James Bond Island came into worldwide prominence in 1974 when it became one of the locations for the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.” Thousands of tourists still visit this island, turning it into a pilgrimage for 007 fans and movie enthusiasts in general.
With that, here are five interesting facts about this Thailand location.
1. It has a local name
The island will qualify as a spy because it switches between two names. Ko Tapu is the place’s Thai name which means nail or spike. It is part of the Khao Phing Kan group of islands, which translates to “the island with hills leaning together” in Thai. Thai folklore has an interesting story about its emergence.
Legend has it that a fisherman caught a haul of fish every day until all he found was a piece of nail. He threw it back to the water, but he caught the nail again without any fish. The frustrated fisherman split the nail by hitting it with the sharp object, and the separated part led to the famous rock formation.
2. A limestone rock
This island is part of the limestone formations along Phang Nga Bay that rise from the sea. It is 20 meters tall with a four-meter diameter at the bottom and eight meters at the top. If Thai folklore has the story above, scientists reveal that the limestone karsts in the island formed around 250 million years ago during the Permian period.
The area was originally a barrier reef that ruptured due to tectonic movement. The wind and the waves washed away most of the reefs, and the odd shapes are the only remainders from that period. Aside from Ko Tapu, another rock island that is about 40 meters away from one of Khao Phing Kan’s islands is believed to be a part of the original reef.
3. Tourists restrictions upon visiting
Ko Tapu got its colloquial name in 1974 to make it easy for everyone to recognize the spot. Since that time, it’s no secret that tourists started to visit the location. However, the sudden influx of people contaminated the waters with trash.
This unfortunate development led the government to declare it as a part of the Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park in 1981. About two decades later, tourist boats were restricted from going close to the limestone rock to prevent drastic erosion.
4. A villain’s abode
From general obscurity, the island became an instant gathering place for 007 fans when James Bond’s archenemy Scaramanga used the location as his hideout. The character, played by Christopher Lee, installed a laser gun outside the island and a hidden lair inside.
Yet, there are no structures found inside this limestone because it’s too small for a hideout. People visiting the place reminisce the scene where Roger Moor flew over Phang Nga Bay to reach the island but without knowing that Scaramanga was already waiting as he landed.
5. A popular tourist attraction
More than four decades after the James Bond movie, this island remains a top destination in the area. Almost all island-hopping packages in the area have this island in their itinerary. Tourists can visit the spot by either a canoe or a longtail boat ride, which can take them to other islands nearby.
A hotel for a celebrity-feel
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