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Wednesday July 17th 2024

The Man With The Golden Gun | 1974

The Man With The Golden Gun location: Scaramanga's hideout: Khow-Ping-Kan, Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
The Man With The Golden Gun location: Scaramanga’s hideout: Ko Tapu, Khao-Phing-Kan, Phang Nga Bay, Thailand | Photograph: Wikimedia / Leon Petrosyan

The golden bullet of triple-nippled ace hitman Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) has Bond’s name on it, literally.

007 traces its manufacture to gun expert Lazar in Macau, the former Portuguese enclave west of Hong Kong, where he inevitably gravitates to the casino, the Floating Macau Palace, a converted vessel moored in the Inner Harbour, on Rua das Lorchas. Gambling was legalised in the 1850s by the – then – Portuguese government. A special administrative region like Hong Kong, Macau is the only place in China where casinos are legal and there are now more than 30. The Floating Macau Palace has since been restored an can now be found on Avenida de Amizade in the Outer Harbour.

There's a nod to this classic Bond location with the studio-built 'Golden Dragon Casino' in Skyfall.

The Man With The Golden Gun filming location: Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Road, Hong Kong
The Man With The Golden Gun location: the Hong Kong hotel: Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Road, Hong Kong | Photograph: Wikimedia / Elgaard

Bond takes the ferry across the bay to Kowloon, the mainland suburb of Hong Kong, where he follows Andrea Anders (Maud Adams) to the Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Road at Nathan Road, which does indeed run a fleet of green Rolls-Royce limousines (how did the globe-trotting bon viveur not know this?). The Peninsula Hotel had previously been seen in the 1955 anti-Commie adventure Soldier of Fortune, with Clark Gable and Susan Hayward.

Also in Kowloon was the ‘Bottoms Up’ club, which was situated amid the neon dazzle of the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district, and Hai Fat’s estate, the Dragon Garden on Castle Peak Road, Castle Peak.

MI6 field HQ is deep inside the tilted, rusting hulk of the Queen Elizabeth, which was grounded in Hong Kong Harbour.

The trail of Scaramanga leads to Bangkok, and a boat chase through the klongs, the network of canals criss-crossing the city. The karate school is Muang Boran, the Ancient City, the world’s largest outdoor museum, housing scaled-down versions of the famous buildings and temples of Bangkok. It’s about 20 miles east of town on Sukhumvit Highway in Changwat Samut Prakan.

The kickboxing match, at which Bond first meets Scaramanga, was filmed in Bangkok’s Rajadamnern Stadium, 1 Ratchadamnoen Nok Road, one of the two main stadiums for modern Muay Thai.

But, most famously, Scaramanga’s island hideout is the 66-feet-tall islet of Ko Tapu, just off the shore of Khao-Phing-Kan, one of a chain of tiny jungle-covered limestone pillars in Phang Nga Bay at Phuket, on the tip of the Malay peninsula. At the time of filming, a remote and undiscovered paradise, it’s now overrun by tourists taking the 54 mile bus journey, north from Phuket Town, and the boat trip out to see ‘James Bond Island’. The area is seen again in 1997 Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.