I don’t think The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) is a good film. There. I said it. It hasn’t aged well but I do admit there are a lot of iconic moments which have allowed this film to stand the test of time more than other James Bond films. As well-travelled as the Bond films are, I strongly believe that The Man with the Golden Gun film locations in Thailand are some of the most iconic scenes in movie history.
I mean, Khao Phing Kan has practically been renamed to James Bond Island (read about my experience on a James Bond Island tour excursion here). But there are lots of other The Man with the Golden Gun film locations in Thailand, specifically in Bangkok, that will interest fans.
The Man with the Golden Gun follows James Bond (Roger Moore) as he hunts out three-nippled baddie Scaramanga (the ever-brilliant Christopher Lee) and his sidekick Nick Nack (Hervé Villechaize). Bond begins his journey in Beirut, then on to Macau and Hong Kong before coming face to face with Scaramanga in Thailand.
The Man with the Golden Gun Film Locations in Thailand
1. James Bond Island/Khao Phing Kan in Phang Nga Bay
James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay is iconic because it features so prominently in this film! We open on Khao Phing Kan where we are introduced to Scaramanga (the titular character) and his henchmen Nick Nack. There are so many shots of this beautiful beach and once secluded island, and there’s more to come later. We’ve definitely kicked off this list of all The Man with the Golden Gun film locations with the best one.
We don’t return to Thailand until Bond decides to pay Hai Fat, a shady businessman, a visit later in the film.
2. Ancient City in Samut Prakan
Whilst in Thailand, Bond first visits Hai Fat’s home which is set in Thailand, but the film location is not. The estate is actually The Dragon Garden in Hong Kong, but every scene from here onwards is set and shot in Thailand.
Hai Fat’s Karate school where Bond returns to meet Hai Fat is actually Ancient City, the same outdoor museum where The Hangover Part II shot their monastery scene. It’s one of Thailand’s biggest museums as it is home so many replicas of temples and recreates life-size old-timey buildings.
3. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Bangkok
Hai Fat commands his Karate school students to attack Bond, but he escapes by hi-jacking a longboat and hightailing it down a canal until he manages to lose them at a floating market.
This floating market is actually one of the most popular in the greater Bangkok area. Damnoen Saduak floating market is a busy tourist attraction and a popular choice for a day trip outside of the city. Check out this post if you want more information on travelling and backpacking Thailand.
4. Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok
Because Bond is such a dude and escapes the karate students, he manages to keep his date with Goodnight (stupid name) at her hotel that evening. Goodnight’s hotel is, in fact, the highly swanky Mandarin Oriental hotel near the Chao Phraya river.
The hotel isn’t just a The Man with the Golden Gun filming location. It was also utilised almost forty years later as an Only God Forgives filming location. Is it just me, or does anyone else find it super interesting that out of all the places in a city as big and diverse as Bangkok, so many of the same shooting locations are re-used?
Just me, probably.
5. Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok
There are two different possibilities for the next filming location for The Man with the Golden Gun. James Bond is instructed/given information telling him to attend a Muay Thai/kickboxing match and it is there he finally comes face to face with Scaramanga.
I’ve heard it could either be the Rajadamnern Stadium or the Lumpini Stadium, both in Bangkok. I’m going to take an educated guess and say it’s probably the former. Why? Because it’s just bigger, that’s all. And the look of the stadium fits better. Maybe both were actually used for the edit! Ah, the magic of cinema.
6. Car park at the Royal Turf Club in Bangkok
Upon leaving the stadium, Goodnight is captured by Scaramanga so Bond ends up on a high-stakes car chase through the centre of Bangkok. Not exactly a city that is known for its safe roads.
The car park used for the filming location is actually the car park of the Royal Turf Club. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Everyone is well aware of the Royal Turf Club in Bangkok, it is legendary. And we’re also 100% sure what a ‘turf club’ is…
7. Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing in Bangkok
On this high-stakes, big action car chase, Bond is randomly joined by an American tourist who turns out to be a police officer back in his home state. One of the most notable landmarks they pass on their drive is Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing that is outside the temple.
Even though it’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment and you can’t even really see the swing, it’s worth including.
8. Thon Buri Neighbourhood in Bangkok
According to IMDB, the Thon Buri neighbourhood is definitely one of The Man with the Golden Gun film locations. Including the now-defunct temples, Wat Nang Nong and Wat Nang Chi which are in Thon Buri.
While the temples may be seen in the background, Bond definitely doesn’t visit them. I’m inclined to think that Salamanca’s garage where he stores his clip-on aeroplane wings (*eye roll*) is in Thon Buri.
Thon Buri is a quieter, residential part of Bangkok just over the Chao Phraya river and is definitely worth checking out if you’re taking a trip to Bangkok.
8. Khlong Dan and The Khlongs in Bangkok
One of the most fun names out of all The Man with the Golden Gun film locations! Khlong Dan is literally just the name of a canal in a system of canals called The Khlongs. I don’t know why they’re called that, but I’m sure glad they are.
The Khlongs can be seen from Scaramanga’s car when Goodnight opens the trunk she’s trapped in to see what’s going on. And then she realises she’s flying a hundred or so metres in the air, to her horror! Now that the car has morphed into some kind of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang invention, of course.
…And then, it’s back to James Bond Island for the final showdown!
And those are all of The Man with the Golden Gun film locations in Thailand! Have you visited James Bond Island or watched the film? Let me know in the comments below!