14 Aug 2016

Queen's Pier, Hong Kong - a lost Bond location

The white building (the two story parking garage) can still be found on location

After "arresting" Bond outside the Bottoms Up club in central Hong Kong, Lieutenant Hip takes Bond down to the docks where a police boat is waiting. Very little is seen as they drive down to the pier and the waiting police boat, but a few details in the background makes it possible to determine the exact location. The police boat is moored right by the short end of the Queen's Pier in the Central district on Hong Kong Island.

The pillars of the Queen's Pier can be seen to the right
The Queen's Pier, named after Queen Victoria, was a public pier in front of City Hall, located in Edinburgh Place on Hong Kong Island. It was not only a public pier but it also served as a major ceremonial arrival and departure point for dignitaries in Hong Kong during the British rule. The official arrival of all of Hong Kong's governors since 1925 has taken place at this pier. What makes it possible to determine the location of the pier in The Man With the Golden Gun is the pillar structure on the pier.

The round BAYER sign is visible on the Hong Kong skyline as Bond and Hip leave the Queen's pier
The location of the pier is a factual error in the film, since the Bottoms Up club in reality was located on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong at the time of filming (that is to say the mainland side of Hong Kong). However, in the film the Bottoms Up is supposed to be located on Hong Kong Island, and that is why Lieutenant Hip says to Bond that they are going to the police station on the Kowloon side. Later on, the Bottoms Up relocated to Hong Kong Island, before it went out of business in the early 2000's.

The Queen's Pier also featured in one episode of the miniseries Noble House, starring Pierce Brosnan. In the third episode, Dunross and Casey take the Tai Pan's boat to Macau. They are being picked up at the Queen's Pier as seen below.

The long Star Ferry Pier is also visible in the background
The same pillars are seen in The Man With the Golden Gun, and as Bond and Hip walk down to the police boat, part of the 'Star Ferry Pier' is also seen in the background (picture below). The Star Ferry Pier still exists today, but not in the same location, as the land has been reclaimed. This part of the Star Ferry Pier is also seen (picture above) as the Tai Pan's boat docks in Noble House

The Star Ferry Pier, the same building as seen in Noble House 

The police boat then leaves the pier on Hong Kong Island and heads for the wreckage of Queen Elizabeth, the half sunken cruise ship in Victoria harbour, where Bond later jumps ship only to find out that he has been taken to Mi6's secret headquarters in Hong Kong. As the police boat sets off, one building in particular can be seen at the skyline of Hong Kong Island, namely the round "Bayer" sign. This building was located right behind the Queen's Pier in 1974.

Seen as part of the skyline right next to the Bayer building is the large Furama Hong Kong Hotel (with green neon letters at the top). This building had been built in 1973 and was thus brand new when the filming of The Man With the Golden Gun was underway. The Furama Hong Kong Hotel was however demolished in 2001 to make way for the new AIA Central office building, which still can be found in that location today.

Picture taken in the early 70's during the construction of the Furama Hotel which is seen in the film
Hong Kong skyline from 1995 - The Furama in its original location but the BAYER building has been demolished
In 2007 the Queen's Pier was closed by the government to enable land reclamation. Before demolishing the Pier, there was fierce opposition from conservationists, who wanted to preserve the landmark. However, despite fierce opposition, the Queen's Pier was sadly demolished in 2008.

This Star Ferry Pier has been rebuilt further out in the water, due to the land reclamation. However, it is still located fairly close to the original location, where it was located during the filming of Golden Gun.
The Star Ferry Pier, at the waterfront just below "Noble House"

As the police boat sails across Victoria Harbour, the Hong Kong skyline is visible in the background.

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