Made famous by the filming of the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun”, this island is now a major tourist attraction, visited by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people daily.
Most come by bus then longtail boat from Phang Nga, so it is best visited before 10:30 am or in the late afternoon, assuming you want to avoid the crowds. Koh Phing Kan has a stunning lagoon and some interesting rock formations, though it is no more impressive than many other islands in the area which the day tours ignore.
Scores of food and souvenirs vendors come from Koh Pan Yi to set up stalls on the island during the day. A 200 baht per person fee is levied by the Park Rangers when going ashore.
Koh Daeng Yai
The best anchorage in this group is found in the channel between Koh Raya Ring and Koh Daeng Yai. This is an exceptionally beautiful place to awaken in the morning, when sunlight strikes the sheer rock cliffs of Daeng Yai. The anchorage can be approached either from the south, via the channel formed by Koh Yang and Koh Daeng Yai, or from the southeast, passing east of Koh Yang, distinctive due its high, thin column of rock, visible from far south.
There is a convenient transit approaching from the south, lining up Koh Lolo and Koh Khai to avoid the sand bars.
Good holding is available on a muddy bottom in 5-8 metres. The sandbank east of the anchorage is very shallow and almost dries at low tide. There is a current of up to 2 knots in the channel, strongest at ebb tide.
The lagoon on the north side of Koh Phing Kan can be entered by dinghy at high tide; otherwise access is possible by dinghy at most tides via the jetty on the southwest side.
This is a delightful, well-sheltered anchorage on a small bay facing south with good holding on a muddy bottom in 4-5 metres. Approach from the deep channel on an easterly heading, taking care to avoid the shallow bank approximately 600 metres south of the anchorage which often has a bamboo stake to show its position. There is a small community of thatched houses on the beach, and a restaurant where coconuts, fish, crabs or prawns can often be bought from the villagers who maintain temporary fishing houses here.
Again, if moving north from here, beware of the rock that lurks beneath the surface at all tides in the passage between Koh Yang and Koh Daeng Yai (see chart).