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Phuket Island

March 26, 2014


Mrs. Chatterbox and I planned our trip to conclude back in Thailand on Phuket Island.  We looked forward to unwinding and relaxing on sunny beaches before the grueling trek home. Of course we couldn’t have imagined the entire world would soon be focused on this part of the world due to missing Malaysian flight MH 370.


Aside from lying on a few pristine beaches, I wanted see the famous islands surrounding Phuket. We booked an excursion on a Chinese junk and sailed from The Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea. The sky was blanketed with haze when we disembarked but the hot sun quickly burned it away. Somewhere among the thousands of islands was one that had captured my imagination by figuring prominently in the 1974 movie The Man With the Golden Gun*, now known as James Bond Island.  I was determined to snap a picture of it.


Most of these islands don’t have beaches or places to land a boat. Their only inhabitants are birds and wild monkeys. Eventually, we transferred to longboats to get close enough to cruise through some of the caves.











Viagra Island (Just kidding)



Ko Tapu (a.k.a. James Bond Island) is famous for this rock formation in a sandy cove.



While cruising the Andaman Sea I saw fishermen with nets on long poles pulling what looked like pink plastic bags out of the jade green water. We were told they were fishing for jellyfish. These creatures can deliver a painful sting but aren’t fatal. (I was glad I didn’t know about them until after I dove in for a swim.) Soaked in fresh water for a month, these jellyfish are sold to the Chinese who relish them in salads. A boatload are worth around $250.  







Here we are sailing back to our hotel on Phuket Island on the last day of our Southeast Asian adventure. It had been a fabulous vacation but I was ready to go home, even though I dreaded the grueling twenty hour trek home, along with the frigid weather waiting for us.





One evening shortly after our return I noticed The Man with the Golden Gun was playing on TV. I poured myself a drink, sat down to watch and waited impatiently for James Bond Island to appear. I didn’t have long to wait, but I couldn’t believe the movie that had captured my young imagination and sent me halfway around the world was such a colossal piece of crap.




Christopher Lee and Roger Moore in The Man with the Golden Gun.


You know the book version of The Man With the Golden Gun takes place in the Caribbean so James Bond Island should have been in a whole other ocean! Looks like you had a fun trip. Good thing you got out of there before that airliner disappeared, though maybe then you could have got on CNN or something.
By: PT Dilloway on March 26, 2014
Nice to see pics of you and the Mrs. on this grand adventure. Buddha would be proud. :)
By: Daniel LaFrance on March 26, 2014
Welcome back, thanks for sharing such a great trip.
By: Cranky on March 26, 2014
So, the pronunciation of Phuket...fuk it? Just curious. If it is that would make for some interesting answers when people ask where you were on vacation. A lot of the older movies when rewatched by today's standards are crap. I think we are better off to just remember them as being good and never actually watch them again. Loving your pictures. That had to be tough coming back to the cold after being there.
By: Cheryl P. on March 26, 2014
Great idea to have a while chillin' before your trip back. The rock formations look amazing. I have to say you look very refreshed in the photo!
By: LL Cool Joe on March 26, 2014
laughing at the movie rating. :) SUCH cool rock formations! wow!
By: TexWisGirl on March 26, 2014
You know, Stephen, you are right they are crap movies -- but I still enjoy watching them now and again!
By: The Broad on March 26, 2014
Amazing islands! Just beautiful. Isn't that the place that was devistated by a tsunami a few years ago? Looks like things are now back to normal.
By: Scott Park on March 26, 2014
A very good idea, having the most relaxing part of the trip right before the slog home. Welcome back, i'm glad you both had a good time!
By: mimi on March 26, 2014
I lived for a few years in the Rock Island of Palau and those look exactly like these except the water is clearer where I was. Jellyfish in abundance are usually a sign of lack of oxygen in the water! Some of that water did look alittle green. What a terrific trip, though. You saw it all.
By: Tabor on March 26, 2014
You guys should be on Amazing Race! Love your stories of your trip, especially the Buddha one. Glad you had a wonderful time!
By: Linda on March 26, 2014
It is a marvelous adventure you have led us on. Thanks for the vicarious thrills. It was wonderful to see the sights, without the long flights. Did you pick up any new favorite dishes to try?
By: Tom Cochrun on March 26, 2014
Those islands looks so other worldly. That pic of the long boat on crystal clear water is stunning. Good to see such happy faces at the end of a marvelous trip.
By: Akansas Patti on March 26, 2014
Cool rock formations! Phuket is a very popular vacation destination for Germans - and I can see why. Love the picture of you and Mrs. C!
By: Pixel Peeper on March 26, 2014
very cool. i love the pic of you and mrs c
By: Fran on March 26, 2014
Seeing such a different landscape mus bring about some awe!
By: red on March 26, 2014
Beautiful pictures! Speaking of crap movies...I think those islands are also featured in The Phantom (1996) with Billy Zane.
By: Val on March 26, 2014
Yes, great picture of my two favorite travelers. You have such fun seeing the world.
By: Catalyst/Taylor on March 26, 2014
oh my- look at the two of you! Now there's a perfect photo= happily married all these years with a great son to boot! Keep on adventuring with your lovely travel agent! Big hugs from me!
By: Kathe W. on March 26, 2014
I was never keen on Roger Moore as James Bond - I'm not sure that moving an eyebrow up and down constitutes good acting! Superb photos as always.
By: Bryan Jones on March 27, 2014
Some terrible old movies are still worth watching just for the scenery, I believe. And many thanks for all your photos and travel notes.
By: Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma on March 27, 2014
I don't know which quip gave me a louder chuckle: "Viagra island" or the "colossal piece of crap." It is a shame that such a spectacular setting would be used (abused) in a crappy film. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on March 27, 2014
I wish I could lie on a beach... It sounds like fun, but unless I had +1000 sunscreen, I would burst into flames. There are some amazing areas you visited on your trip! And boy, I have noticed the same thing as you, the great and wondrous show you saw as a kid, you watch as an adult and... Whaaaat? Eeew. Cat
By: Cat on March 27, 2014
Mmmmm, jellyfish salad. Can't wait!
By: tom sightings on March 27, 2014
What an excursion, and a great story. I've always liked Moore as Bond. Great humor.
By: Michael Manning on March 27, 2014
Uh, how do you pronounce Phuket? I'm sure you know where my mind is. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on March 27, 2014
This is incredible!! What amazing photos!!! ~shoes~
By: redshoes51 on March 27, 2014
Your photographs are amazing. And you are so right about the movie, the book is so much better!
By: John on March 28, 2014

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