Searching For A Third Nipple


This blog entry about the events of Tuesday, February 08, 2005 was originally posted on February 12, 2005.

DAY 479:  Every tour office and guesthouse in the Krabi province has posters up for the “James Bond Tour,” a tour of Ao Phangnga National Park, filming location for scenes in 1974’s The Man With The Golden Gun, starring Roger Moore as Agent 007.  Although I could have gone diving with Noelle, or rock climbing again, I signed up for these “James Bond Tour” in hopes of getting more interesting writing material for the Blog.  (Besides, I’d already been to the location of Octopussy).  However, as much as I thought the “James Bond Tour” would bring the region alive with tales of secret agents and the filming of actors playing them, it was a James Bond tour more shameful to Ian Fleming as the U.S. Olympic Basketball Team was to the Olympic Games of Athens 2004.

The day started with me drinking a yogurt drink — shaken, not stirred — but it was after that that the lameness of the tour began.  Reason in part of the group I was with, three other older German couples, which I normally wouldn’t have issues with, but they barely spoke — and when they did it was in German only.  Our guide wasn’t exactly Sir Talk-a-lot either when he started the “English speaking” guided tour promised by the ad poster.  Like many of the cheap tours I’d been on in the world, he simply brought us to places and pointed out what they were briefly.

“On your right, Khao Machu.  Looks like a dog.”

Painting.  Three thousand years old.”

Sea cave.”

At least we got to go through the sea cave.

IN THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, James Bond, as usual, goes to exotic locals to make out with sexy female agents, from casinos in Macau, to fancy hotels in Hong Kong, to the streets of Bangkok.  In the final scenes, he flies a sea plane over the towering limestone cliff formations of Ao Phangnga National Park in Thailand (which for me was reminiscent of the landscape of Halong Bay in Vietnam) even though in the movie, it was suppose to be off the coast of southern China.

Agent 007 lands on the shores of Kao Tapu, the secret island lair of the lucrative assassin Scaramanga (played by Christopher Lee, Saruman of Lord of the Rings) a.k.a. The Man With The Golden Gun.  Anyone who’s seen the movie knows that not only does he tote a golden pistol, but sports a superfluous mammary gland, i.e. a third nipple.

WE LANDED ON KOH TAPU not by sea plane but by longboat, and not with three nipples but with just two (speaking only for myself of course).  The iconic symbol of the island is a phallic-looking rock formation protruding up from the water in the center of a bay (picture above).  It was this rock formation that in the movie, held a reflective solar panel that powered a super laser that eventually blew up Mr. Bond’s plane.

Koh Tapu is known today, even by the locals, as “James Bond Island,” for its former fame, although the secret agent vibe has long died out.  Replacing Scaramanga’s secret mansion are dozens of vending stalls selling the usual chotchskies but — to my surprise — no golden guns, nor stick-on superfluous nipples like James Bond used once to go undercover.  No matter, some elements of the movie were still intact, like the beach where Scaramanga first revealed his extra mammary, rock formation known as Kao Phingkan that led to Scaramanga’s house, and the nice views of the bayI wandered around with my fresh new haircut until the novelty of being on “James Bond Island” wore off.

While 007 and sexy secret agent Goodnight escaped from Koh Tapu on a Chinese junkboat just before the island exploded and crumbled into the sea, we simply left peacefully, leaving the island intact for the next boatload of tourists.

THE “JAMES BOND TOUR” CONTINUED to other sites, all not related to James Bond, but for me were more interesting.  For a mid-day lunch break we landed at Panyee, a “floating” village of houses on stilts, a community of Muslim fishermen.  It was here we had a family-style lunch around a table over an uncomfortable silence — until Germans started small talk in German, leaving me out of it.

No matter, after lunch I wandered around Panyee, beyond the souvenir stalls yearning for a sale since they too were suffering in the post-tsunami doldrums of tourism.  Most people just took it easy on that hot mid-day, so hot it put most people to sleep in hammocks or on the floor — unless they were praying at the village mosque in the mid-day call to prayer.

I could barely stay awake myself in the heat as we continued on the “James Bond Tour” to two other sites back on the mainland, the Wat Suwankuha, or “Monkey Cave Temple,” home of a reclining buddha and a whole lot of monkeys outside, and Tao Thong Waterfall in Tarnboke Koranee National Park.  Both sites were mediocre to me — the park out of Luang Prabang, Laos sported a much grander waterfall — as no one bared any sort of nipples, in sets of two or of three.

“HOW WAS THE JAMES BOND TOUR?” Noelle asked me back in Ao Nang.

“Uh, it was pretty bad.  I thought it would be more about James Bond, but it was a lot of pointing and ‘this is this,’ ‘that is that’.”

“I saw a leopard shark!”

At least one of us had a good day.  However, I wasn’t so jealous because I’d seen one before off the coast of Australia.  If she had come to me raving about having seen a leopard shark with three nipples, that would have been another story altogether. 


Next entry: On Tap

Previous entry: Superday

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Comments for “Searching For A Third Nipple”

  • Still in Penang… More to come…

    LETS:  You’re right!  They DO have Skol beer in Malaysia!  Amazing.

    Skol, Skol, Skooool!!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  01:34 AM

  • Question:  Is ionCleansing a new fad in the States?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  01:36 AM

  • Re IonCleansing.  Never heard of it.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  01:38 AM

  • a true james bond tour would’ve provided you with an exotic girl to make out with after it was over.

    Posted by marquee  on  02/12  at  02:52 AM

  • If I had seen a whale shark, you woulda been pissed too!

    But, I didn’t. Boo.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  04:38 AM

  • what if the shark had a frikken laser beem on its head

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  05:33 AM

  • Hey Erik,

    Are you going to visit Malaysian Borneo as well?  If you get to Kuching, Sarawak - give me a yell.  Would be nice to meet up!

    Posted by Cayce  on  02/12  at  11:07 AM

  • Guess I am glad I didn’t do the James Bond tour when I was in Phuket smile 
    Erik - do you mean minus ions?  That is spazoid trendy here - hairdryers, bracelets, earings, my humidifier…

    Posted by Liz  on  02/12  at  11:13 AM

  • Great pics.

    What you are missing is the new PizzaHut ad campaign featuring the Muppets. If Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Kermit and Animal can’t sell pizza, who can?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  04:24 PM

  • RE: IonCleansing…  It’s a new fad in the mall I saw in Penang… says its big in Europe and the USA…  basically you soak your feet in warm water… in the basin there is some sort of ionizer that reverses the ionization of toxins in your body and pulls them out through osmosis through your feet.  The clear water turns different colors depending on what toxins it pulled out… My was almost completely brown.  (Brown = liver toxins)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  10:18 PM

  • Beija-Flor wins again b….sao sao def. Here’s the URL for all:

    SKOL & MARMITE for life…can’t wait for 503.

    paulie paygerz

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  11:01 PM

  • erik i never heard of ion cleansing.  did it work?  did you feel any different?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/13  at  12:22 PM

  • SCOTT:  Actually you get a slight buzz…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/13  at  01:52 PM

  • reclining buddha…isn’t that the background of streetfighter?

    tiger uppercut!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/14  at  04:32 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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