I love James Bond movies. In fact one of the first movies I can remember seeing was a Bond movie. I was about five or six and Dad had taken me to the Drive-In (how times have changed) to see ET. Luckily for dad it was a double feature and the second movie screening was ‘For Your Eyes Only’. Dad said to me, “Look we can stay and watch this second movie but you cannot tell your Mum”, naturally I agreed. Needless to say I failed to hold my end of the bargain. Literally as soon as we walked in the door and Mum asked how the movie was I blurted out how amazing this guy was, what with cars going underwater and things blowing up and all the cool things that make a Bond movie great! Dad uttered something under his breath at his five year old son, Mum shot him the death glare and I am pretty sure Dad got in more trouble than Bond himself!
For me however, I was hooked. Not only did I love the crazy storylines, the amazing gadgets that he always seemed to have right at the exact time he needed them (like the underwater breathing thingy), but I always loved the exotic locations the movie was set in. I have often wondered if in some small way growing up watching these movies fuelled my love of travel to off the beaten track locations.
I can almost see it know, swaggering into some posh five star hotel in the middle of nowhere. Shady types looking me up and down and my very own ‘Smart Girl’ Natalie on my arm. As the receptionist looks at me over small reading glasses I greet him with “Smart, Dean Smart”. Or perhaps not.
So with the new James Bond film coming to later this year we have decided to look at five locations we have trailed to that would be perfect for a Bond chase scene.
1. Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan is quite possibly the perfect setting for a Bond chase scene. It has just about everything you need. Thousands of crumbling old temples scattered across the countryside, and plenty of overgrown dirt tracks to slide around on creating billowing clouds of red dust. Hopefully he would use a proper motorcycle and not the electric bikes we used as it would be a rather slow and unreliable chase – particularly if he went off road! There are vendors and tourist tout stalls to crash through around some of the bigger temples and the dramatic final struggle to take place atop one of the larger and most famous temples (except around sunset where the waves of tourists may quickly turn against him).
2. Bhaktapur, Nepal
Situated around eight miles out of the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, the UNESCO listed historic town centre of Bhaktapur makes our list as a great location for a foot chase. The main squares have the exotic backdrops required with old temples and decaying palaces. Many of these squares are also filled with pigeons, and you almost could not script it any better. Just imagine the gasps of shock from tourists as the bad guy sprints across the square, hundreds of pigeons flapping wildly and quickly resettling (as they always seem to do in movies) just in time for Bond, in hot pursuit, to ruffle their feathers again and barge through the indignant tourists! Off the main squares are numerous side alleys full of street stalls for running into or tipping over, fabric salesmen (for getting caught up in) and crazy local motorcyclists to have to avoid. Exactly what you want in a Bond foot chase.
3. Trollstigen Pass, Norway
The Trollstigen Pass is one of the world’s most dramatic roads. With 11 narrow hairpin turns, and an increase in elevation of nearly 3000 feet, this six kilometre road would be perfect to test out just how good Bond’s Aston Martin really is. The road has few barriers, is surrounded by stunning Norwegian mountians, sheer drops and a number of large waterfalls. In fact many car commercials are filmed on this road and some new makes and models are tested on this road. Naturally Bond will force the bad guy into an error and his car is fly off the road at the top of the pass resulting in a tumbling, crashing mess of metal, glass and tyres, and the savvy Bond quip along the lines of ‘Sunday drivers”.
4. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
From what I can remember, Bond has never been to Australia and surely it is only a matter of time until an evil mastermind from Australia wants to throw another super spy on the barbie! So what better way to announce his arrival than with an epic struggle on top of one of the most famous structures in the country. In fact it would work perfectly, dangling hundreds of feet above lanes of fast flowing traffic, plenty of beams of steel to fall from, grab onto and swing around, all with the famous Opera House in the background. It would work on the proviso officials don’t make Bond wear the blue overalls you have to wear on the Bridge Climb, but surely Bond would put in a better performance in Australia than Tom Cruise did in Mission Impossible!
5. Zermatt and the Matterhorn, Switzerland
Bond movies love Switzerland, probably because of the country’s wealth and secrecy concerning banking and the military, but also because of the incredible backdrops. So it is quite amazing that the country’s most famous mountain has never featured in a movie. The Klein Matterhorn cable car station at nearly 4000 metres above sea level looks exactly like the location of a bad guy’s lair. In fact the cable car to the top would be a fantastic location for a good old fashioned Bond fist fight. Wrestling on to of the cable car, surrounded by some of Switzerland’s highest mountain peaks and the mightily Matterhorn in the background, text book Bond. An icy end awaits the villain as Bond is victorious and the villain plummets down to the glaciers below, insert classic Bond one liner here….
Naturally there could be dozens of amazing locations that would fit perfectly into a Bond movie. Do you have one? If so share your thoughts or better yet post a photo either here or on or Facebook page and let us know why you think it be a great Bond location.
– Smart, Dean Smart