Day 2 – Phuket James Bond Island
We got up early and went for breakfast because the tour operator would send someone to pick us up around 8 am. It was so early that the restaurant was empty when we were there and so we chose a convenient table and helped ourselves with the buffet spread. We were spoilt for choice with the food available but we went for only one round of helping and that was all we would want to take. We still had a day out at sea and we didn’t want to become victims of our own making for over eating and spoiling our day’s outing at sea.
Not long after returning to our room after breakfast, hotel staff called to inform us the tour agent was already there waiting for us. We were not late but he came too early for us. He would then move on to other hotels to pick up other tourists for this day trip. This agent also doubled as the driver. He asked for our tour voucher but we didn’t have one as we booked our tour over the phone. After clearing up the tour reservation issue, we made our way to other hotels to pick up other tourists and went on to the tour office to take the boat tour to James Bond Island. One of the tourists seemed to be unwell and he even vomited into a plastic bag while travelling in the van. This made the journey a little unpleasant for everyone. So we were right not to over eat for breakfast to keep ourselves in shape for the day activity. After about an hour, we arrived at the office of the tour operator at Ao Po Pier. We alighted and were made to wait for other minibuses to ferry more tourists to this office which served as an assembly point. Tourists may use the toilets over there and purchase food and drinks. Some tourists bought water-tight plastic bags or covers for their phones and cameras to protect them from the elements while out at sea. Finally, we were told to move out towards the long pier to board one of the many boats heading out to different destinations. It seemed there were only two types of tours operating out from here. One is the James Bond Island tour and the other is the Phi Phi Island tour.
Once on board and sailing out to Phang-Nga Bay, the staff on board briefed us on safety matters and the tour itinerary for the day. Drinking water and can drinks were freely available as well as some fruits. There was nothing much to do while we sailed to our destination so we simply enjoyed the cruise and admired the distant lands, rock formations and islands standing out of the water. Some tourists also took the opportunity to suntan while others took pictures with all sorts of pose and even with the imitation pose of the old movie Titanic. The tourists on board came from many different countries and usually stayed with their own crowds.
Lunch served on board was fine and of course we didn’t expect fine dinning. Food was buffet style and enough for everyone but might not be to everyone’s taste from such a diverse nationality of people. Vegetarians could eat non meat portions and for us who didn’t like seafood simply eat other dishes. Fresh fruits were available which was refreshing on such a hot day. Water and soft drinks could be taken from the icebox with plenty to spare so we need not bring our own water. The boat took us to a few different islands and the main attraction was James Bond Island, made famous by the 1974 James Bond movie ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’. To reach this island, we were required to transfer onto a smaller long tail boat to approach the small jetty on shore. The island was a little crowded with groups after groups of tourists coming and leaving to visit, and take pictures of the famous rock standing erect out of the water. There were some stores selling souvenirs and clothes as well as food and drinks.
We spent about 30 minutes here and went back to the big boat and sailed onto the next destination for canoeing and also canoeing into caves where there were bats residing there. We were also given time for canoeing and swimming at one of the beaches before we sailed back to Ao Po Pier to complete the day tour. Once we arrived at the tour office, we again went back to the same van with the same driver to bring us back to our respective hotels in Patong Beach arriving near to 5 pm.
After a full day out at sea, a refreshing cold shower back in our room was a great first step to cool down. Feeling comfortable after a good shower, we went back to the Beehive Gallery Barestaurant for our cocktail drinks. Another enchanting sunset greeted us while we sipped our unique fruit drinks as we sat on the lounges outside the restaurant next to the road watching the day scene fading into the distant horizon and watched Patong Beach area gradually light up.
As for dinner, this time we went across the road over to Novotel Hotel located on the hill top to try out their food. Since the hotel is right on top of a steep hill, the hotel provides free buggy service to bring guests to the hotel lobby. The setting of the restaurant in Novotel is perfect which has an excellent view of the entire Patong Beach from one end to the other. Wait staff at the restaurant were more than helpful and friendly and especially welcoming for us Accor members where we enjoy 50% discount dining for two persons. We loved their Thai red and green curry dishes and had a splendid time there enjoying our dinner overlooking Patong Beach area by night. With our dinner done, we got a ride down to the main road and walked back across the road to our hotel.
Check out Novotel Hotel rate from Agoda.
It had been a long day and was time for us to catch up with our children again back home via the phone. Our spacious room afforded us a very airy environment to relax our minds and rest our tired bodies after a full day of activities. The TV was another source of entertainment before bed time and soon we slipped into our dream world in the silence of the night.
Continue to Day 3 ...