I do wonder how the vacancy advert that James Bond first saw that persuaded him to apply to become 007 read. “Situations Vacant: Spy. Must be quick-witted, good with guns and women. Must enjoy travel.” Well, maybe not, but that final line must have been part of it, as Bond is certainly an experienced globe-trotter.
The first Bond film, Dr. No, set the bar very low. The entire film was shot in London and Jamaica, which just happened by coincidence to be where the two homes of Bond creator Ian Fleming were situated. From then on, each Bond film took in locations that ping-ponged across the globe, even though in most films 007 seemed to eventually end up inside a massive hollowed-out extinct volcano.
If you fancy a bit of Bond-hopping, here are four of the best Bond destinations.
Ian Fleming did not actually at first give much away about 007′s background, but later said Bond’s antecedents were Scottish (and much later admitted this choice was down to Sean Connery‘s portrayal of the character. Connery was born in Edinburgh). If a Bond aficionado takes a trip to Eilean Donan Castle, which is located on a small island in a loch in the Scottish highlands, they’ll instantly recognise the villain’s lair in The World is Not Enough. If they’re a real film buff, they’ll also recognise it from the film Highlander, which of course starred one Sean Connery.
The iconic moment from the first James Bond film, Dr. No, was filmed in Jamaica. That moment revolved around a small white bikini, and the Swiss-born beauty who wore it, Ursula Andress, emerging from the cool blue Caribbean sea. That beach is now called James Bond Beach, and was also used in Live and Let Die. The true attraction for Bond fans in Jamaica is GoldenEye, which was Ian Fleming’s home on the island and is now part of a luxury hotel. Within the hotel you can still see Fleming’s writing desk and typewriter. The only thing to disappoint Bond fans about Jamaica is the lack of casinos, but the nearby Bahamas does play host to various tours, including the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure.
The continent-straddling city is used in several Bond films, such as From Russia With Love, The World is Not Enough and in the third film of the rebooted franchise, Skyfall. The city serves as the gateway to Turkey and is a culture-rich diversion in its own right. The one must-see place to visit is the Tokapi Palace, which is the historic home to the Sultan. It is also home to the Grand Bazaar, a city-within-a-city composed of over 3,000 shops along 61 covered streets.
Bond’s go-to place in Asia, Hong Kong has featured in You Only Live Twice, Die Another Day and The Man With The Golden Gun. The latter film, which starred as Christopher Lee as Charlemagne, one of the most memorable Bond villains ever, included shots filmed in the stunning Peninsula Hotel, notable as one of the finest hotels in the world. The hotel is noted for its fleet of “Peninsula Green” Rolls-Royces and for having one of the oldest fashion arcades in Hong Kong.