Image credit: By Leon petrosyan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.
There has been a total of 26 James Bond movies since the series began, and the production teams behind each film have taken the character to numerous locations across the world. Our own recommendations about visiting James Bond Island in Phuket, Thailand is a testament to how far 007 has come. Khow-Ping-Kan Island in the Phang Nga Bay has been known as James Bond Island ever since. The Man With the Golden Gun was filmed there in 1974. Here are five more Bond filming locations that should be on every backpacker’s bucket list.
You don’t need to go far to follow Bond’s footsteps. Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, was the first Indian location to be extensively featured in a Bond film. While Octopussy also famously shot scenes at the Taj Mahal, most of the Indian scenes were set in the gorgeous streets, waters, and buildings of Udaipur. The Hindustan Times reports that the cafes near the filming locations still enjoy the boost in tourism they got from Octopussy in 1983.
This Swiss summit is where you’ll find the Piz Gloria, a revolving restaurant that was used as Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s secret evil lair in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s one of the few Bond filming sites that’s still intact and can be visited up close. The 360-degree view at the 2,970-metre summit is a must-see even for non-Bond fans.
This Jamaican beach is home to one of the most famous scenes in spy movie history. Also known as James Bond Beach Ocho Rios is where Bond came across the bombshell Honey Ryder, bikini-clad and holding a conch shell in one hand. Jamaica is also where Ian Fleming famously wrote all the Bond novels, in a hideaway called Goldeneye, which is now part of a beachfront resort.
This otherworldly, Icelandic glacial lagoon was the site of several key scenes in Die Another Day Although Jökulsárlón now looks very different from how it appeared in the movie, tourists continue to flock to the area to see the frozen lagoon with their own eyes. The changes to Jökulsárlón are a result of natural oceanic flow, and today, it’s become the deepest lake in all of Iceland.
You Only Live Twice is the “Japan Bond” film, and it was shot in many locales of Japan, most notably at historic Himeji Castle. Dating back to 1333, this ancient castle survived World War II bombings, several remodelings throughout the centuries, and was also used in several films by visionary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Even in Japan, the filming of a Bond film drew rowdy crowds that actually interrupted the movie’s shooting schedule.
There’s no doubt that the character of James Bond has a unique and overarching legacy, even by Hollywood standards. Nearly all post-sixties spy films owe a debt to Ian Fleming’s Bond. Outside of the official Bond films, copycats and parodies of the character have both poked fun at the franchise and helped introduce it to an ever-growing audience. Many of these parodies often focus on a playful twist of either Bond’s name or his character traits. The Slingo online mobile game Agent Jane Blonde flips the name James Bond around and shows how in every type of media you will find a Bond reference somewhere. The next time you watch a spy film look out for the Bond tropes that it will have.
Of course, Bond extends far beyond the screen. Fashionable publications like Vogue feature Bond-inspired travel lists similar to this one, coaxing people to travel the world by following the agent’s footsteps. Bond has not only inspired fashion and film, his influence extends across a variety of media, even going so far as to coax you offline and onto the next flight to your favourite Bond destination. Take the cue and start planning your next trip.