan and Ko Tapu is just offshore.

But anyway, if you’ve seen The Man with the Golden Gun, you will recognize it in these shots. Our guide knew all the important movie dialogue and was very animated at this part of the tour, which stops on the island for about an hour. There’s great local crafts on sale and terrific views and vistas all over the tiny island. It’s a great photo op spot. There are some great spots for sea kayaks in this area and these caves and lagoons are no exception. This tour doesn’t include kayaking, but it does include an awesome lunch on Koh Panyi, which has a large sea gypsy community and then it’s just a short hop over to an opportunity for a swim at the beautiful beach on Koh Naka or just sit on one of the lounge chairs to soak up some sun or a beer at the low-key bar. That’s a lot to take in in one day and a few of our fellow travelers used the trip back to catch up on some sleep. There’s certainly a lot to do in Phuket and I can’t recommend this tour highly enough. You can find this tour and lots of other great things to do in Thailand on travel.com.

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