Back to the Honeymoon recaps! The day after the epic Phi Phi Island tour and snorkelling excursion, we needed to veg out a bit. We just hung around the hotel, swam in the fabulous pool, and went into town in the late afternoon to get some food and gifts for people. But the day after that, we were ready for some more sightseeing action! So we booked a tour to James Bond Island.
Despite growing up with a Bond-obsessed father, I'd never heard of James Bond Island. Its one of the many islands off the coast of mainland Thailand, made famous by its inclusion in the film The Man with the Golden Gun (one of the ones I haven't seen). As you can imagine, I spent most of the day singing under my breath, "He has a powerful weapon, he charges a million a shot..." Yeah, it doesn't take much to get me singing! :-)
The set of islands we toured, of which James Bond Island is only one, are quite far north of where we'd been on the previous tour. We had to drive all the way up Phuket and cross over, by a narrow strip of land, into mainland Thailand (Note: we didn't drive ourselves, thank goodness. The tours organise minibuses for all the guests, and they pick you up right at your hotel).
This isn't the greatest map, but it's the best I could find!
The first trip took us to Phi Phi Islands, which you can see in the bottom right hand corner of the map. This tour took us north up Phuket to Phang Nga (top left), and we toured amongst those little islands off the east coast. Unfortunately James Bond and the other little islands we stopped at are not marked, but they're in there somewhere!
Before we left the mainland, though, we stopped in at a touristy temple cave. Just a cave filled with little statues, offerings and one or two huge Thai Buddhas, we never actually found out if it's somewhere where locals really worship, or if it's more for the tourists.
Our tour guide was nice and took some photos of Mr RS and me:
Me going up to the cave exit:
Unfortunately some of the cave shots were too dark, but what can you do without a good camera? Sigh.
Outside the cave there are monkeys. Scores of them. And you can buy bananas to feed them. How cute are these guys:
"C'mon, man, just one more, you know we're good for the money!"
Aaand...he's up! In two swift movements:
I love this little guy. The photo is blurry, but those little buggers move fast!
"It's my precioussssss...."
Mr Ruby Slippers shakes hands with the monkey leader after their agreement of peace:
And the couple shot:
"Awww, honey, he's like a litte baby..." (cue rabbit in headlights look from Mr Slippers)
By the way, I'm holding the packet of bananas over my head so the evil little sods don't come and grab it from me.
Then it was off to the islands! Here we are leaving the mainland:
As you can see, it was pretty overcast that day. We'd had bright sun up until then, so I couldn't be too annoyed. It was actually a relief to feel a little cooler, finally. It is pretty damn hot in Thailand!
Here we are approaching the main island from which you view James Bond Island. You see, the James Bond Island is more of a James Bond Rock, set in the bay of the bigger island. You can't land on it or anything.
So you go round to the right hand side of this island, land, walk up the beach, and see this:
I love it! It's such a cute little island. So then, of course, we had to take the obligatory "tourist shots":
Apparently I don't do a proper "gun-wielding pose". Mine just looks weird.
Oh yes we did!Then we walked up some stairs to get a better view:
And I did a Bond-wearing-sunglasses shot:
We walked down the stairs to the other side of the island, where some people were randomly filming a Bollywood movie:
And did some more touristy shots with a big rock:
Then back to the other side of the island again (it's a pretty small island!) where this wall...
...inspired me to get all wedding-photographer-like and lie down to take a shot from below. It was fun :-)
There was a cave nearby so Mr Ruby Slippers decided to do a caveman pose. Did I mention how totally adorable I think he is??
We left James Bond Island, roared off in our boat and...it started raining. Out in the middle of the sea in Asia...well, that was certainly a new experience! Fortunately it didn't bucket down, just a medium drizzle, but we had to draw up the plastic sheeting on the boat pretty fast. The girl in front of us is not picking her nose; I think she was trying to wipe the water off her face!
You can see the rain hitting the sea here, and falling diagonally in front of the cliff:
The unfortunate part was that at this point we were about to do some canoeing in and around the cavey cliffs. Well, I said "unfortunate", and Mr RS said "awesome experience". So we landed on a huge floating barge, where scores of canoes, piloted by young Thai teenagers, were waiting to take us on a mini-tour in the rain. We gave up our clothes as wet no matter what, and stepped aboard. This is our captain. I swear he looked about twelve years old:
And off in the rain. I love this picture; it looks like we're going through into a new world, or something:
And out the other side. Where an enterprising Thai businessman shows that you can sell soft drinks and coconut drinks anywhere, even off a canoe in the rain in the middle of the sea:
Gallivanting around the sea, and hiding from the rain:
There were all these gorgeous little coves and beaches hidden away around the island. Some you could only get to by going through gaps at the bottom of the cliffs....so really hidden and secret!
I love these trees that look like they're going to scuttle away at any moment:
And back through to our motorboat, anchored at the big floating barge:
We then stopped off for a late lunch at a Muslim fishing village. I hadn't realised that there were many Muslim people living in Thailand, but apparently there are. This whole village is built on stilts in the sea, against the edge of an island:
This lady at the market inside let me hold her monkey, and then asked for money for the privilege. We sort of expected this; most people in Thailand will expect you to give them at least 100 Baht for posing for a photo. (Not of course, if you take a photo of them as you go by, but if they have something special and you want it to be in the photo, that's when they get you)
Look how wet I am! All that damn canoeing in the rain! But how cute is the monkey? And yes, he is wearing a nappy. (Diaper to you American readers)
And here's a pic that shows off the village better. I took it from the internet, since the ones we took didn't show it well enough. We didn't get the mosque in, for one.
And that's it for the rainy island tour! We had only one day left in Phuket after this...more on that next time!
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