Asia

Hong Kong

Hong Kong & Thailand

Like in Sean Connery’s ‘Dr. No’, also in Roger Moore’s first entry as James Bond in ‘Live and let Die’, the main location is Jamaica. In 1974 it was decided that The Man with the Golden Gun (TMWTGG) was going to be Roger’s second 007-adventure. Most of the action in Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name yet again takes place in Jamaica. So it was obvious that for the film, the story had to be transferred to a completely different part of the world. The producers came up with some unparalleled locations in the Far East. The chase of the hit man Francisco Scaramanga (played by Christopher Lee) takes Bond from Macau and Hong Kong via Bangkok to the luxurious holiday resort Phuket in the south of Thailand. To visit all these places it would be a good idea to combine sightseeing tours to the above mentioned cities with a relaxing beach holiday in the island of Phuket.
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Hong Kong's most famous film star is undoubtedly Bruce Lee (1940-1973). After reaching megastar-status in Asia with his first two films, Lee teamed up with producer Raymond Chow to form Concorde, a production company that set new standards in Asian cinema. Carefully watching how films were made in Hollywood and impressed by the Bond films, Lee filmed his next blockbuster ‘Way of the Dragon’ partially in a, for Asians very exotic setting, Europe. The Rome Coliseum fight between Lee and Chuck Norris (actually filmed in a studio in Hong Kong) still stands today as the best choreographed fight ever captured on film.

When the Hollywood filmmakers noticed Lee's success they interrupted his work on 'Game of Death' by offering him a chance to become a worldwide star. Warner Brothers produced what was to become his final film before his untimely death. It was 'Enter the Dragon', a James Bond-like film tailored to fit Lee, shot completely in Hong Kong. When ‘Enter the Dragon’ was still in post-production, Lee heard the news that ex-Bond star George Lazenby was in town and had Raymond Chow arrange for a meeting. The two men got along fine. Lee liked Lazenby's cocky attitude and was thinking of offering him a part in a future film. Unfortunately, on July 20 1973, while Lazenby was waiting with Raymond Chow for Lee to turn up at a dinner meeting at Hong Kong's Miramar Hotel, Lee died suddenly. A recently erected bronze statue can be found at Hong Kong's 'Avenue of the Stars', honouring the life and work of Bruce Lee.
Hong Kong's Dragon Garden served as Hai Fat's estate in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
James Bond Island, the top tourist attraction around Thailand's Phuket
Being in Jamaica or the Bahamas, you have to have a bit of insider- knowledge to find the right 007-spots - in Phuket that‘s not necessary. ‘JAMES-BOND-ISLAND’, the place we know as Scaramanga’s lair in Golden Gun, is the main tourist attraction of Phuket. On the bulletin board of almost every hotel you will find ads for tours to it. So the easiest way would be to go to a travel-operator and let him transport you there. But then you will be in a crowd and you will be on ‘JAMES-BOND-ISLAND’ around noon at exactly the same time when all the other crowds are also there. The little beach will be crammed with people. To savour this unique Bond-location fully, you have to go there on your own, very early in the morning, either by rental car or you hire a car with an ‘English-speaking’ driver (don't expect too much from that term).

‘JAMES-BOND-ISLAND’ lies within Phang-Nga Bay National Park. This extraordinary bay in Krabi Province, to the north-east of Phuket, is the site of a multitude of peculiar shaped islands. Rising almost vertically from the water, these limestone masses come in all shapes and sizes. Rich vegetation sprouts from all available surfaces while inside the larger islands, there are caves and caverns, full of stalactites and stalagmites. Shortly after leaving Phuket island via the Sarasin bridge and reaching the mainland you will see more or less prettily painted billboards, advertising ‘JAMES-BOND-ISLAND-tours’ arranged by local boat operators. Approach one of them for a charter. Because of the language problems, the negotiations about the fare and the destinations might be difficult. So a picture postcard with the places you want to go to, would be handy.

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This and much more can be found in the chapter 'Faces of Asia' in ON THE TRACKS OF 007

Connected hotels:

Peninsula

Hong Kong, SAR China

Oriental

Bangkok, Thailand
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