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James Bond in Phang-Nga

(written by Dave)

Just a brief post today, mainly so that we can finally post some photos of the southern Thailand coastal scenery.  The landscape in southern Thailand is characterised by steep, limestone headlands and cliffs along its shoreline and by limestone (karst) towers both offshore and inland. The coastal karsts rise directly out of the shallow waters of Phang Nga Bay or emerge from mangrove-fringed tidal flats.  There are so many of them that locals don’t really even see them.  We’ve had the view of many a karst marred by a building, power wires and billboards.  In fact, yesterday, in the middle of one scenic valley there was a “Cash and Carry” store, complete with giant billboard and parking lot, right in the middle of the view.

So today we decided to get away from development and take a long boat tour out onto Phang Nga Bay to see how these formations look without all the clutter.  The highlight of the tour was arguably the most famous karst called Ko Tapu island, or today, simply James Bond Island.  The island made an appearance in the “Man with a Golden Gun”.  In addition to JB Island, and heaps of unnamed karsts, we also saw a floating fishing village (where we had lunch), a couple sea caves, some aboriginal rock paintings, heaps of mangroves and a rock that was supposed to look like a Pekinese dog (I didn’t get that one).

The trip was fun.  We were joined by a German couple, 3 expat English teachers (1 UK, 2 South African) and a Thai boat man.  I’m sure that we could have been the parents of most everyone there but hanging with the “travellers” for a day was fun.  And best of all I got lots of nice photos.  See below for a sampling, it was hard to limit the number in the post.

The rest of the day we caught up on chores and relaxed.  We walked to town for dinner at a restaurant (recommended by the tour company – not that great) and then to 7-11 for supplies.  The interesting part of the walk was what we found in the large parking lot between our hotel and the 7-11.  There are some 10 cars, complete with massive stereos, lights and joyful thumping – somehow all 10 are playing the same song (or so it seems).  Our room is on the side of the building next to the parking lot.  I tried to get a photo but they were blurry – what you see below is how my head feels now with all the thumping…  Nancy asked the hotel manager when they would stop and he said 10PM.  He also said that we were lucky as there are only 10 cars tonight.  Sometimes there are as many as 30.  Ah, the joys of adventure travel…

Tomorrow we are heading north again, probably to Khura Buri.  It’s about 110ks and there is some rain in the forecast.  We’ll keep an eye on things and stop early if needed.  The flooding in Thailand that you may have read about is much further north than we are, but they are telling folks to be vigilant elsewhere, particularly later in the week.

Hope you like the photos (too bad our mate Dirk was not here with his professional eye and fancy cameras!).

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7 responses to “James Bond in Phang-Nga

  1. Sounds like a good day. Hope the rain stays away tomorrow!

  2. Shades of Blue……….lovely

  3. Looks like great sea kayaking waters.

    • There were lots of kayaking tours you could do from Phang-nga. I am sure it would have been a great place to kayak – can’t get Nancy in to a small watercraft though! With the rain the last couple of days we been feeling like we are sea kayaking on the bikes anyway!

      Dave Ertel

  4. Hi there,
    greetings from Britta & André, the “German couple” you met in Phang Nga.
    Hope, you’re fine and wish you all the best for the coming adventures.
    Met an Australien couple in Dubai (UAE), Colleen and Allen from Sydney, 70 – 80 years old, joining us on a so called “dune-bashing”-Safari (trip to the desert with SUVs, “surfing” the dunes with high speed).
    Britta & André

    • Hey guys, thanks for the comments – and tips on the Umbilical Brothers. Our overly agressive SPAM filter ate your emails so we took a while to see and process them. Hope your trip home went well.

  5. Eehm, and keep in mind: Something special for the kids … 🙂
    .
    .
    .
    (the umbilical brothers)

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