James Bond fan visits island where 'The Man With The Golden Gun' was filmed

The Khao Phing Kan island in Phuket is also known as the James Bond island. — Photos: R. SATHIYAKUMAR

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I remember going on a cruise with my family some years back on a ship with a passenger capacity of over 3,000 people. We boarded in Singapore for the four-night voyage, and then later sailed to Port Klang and Phuket in Thailand.

We had some free time in Singapore before sailing began so we explored the city and checked out some of its popular tourist spots. We even bought some clothes and items we may need on the cruise.

We were excited about our land excursion in Phuket and chose a tour that included a trip to “James Bond Island” or Khao Phing Kan island, since I am a big fan of the James Bond character, just like my late father was.

Once we sailed into Thai waters, we anchored 300m from Patong beach in Phuket. We boarded a bus and journeyed for an hour to a resort for a Thai lunch at Phang Nga Bay.

From the bay, which is a Unesco World Heritage, we rode a 90-minute boat ride to Khao Phing Kan from the pier. Along the way, we breathed in the cool, fresh air and were mesmerised by the crystal clear waters as well as the unspoilt lush greenery on the smaller islands.

One of my favourite Bonds is Roger Moore, who played the British secret agent in the movie The Man With The Golden Gun in 1974. The movie was filmed partly on Khao Phing Kan island (formerly known as Koh Ta Poo) due to its serene and isolated location off the coast of Thailand.

In the movie, the island was where the villain Francisco Scaramanga hid from authorities. It became a famous tourist destination after appearing in the movie.

Besides that, Phang Nga Bay itself was featured in Tomorrow Never Dies, another Bond film, this time starring Pierce Brosnan as the handsome spy, and our very own Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh as one of the film’s “Bond girls”. It was fun checking out the places where scenes from the film were shot.

On our way back, we stopped at a fishing village and bought local souvenirs and clothing.

During our bus ride back to the cruise ship, we stopped at a cashew nut factory where we bought local snacks, ointment and even more souvenirs.

A tourist boat ferrying tourists to the island.A tourist boat ferrying tourists to the island.

On the fourth day we cruised all the way from Phuket to Singapore where we checked out and tried almost all the sports facilities within the ship, like the table tennis and basketball courts, swimming pool, wall climbing and a mini golf course.

Easy chairs were provided on the deck for guests who just want to relax and enjoy the cool sea breeze. At night we watched the movie The Legend Of Tarzan on a makeshift cinema screen by the pool.

We bought some unique souvenirs such as a miniature model of the ship which played the sound of its horn at the touch of a button.

On the fifth day, the ship docked at the Singapore terminal where we I saw the famous Marina Bay Sands Resort for the very first time.

The views expressed are entirely the reader’s own.

Visitors can canoe or kayak through this interesting tunnel near the island. Visitors can canoe or kayak through this interesting tunnel near the island.

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