A great actor has sadly left the world a few days ago. Sir Roger Moore was known most of all for his fantastic performances as 007 in some of the world’s most exotic locations. Here are some of the most attractive locations James Bond has been to since the inception of the franchise.
1. Sardinia, Italy: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
One of the most beautiful Italian islands has been chosen as setting for the underwater base in The Spy Who Loved Me. The rocky cliffs forming Sardinia’s breathtaking coastline also served as background for the legendary Lotus Esprit chase, during which Bond escapes the villains by using his car’s amphibious capacities.
2. Istanbul, Turkey: The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Skyfall (2012)
The largest Turkish city has in fact featured in several Bond films, notably The World Is not Enough and Skyfall. In the former, Bond has to find the terrorist Renard on an island off Istanbul’s shores and the Kücüksu Palace in Instanbul serves as set for Electra King’s residence. In Skyfall, Bond chases a villain on a motorcycle on the roof of Istanbul’s Grand Bazar.
3. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The awe inspiring beauty of Ha Long Bay can be admired in the film Tomorrow Never Dies, in which the villain Elliot Carver navigates his stealth boat around the unique rock formations of this Vietnamese region. Bond subsequently embarks on a mission to find the stealth boat during which the astounding natural beauty of the bay is portrayed from various angles.
4. Tangier, Morocco: The Living Daylights (1987) and Spectre (2015)
The Moroccan port city of Tangier has featured in two James Bond movies on very different occasions. In The Living Daylights, the city serves as base for Bond’s adversary Brad Whitaker who holds an impressive war collection in his mansion in the city while Spectre saw Bond and Madeleine Swann visit a hotel in the city in order to track down Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the Moroccan desert.
5. Nassau, Bahamas: Casino Royale (2006)
The capital of the Bahamas serves as getaway for Bond in Casino Royale. After Bond performed an unsanctioned mission in Madagascar, the newly promoted double O agent aims to track down a terrorist network and thereby follows a lead to Nassau, where he stays in the famous Ocean Club.
6. Tokyo, Japan: You Only Live Twice (1967)
The film You Only Live Twice is set in Japan and many of this movie’s iconic scenes happen in the buzzing Japanese capital. James Bond notably drives a Toyota 2000GT (today one of the rarest Japanese sports cars) through dense Tokyo neighbourhoods.
7. Havana, Cuba: Die Another Day (2002)
In Die Another Day, Bond is dismissed by MI6 and embarks on a secret mission to find the person who betrayed him on his own. He follows one of the main villains, Zao, to Cuba which allows Bond fans to see some of the elements that make this country so unique, such as the classic American drop tops, the cigars and the world renowned Cuban health institutes.
8. Shanghai, China: Skyfall (2012)
The Chinese metropolis featured extensively in Skyfall, notably when Bond chases a villain on top of a building where 007 then finds a coin that leads him to another Chinese city, Macau. The scenes in Shanghai are mostly centred around Bond’s fight with Patrice, an assassin he tracked down all the way from Istanbul to China.
9. Lake Como, Italy: Casino Royale (2006)
Daniel Craig used the famous ‘Bond, James Bond’ introduction phrase for the first time at the end of Casino Royale when he located one of the movie’s villains, Mr. White outside his villa on the shores of Lake Como. The picture-perfect mountainous backdrops around the Italian lakes have been used in several Bond movies and always provide a great setting for scenes involving car chases or villain expositions. The particular location used in Casino Royale is the Villa del Balbianello, just outside the town of Como.
10. James Bond Island Khao Phing Kan, Thailand: The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
The small island in the bay of Phang-nga is situated about 25km from Phuket and a major tourist attraction in Thailand. Officially called Khao Phing Kan, the diminutive speck of land is better known under its nickname: James Bond Island. It was here where Bond duelled the famous villain Scaramanga and his golden colt in the movie ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’.
11. Siena, Italy: Quantum of Solace (2009)
The Italian city of Siena and its world-renowned horse race, the Palio, were used in the 2009 movie Quantum of Solace and it was here where Bond chased a villain through a maze cobbled alleys and medieval buildings. The whole chase scene was filmed in combination with the famous horse race, which added a touch of drama and urgency to Bond’s endeavour of catching the villain.
12. Udaipur, India: Octopussy (1983)
The city of Udaipur in the Indian Rajasthan Province featured extensively in one of Roger Moore’s best James Bond movies, Octopussy. Udaipur is commonly nicknamed the Venice of the East and it was this omnipresence of canals and water routes that convinced the film makers to use Udaipur for a large part of Octopussy. The city was home to Octopussy’s famous women only island and Udaipur’s Monsoon Palace served as estate home for the film’s villain Khamal Khan.
13. Iceland: Die Another Day (2002)
The unique landscapes of Iceland have been used on innumerable occasions by Hollywood and the makers of James Bond are no exception. In Die Another Day, an ice hotel was built and served as location for the villain’s presentation of his artificial sun. After the presentation, Bond discovers a fake diamond mine and uses his Aston Martin to escape from the baddies in typical James Bond fashion. This escape gave fans one of Bond’s most memorable car chases on a frozen lake in an otherwise very unevenly paced movie.
14. Las Vegas, Nevada: Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Sin City was the location of the famous car chase in Diamonds Are Forever and added a touch of USA flair to the otherwise very British James Bond franchise. Bond raced some policemen and managed to drive on 2 wheels in order to escape through a very narrow alley. The scene became legendary although a filming error was later revealed, the car enters the alley on its right wheels and comes out on its left wheels, as it seems continuity wasn’t taken as meticulously in the 70s but this slight mistake won’t affect this film’s quality as an all-time great Bond movie.
15. Monte Carlo, Monaco: Goldeneye (1995)
The salon privé in the famous Casino in Monte Carlo was used in the movie Goldeneye, in which Bond played Baccarat against the infamous Russian villain Xenia Onatop, whom he had raced in his Aston Martin before reaching the fabled city-state of Monaco.
16. La Paz & Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – Quantum of Solace (2009)
Quantum of Solace wasn’t a particularly acclaimed Bond movie and won’t feature in any of the ‘greatest Bond movies’ lists. The film does have quite a few problems but its exotic locations are certainly not one of them. Bond landed in the Bolivian capital of La Paz before embarking on a trip to the staggering Salar de Uyuni salt flats, where he discovered a misused source of water. The film then takes viewers to the famous ESO Hotel in the Atacama Desert (the hotel is in reality located in Chile), which is blown up in the final scene.