I was wrong when I thought that temples, Patong Beach and Koh Phi Phi are the only things I will look forward to when visiting Thailand. Perhaps this is exactly why I love to travel. Because travelling humbles me, travelling reminds me that I have so much more to learn, so much more of the world to see, that there are more faces to meet, more souls to touch.

Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket, is nothing grandiose but interesting. There are a lot of monkeys outside the cave temple, waiting to be fed or a chance to grab food.

Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket
Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket
Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket
Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket

But the highlight of this temple is the giant buddha reclining inside the cave. Stalagmites and stalagtites also hang the cave walls acting like natural chandeliers.

Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket
Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket
the giant buddha inside Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket
The giant buddha inside Wat Tham (meaning cave temple) Suwan Kuha, located in Phang Nga province, North of Phuket

Before Leonardo DiCaprio made a buzz about Phi Phi islands, James Bond had definitely put Thailand on the world map when it featured Khao Phing Kan in the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” in 1974. As a matter of fact, the island is popularly known as James Bond Island and its Thai name is rarely used by tourists and even the locals. It is  worth a note that there are no replicas of the Golden Gun or dvds of the movie or anything that would concern James Bond fans sold in the island but local produced mostly made out of seashells.

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At the bay, preparing for a boat ride to James Bond Island
boat ride to James Bond Island
Boat ride to James Bond Island
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Enjoying Phang Nga Bay view on the way to James Bond Island
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My first glimpse of James Bond island
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Approaching James Bond Island

A must see is the Koh Tapu or the Nail Island, a limestone about 20 meters tall. Legend says that a fisherman, after numerous attempts at fishing can only catch a nail and keeps throwing it back to the sea, furiously cut the nail with his sword and upon impact, the nail jumped and speared into the sea.

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With Ko Tapu (Nail Island) at the background.
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Taxi anyone? :)

My favorite part of the tour is probably the unique lunch experience at Koh Panyi Village. A reading from wikipedia says that this fishing village was built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen. The population consists of roughly 200 families or between 1,500 and 2,000 people descended from 2 seafaring Muslim families from Java.

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Approaching Koh Panyi Village
Koh Panyi Village, Thailand
Koh Panyi Village, Thailand

Lunch was not only unique but a truly truly wonderful experience. Sea foods and fruits were fresh and I met and shared the meal with new found friends –  a couple from Israel, a couple from Spain and a couple from New Jersey.

lunch at Koh Panyi Village, Thailand
Lunch at Koh Panyi Village, Thailand

We left Phang Nga Bay after lunch and went to Phuket Island and visited Gems Gallery, the worlds biggest jewelry store.

Gem's Gallery in Thailand is the world's biggest jewelry store
Gem’s Gallery in Thailand is the world’s biggest jewelry store

After the tour, we all went back to our respective hotels with smiles and faces to remember. I travelled to Thailand alone, but moved on with my journey with new wonderful memories, of new knowledge, new inspiration and new souls who i just touched and who also touched mine in a sweet adventurous way.

Thailand, Thank You.

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Patong Beach
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