Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Day Two in Phuket: Day Tour to James Bond Island at Phang Nga Bay via Speedboat [Thailand] #phuket #jamesbondisland #phangngabay



All rise and shine for my dad's first island tour! Gosh, he looked so tired in the above picture even though he hit the bed much earlier than us!

As our stay at Swissotel Resort (Patong Beach) didn't include breakfast, i had to grab something from the nearby 7-11 convenience store. Crabstick & ebiko sandwiches (at 26 baht a pack) sounded pretty good for the first meal for the day. I didn't want anything heavy too as i have a tendency to get seasick with a full stomach.

Waiting for our pickup. Staying in a touristy area helped to reduce cost as the pickup service would likely be included in the package. Should you stay in a quiet, exclusive area, you would likely have to pay extra.

View of the beach at low tide; i was deeply concerned about the cloudy skies though as rain would definitely mar the experience of any island tour! Cold, wet, can't do anything and usually choppy waves; trust me, you wouldn't want that on a holiday.

Disembarked at our destination; the building of Amazing Canoeing that handled the James Bond Island tour (by speedboat) that we signed up the day earlier at At Akarin Tour counter!

Building was within walking distance from the Ao Por Pier where we shall take the speedboat to check out not just James Bond Island but also four other lesser known islands; Panak, Panyee, Hong and Naka!

You need to ride a shuttle to get to the end of the almost 500-meter pier! Charged at 20 baht a person (two-way), we gladly paid for it as weather was hot and i didn't want to sweat it out.

Pictures taken of our James Bond Island tour which would give you a pictorial teaser of what to expect; started with a cruise along Panak Island, a visit to the world famous James Bond Island, lunch and exploration of the 100% Muslim Panyee Island, took a canoe at Hong Island and finally, chilled at a beach bar on Naka Island where i had this interesting Mai Tai (an alcoholic drink).

The weather turned out to be fantastic; not a single drop of rain and sunburn to show! For more photos and details about the tour, click here!

Along the way back to Swissotel Resort (Patong Beach) on the mini passenger shuttle; spotted a silhouette sticker of the highly revered King Bhumibol who passed away in 2016.

Old shophouses; i noticed that the way we took from the resort to Ao Por Pier was different from the return trip and came to the realization the next day that we had cut across Phuket town on our way back.

Tiger Kingdom - with a lot of controversies surrounding the attraction, i didn't even bother to check out its packages even though i secretly would love to have a picture taken with a live tiger!

Back to Swissotel Resort (Patong Beach); showing you the price of Chang beer at the The Drunken Leprechaun Irish bar that's housed within the resort.

Venturing out again an hour later as it's time for dinner!

Painting of the joker! Since my first visit to Thailand, i have always felt that their paintings are amazing and should i get my own house, i would want to get one to adorn the wall. That idea has never stopped to nag me but my problem now is that i don't know which one to choose!

Dinner at Sabai Sabai restaurant with a rating of 4.5 on TripAdvisor with over 600 reviewers! Food, for most part of the meal, was acceptable with the exception of the unforgettably good Guey Teow Phad See-Ew! Click here to check out my review. :)

Got a cup of Starbucks without the queue, and with hardly any customer!

Unleashed dogs along the street with an elderly Muslim lady strolling close by; not a scene you would see in Singapore where Muslims usually keep a distance from dogs.

One of the many tour counters at Patong! There are many activities to choose from and i guarantee you that a week-stay in Phuket wouldn't even be remotely sufficient for you to cover every single tour!

In a non-touristy place, you might not find much food choices. In a touristy area, however, you are spoilt with so many choices! In the past, i used to fret over where to have my meals. Nowadays, i just check Google Map / TripAdvisor and see if there's any nearby eatery with good rating.

Sound activated LED tee-shirts! While cool to watch, i think it might not be as comfortable for the person wearing the tee-shirt.

BambooMart - a larger convenience store that's rather close to Swissotel Resort (Patong Beach); it's actually along a stretch in between the resort and Patong beach.

Bought mineral water, snacks and instant noodles! I normally buy a gallon of water to boil for my daily morning Old Town 3-in-1 coffee as i tend to feel that bottled water is cleaner than tap water. 

Gym time!

With my dad sleeping on the bed, Alex and i ventured out once again as the night at 9.00 pm was too early for sleep! Hooters, famed for its scantily dressed waitresses, was next to Swissotel Resort.

Patong OTOP Shopping Paradise; a nationwide initiative to promote local products, OTOP means One Tambon One Product. Not a bad place to shop and chill out as it's not as crowded and sleazy. 

Restaurant crowded with people; weird that it didn't reflect as particularly highly reviewed on Google Map. Well, the reviews should only serve as a guide as one man's meat is another man's poison and a person who is well versed in Thai cuisine might be stricter in his/her review as compared to a person who had Thai food for the very first time.

I would love to get a tattoo! Thanks to first trip to Japan (specifically, Hokkaido), i am never going to get one as to be able to soak in a Japanese onsen takes higher priority! 

Thai-style pancake - plentiful along the streets in Patong, i shall share more in my next posting when i touch on the individual posting for day three of my Phuket trip

Fish spa! I think Alex's affection for it is officially over as he didn't happily hop over and insisted on spending time having his dead skin eaten by hungry fish! That happened quite frequently in the past few years. 

Another tour counter - i am not the type to jump around tour counters and bargain for the cheapest. For this trip, i stayed faithfully with At Akarin Tour and signed up two satisfying tours with them; one of which was the James Bond Island tour.

I think this was rolled ice cream.

Barbecue! The aroma was so alluring yet i knew i would not buy any given my sensitive stomach (and definitely not with my dad). Sigh... You can roughly gauge the popularity of a place with foreigners by the use of foreign language on their signboard; in this case, English and Chinese.

Random photos.

Very tempted to get the "dog shits" so that i can scare the hell of out of my co-workers! If i am them, i might gag and rush to the washroom! 

Muay Thai boxing gloves and shorts; i originally planned to watch a Thai boxing match but dad didn't seem keen and i thought to just save the money. 

Patong tuk tuk! It's like fixed rate taxi that operates only within Patong! Pricing doesn't come cheap though as i recalled it was about 200 baht a trip, regardless of the distance (which wouldn't be far in the first place).

You can't see much from the photo except for the six lighted dots in the pitch black sky; they were in fact sky lanterns released on Patong beach

Back to Swissotel Resort (Patong Beach); the hour-long walk really tired us out and i spent the rest of the night watching Kungfu Panda 3 on my bed before i finally tucked in to sleep. 

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Detailed Postings for the Day
  1. James Bond Island Tour (by Speedboat)
  2. The actual James Bond Island
  3. Lunch and Exploration at Panyee Island
  4. The Mosque on Panyee Island
  5. Canoeing around Koh Hong
  6. Relaxation at Naka Island
  7. Sabai Sabai Restaurant
  8. Patong OTOP Shopping Paradise



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