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Khao Phing Kan
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Location South East Asia
James Bond Island may refer to:
Battleship Island featured in Skyfall
Khao Phing Kan (Thai: เขาพิงกัน) or Ko Khao Phing Kan (เกาะเขาพิงกัน) is a pair of islands on the west coast of Thailand, in the Phang Nga Bay, Strait of Malacca. About 40 metres (130 ft) from its shores lies a 20-metre (66 ft) tall islet Ko Tapu (เกาะตะปู, pronounced [kɔ̀ʔ tapuː]) or Khao Tapu (เขาตะปู [kʰǎw tapuː]). The island is a part of the Ao Phang Nga National Park. Since 1974, when it was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun, it is popularly called James Bond Island.
Khao Phing Kan means “Hills leaning against each other” in Thai reflecting the connected nature of the islands, and Ko Tapu can be literally translated as “nail” or “spike” island, reflecting its shape. With “Ko” (Thai: เกาะ) meaning “island” and “Khao” (Thai: เขา) meaning “hill”, the terms Ko, Khao, and Ko Khao are frequently interchanged in the naming of the islands. After appearing in the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun, Khao Phing Kan and sometimes Ko Tapu became widely referred to as James Bond Island, especially in tourist guides, and their original names are rarely used by locals
History Before 1974, the island was a rarely visited indigenous area. However, it was chosen as one of the locations for the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun as the hideout for Bond’s antagonist, Francisco Scaramanga. After the movie release it turned into a popular tourist destination that has gradually contaminated Khao Phing Kan with household litter.
In 1981, the island became the most famous part of the newly established Ao Phang Nga Marine National Park. Since 1998, it is forbidden for tourist boats to approach Ko Tapu. This measure aims to stop erosion of the limestone rocks on and near the islet that might eventually result in its collapse.
Khao Phing KanKhao Phing Kan consists of two forest-covered islands with steep shores. They lie in the north-western part of the Phang Nga Bay, some 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the main land, amidst a group of a dozen of other islands. Its western part is about 130 metres (430 ft) in diameter whereas the eastern part is about 240 metres (790 ft) long and 140 metres (460 ft) wide and is elongated northwards. The island has a few caves and two sandy beaches, on the south western part and between the twin islands. The former hosts the government office where every visitor has to pay tax. The latter is used as the port for the tourist boats arriving from the continent and has several souvenir shops selling items like coral and shells and plastic-encased butterflies, scorpions and spiders. Beaches and caves are regularly flooded with the tides, which have an amplitude of 2–3 metres (6.6–9.8 ft), so access to some caves is only possible during the low waters. The Thai name for Khao Phing Kan reflects the particular shape of the island which appears as if a flat limestone cliff tumbled sideways and leaned on a similar rock in the center of the Island
Bay waters around the island are only few metres deep and are pale-green in colour. The bottom is covered with silt which is brought to the Phang Nga Bay by several rivers from the north
Ko Tapu is a limestone rock about 20 metres (66 ft) tall with the diameter increasing from about 4 metres (13 ft) near the water level to about 8 metres (26 ft) at the top. It lies about 40 metres (130 ft) to the west from the northern part of Khao Phing Kan.
A local legend explains the formation of Ko Tapu island as follows. Once upon a time, there lived a fisherman who used to bring home much fish every time he went to the sea. However, one day he could not catch any fish despite tedious attempts and only picked up a nail with his net. He kept throwing the nail back to the sea and catching it again. Furious, he took his sword and cut the nail in halves, using all his power. Upon impact, one half of the nail jumped up and speared into the sea forming Ko Tapu
A scientific version of the Ko Tapu formation says that in the Permian period, the area was a barrier reef. Then, upon tectonic movements, it ruptured, and its parts were dispersed over the area and flooded by the rising ocean. Wind, waves, water currents and tides gradually eroded the islands thus formed, sometimes producing peculiar shapes, such as Ko Tapu. Tide-related erosion is visible at the bottom of the rock.
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