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On the last day of our stay in Thailand we went on a cruise on Phang Nga Bay in search of James Bond Island, visited the floating village of Koh Panyi and welcomed the New Year on the beach at Ao Nang.

Wat Suwan Kuha

We start our trip to Phang Nga early in the morning, when a minivan from the travel agency we found on the Internet arrives at our hotel in Krabi Town. We paid about 2500 baht for a day trip for two.

On the way, we stopped in the monkey temple of Wat Suwan Kuha. We paid 20 bahts per person and visited the inside of the cave hiding the impressive statue of the lying Buddha.

Ao Phang Nga National Park & Koh Panyi floating village

After visiting the monkey temple we went to Ao Phang Nga National Park. After arriving, we boarded a long, traditional boat and sailed between the picturesque hills towards Ko Ta Pu, known as James Bond Island. It was there in 1974 that the adventure of Agent 007 was filmed in the role of British actor Roger Moore. The 20-meters rock formation emanating from turquoise water made a good impression on us. Unfortunately, we had little time to explore the island.

We took a quick swim in the sea, walked along the beach and took a lot of photos. Then we sailed for lunch to Koh Panyi water village, founded in the late 18th century by Indonesian fishermen. It is estimated that Koh Panyi is home to nearly 360 families of Muslim Jawa. Once the inhabitants were fishing, now their main source of income is tourism. In addition to the halal-style restaurant, there is a variety of stalls in the village, offering various souvenirs and an unusual football field. The local football team is one of the best in this part of the country.

Kayaking

After dinner we decided to take a one-hour kayak trip along Phang Nga Bay, during which we admired the amazing rock formations and hidden caves. Unfortunately, the atmosphere was spoiled by our paddler who at first was nice and took a lot of pictures of us, but after some time he tried to arouse us pity, talking about his large family in Malaysia and complaining about low wages. At the end of the tip we gave him was unsatisfactory and we reached the shore in complete silence.

New Years Eve on Ao Nang Beach

As it was New Year’s Eve, we decided to go to the beach in Ao Nang in the evening. We caught the songthaew, took a seat next to other enthusiastic tourists and headed for the coast. Unfortunately, on the spot, it turned out that the city authorities did not predict any attractions this year, and all the restaurants for the New Year’s Eve buffet wish for much more than our daily budget. We did not get discouraged – after a short search we finally got to Mum Aroi Beach Front Restaurant, where we took the last free beach table and ordered seafood.

Upwards lanterns!

After dinner we went to the beach, where we met the crowds of people who were releasing New Year’s Eve lanterns. We admired hundreds of lights floating high above the water and decided to buy our own lantern. In the jungle of people, we found a local shopkeeper and bought the last lantern for 100 bahts. Unfortunately, its firing proved to be a real challenge! In the end we finally managed to release the lantern in the sky. Together with the rest of the tourists, we counted down the last few seconds to the New Year and watched the fireworks display emerging from the hill from the neighboring beach. No doubt, the old year was a success and in the spirit we were already thinking what would bring us the next one. Who knows, perhaps another New Year’s Eve we’ll also spend somewhere in the other end of the world?

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