Wednesday, December 28, 2016

James Bond and more

This morning at 09:00, we left our anchorage at Koh Yang Thailand to dinghy to nearby James Bond Island (approximately N08°16.490' E098°29.965'). The official name of this island is Koh Phing Kan but it became a very popular tourist destination after the filming of The Man With the Golden Gun, a 1974 James Bond movie, where the villain supposedly kept his secret lair in this striking setting.  There is an eye-catching pinnacle rock on one side of the Island's beach.

We were lucky to arrive early and beat the scores of tourists who descend on the scene daily by boats from all directions and of all types: longtail boats, speedboats, day cruisers, and junk boats. We paid the required 300 Baht ($10 CAD) fee per person and walked the steps and short trails for a few quick photos to be able to say "bin there, done that" [sic]. Spoiling the setting were countless souvenier stands hawking their cheap trinkets.

Jordan admiring dramatic pinnacle

Iconic scene of James Bond Island

Once back on board Sea Turtle, we hoisted the anchor at 11:45 to continue northwards. Next stop, a Muslim fishing village on Koh Pan Yi. They constructed all their buildings on stilts perched over the shallow water with a backdrop of a towering karst pinnacle. The residents cater to about 3,000 visitors per day for lunch at the number of large open-air restaurants!!

Approaching Koh Pan Yi

We anchored across from the Sea Gypsy Village (N08°20.202' E098°30.391') at 14:00 in the estuary and of course dinghied to one of the many docks of the restaurants.

As we ate at our seaside view table, we watched the mayhem of the many large longtail boats (powered by huge motors perched on the stern) arriving and departing with their numerous hungry or satiated passengers.

Hefty motors

Longtails and Sea Turtle

By around 15:00, as though there were a curfew in effect, all was quiet as everyone returned to whence they came...

For the rest of the day, we jumped in the dinghy and tried to find a tunnel through the Island and a cave with Neanderthal drawings not far away. No luck. Maybe tomorrow we will try again or go with a tour boat.

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