A trip to Phang Nga Bay is part of many visitors holiday to the Phuket area. We've done several trips before, although we don't go with organised tours. In the past we have driven up to Phang Nga (just over an hour from our house) and hired a longtail boat from the jetty which is a few km west of the town. I blogged one of these trips in March 2007 : Phang Nga Bay. I do recommend people to try doing it this way, rather than signing up for a tour. Getting your own boat gives you more freedom, and a boat trip to James Bond Island could be combined with a visit to other attractions such as Suwan Kuha Temple, or a visit to the lovely Sanang Manora forest park.
Well, we took another trip on 20th March, and wanted to try something different. Last year we found a restaurant that we liked - Samchong Seafood, which is nearly 20km closer to Phuket than the main Phang Nga Jetty, and I could see on Google Earth that the mangrove river where the restaurant is located led right out into Phang Nga Bay just a few km from James Bond Island. Only thing we were not sure about was whether or not we could hire a longtail boat from anywhere near the restaurant.
In 1974, this beautiful island was a location in a James Bond film (The Man with the Golden Gun), hence its name. The island belongs to the Ao Phang Nga National Park and is also known as Khao Tapu.