Bruce Lee’s Hong Kong
What started off as an obsession with Enter the Dragon locations (on the original Livespace version of this blog, at least) has blossomed into a reasonably thorough consolidated list of many Lee-related locations here in Hong Kong (and Macau). I’m certainly no expert (at least not compared to some of the cool people who have helped me put the list together) but I am in the enviable position of being here in Hong Kong and can blend this info with some of my own local knowledge and give some modern day context to many of the sites.
Sometimes it is hard for Lee fans to understand that modern Hong Kong is a vastly different place to the one Lee was familiar with. The pace of development throughout the 70′s and 80′s was massive and as such many of the sites Lee would have known well have completely changed or disappeared altogether. To be honest, we’re quite lucky to have the ones that still remain – or at least remain for the time being.
So what we have below is a list of various places, some featured in his various films, some part of his personal life and some are just thrown in because there may be some obscure tenuous link I read about in an old magazine somewhere. Anyway, enjoy and feel free to help me enhance – I’m not a Lee expert (nor am I a collector) just a long time fan with a big interest in Hong Kong, so it is highly likely there is a mistake about dates times etc. Please feel free to correct in the comments section below.
I mentioned the help of various people and here is a quick acknowledgement of those who have offered valuable information and anecdotes about Bruce: Paul Li, Simon Leung, Jon T. Benn, Tim Redel, Steve Kerridge, John Little, Eddy Lo, Greg Rhodes, Wolfgang Miesen, Marcos Ocaña, Vanessa Seed and Peer Hesstvedt.
Enter The Dragon
Most of this info can also be found here, but in the meantime here is a quick summary:
Aberdeen Harbour: Where the fighters board the junk to travel to Han’s Island.
Tai Tam Bay: Served as the disembarkation point for the fighters arriving at Han’s Island. The stone jetty is still there.
The American Club and Pacific View: located on the shores of Tai Tam Bay. These now stand on the ground used for the filming of Han’s fortress scenes.
Muslim Cemetery: Bruce visits his mum’s grave. Several tombstones and trees seen in the film are still recognisable.
King Yin Lei: Used as the long shot of Han’s fortress and as part of the composite photo shown to Lee by Braithewaite.
Nga Tsin Wai Village: Used for some of the Angela Mao chase scenes.
Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market: Used in a scene where Williams is walking through a market place.
Hankow/Peking Roads: The roads used for filming Roper being pulled around in a rickshaw.
Kai Tak Airport: Featured in film but closed in 1998.
Tsing Shan Monastery: Used for the Lao’s time scene and Bruce’s previously deleted scene of dialog with Roy Chiao as head monk.
Ching Chun Koon: Used for the initial shot of the temple. Brief glimpse but it’s there.
Kau Yi Chau: Used for the B&W composite photo of Han’s island. This is how it looks from GoogleEarth plus a screen grab from the film.
Ho Sheung Heung, Sheung Shui – where Bruce fought Samo at the beginning. Only recently re-discovered by yours truly.
Golden Harvest Studio building – seen at the beginning of the Angela Mao chase scene.
Way Of The Dragon
Wah Shan/Woodland Crest: The only HK outdoor location used in this film where Bruce takes on Bob Wall, Whang in Sik and the great Jon Benn.
Queen’s Cafe, 8 Hysan Avenue: according to Yvonne at “Webs Of Significance”, this is no more (see her comments below). Seen when Bruce meets Wei Ping Ao for talks.
Fist Of Fury
Jardim Luis De Camoes: Fist of Fury park scene.
R. Dom Belchior Caneiro – one of the streets seen during the rickshaw scenes in F.O.F
Telegraph Pole scene – looks to have been filmed in Kowloon because the hills in the background look like the Kowloon ridgeline. I’ll be investigating this more when I get time.
GH Studios – I know of one shot (I’m sure there are more) taken in the parking lot of GH studios. When Bruce jumps up to kick the “No dogs or Chinese” sign from the park gate posts (scene mentioned above), he was actually jumping from a table in the studio carpark.
Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung – Okay, so it’s not a Bruce Lee film per se but he certainly made an impact on the production by being secretly filmed putting the actors through their paces. Ultimately the film was a pile of crap but fans still wonder where the secret filming took place – now you know.
The Orphan’s Tragedy
Tai Po Station – Used for a scene when young Bruce boards a train to go off to school. Don’t confuse it with the modern day Tai Po Market Station.
My Son A-Chang (aka The Kid)
Shatin - The end scene sees Bruce (as a very young child) walking along the KCR railway in Shatin/Tai Wai area.
~~~~~ various other locations (some tenuous, some direct links), some still to be investigated ~~~~~~
Mui Wo, Lantau – Jon Benn told me Bruce used to take his family over to Jon’s house in Mui Wo for the odd day out at the beach.
Junction Road – Bruce Thomas’ otherwise excellent biography details Bruce forming a street gang called the “Tigers of Junction Street”. Actually, the road is called Junction Road.
41 Cumberland Road: his home between July ’72 and his death in July ’73.
La Salle College: Bruce attended the college (actually it’s a high school) but whilst it was housed in temporary huts in Perth Street. He didn’t attend the original school building, nor the replacement that currently stands on another part of the old school grounds.
St Francis Xavier’s College: Bruce’s second High school after he got kicked out of LaSalle College. He made a return trip there in the 70′s to present awards at a school sports day.
King’s Park: shots of him training with his dad.
Kowloon Funeral Parlour, Maple Street: where his HK funeral took place.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital: where Bruce was taken on the night he died.
Avenue of Stars: Bruce Lee statue and star
Madame Tussauds – truly crap wax effigy of Bruce outside the entrance. So crap in fact that it could be anyone in that yellow suit. The recent unveiling of a similar one in LA just confirms to me that Mdm Tussauds is truly a shite place to go (actually, I already knew this as I used to live around the corner from the one in London).
St Andrew’s Church, Tsim Sha Tsui – this is the location of Bruce’s additional kung fu lessons before he headed off to the US. He felt some “showy” moves would help him sell kung fu to potential students in the US and undertook study in a couple of styles including one called Jeet Kune (not to be confused with JKD).
Lung Wah Hotel, Shatin: Bruce has two connections with this place, first is he used to eat at the restaurant there in his younger days and secondly it was supposedly where he stayed whilst filming pick up shots for The Big Boss.
Beas River Country Club: Paul Li has informed me that the just-mentioned pick-up shots for TBB were actually filmed at the Beas River grounds near Sheung Shui. I’ll investigate further but it’s possible Bruce stayed at Lung Wah and made the trip to Sheung Shui from there on the shoot day(s).
Ocean Terminal Rooftop: used by Golden Harvest for publicity shots with Wu Ngan and others.
Baptist Hospital: taken here after suffering a collapse during a dubbing session at Golden Harvest Studios.
St Theresa’s Hospital: transferred here from Baptist Hospital to undergo medical to investigate cause of previous collapse.
Canossa Hospital: rumoured surgery to remove sweat glands. This is noted as fact in Tom Bleecker’s “Unsettled Matters”, is it true? You decide.
Grand Ocean Cinema – premiere of “The Big Boss”. Next door is Lane Crawford which used to be part of the cinema before being turned into Planet Hollywood. Incidentally, the latter had various items from Lee’s film work including the black cat suit he wore in ETD.
Pui Ching Education Centre Car Park (off Gascoigne Road) – scene of some snaps from 1963 with Bruce and Doug Palmer. Here’s one below whose copyright I don’t know (if it’s yours let me know and I will credit you). At this time this place was called the Grantham College of Education and it was built in 1952. The building behind (with the point roof) is actually Kowloon Methodist College.
Champagne Court, Kimberley Road – Used to house a nightclub in the basement where Bruce did his Cha Cha dancing. These days it’s a great place to pick up antique cameras.
HK Observatory: where Bruce’s older brother, Peter, used to work.
Osaka Japanese Restaurant, 14 Ashley Rd: previously known as Restaurant Yamato – he made copious notes on paper supplied from here, including ones formulating the initial fight with Sammo for ETD – it’s also the oldest Japanese Restaurant in town.
Gaddi’s, Peninsula Hotel – one of his haunts and the scene of several meetings between Bruce and Robert Clouse. Unfortunately, the current location of the restaurant is not the one Bruce would have been familiar with. During Bruce’s visits in the early 70′s Gaddi’s was situated on the ground floor. In 1977 it was moved upstairs to a site previously occupied by the Peninsula Ballroom. The old location now being used as part of the ground floor shopping arcade.
Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel (formerly the Hongkong Hotel) – where he celebrated his 31st birthday. He also used to frequent the lounge with friends including Lam Ching Ying.
Cox’s Road Playground Park – at the rear of 218 Nathan Road. It’s where Bruce’s dad used to practice his Tai Chi.
Shamrock Hotel, 223 Nathan Rd – took Doug Palmer there on his first trip back to HK in 1963 (since leaving in ’59). The original building still stands and is directly opposite where the Lee house used to stand at 218. I’ve also been told by Simon Leung that the hotel (or at least its entrance) can be seen in “The Orphan” too.
Tak Sun Primary School, 103 Austin Rd: One of Bruce’s first schools, though a more modern version now stands at the location.
St Mary’s Canossian College, 162 Austin Rd: another one of Bruce’s early schools – when it admitted boys, it is now a girls-only school.
Kowloon Bowling Green Club, 123 Austin Road: Bruce used to swim there with his brother Robert.
Flat A3, 1/F, 67 Beacon Hill Road – Bik Wah Court aka Beverly Heights – Betty’s home in 1973 where Bruce died/went comatose.
Shaw Bros Studios – there are photos of him outside the iconic ‘Shaw’ house with his friend, Unicorn Chan and he visited Movietown with John Saxon on a break from filming Enter The Dragon, as well as several other times. The various TVB shows Bruce participated in (e.g Enjoy Yourself Tonight and the 1972 Typhoon fundraiser) were actually filmed at TVB’s old studios on 63 Broadcast Drive in Kowloon Tong.
Lung Mei, Sai Kung – G.O.D promo photos/outdoor test footage with Bee Chan, Wu Ngan et al.
Yip Man’s grave – Fanling. I recently found the location of this place (after a couple of hours of hunting) and have put directions on how to get there in the link above.
Lee Hoi Chuen’s grave - Lai Chi Kok Cemetery – Bruce’s dad’s grave. There are photos of Bruce visiting the grave with Linda and the kids.
Mariners Club on Middle Road – Bruce used to use the telephones here to call Linda and Will Dozier during 1971.
Chungking Mansions – believe it or not there used to be a nightclub here called the Bayside Nite Club. I heard Bruce was friendly with the Filipino band here but seeing as the place wasn’t built until 1961, if it’s true, it must have been during one of his return trips in the 60′s or when he returned in the 70′s (many thanks to Vanessa Seed for nailing the location and providing the following picture of match books from her collection).
Fung Ying Sin Koon, Fanling – Snaps from a family outing here have been included in the “Memories of the Dragon” book (by Lee’s siblings). Various snaps of Bruce in the temple grounds and inside the original temple (destroyed by fire sometime in the 1980′s).
Fanling KCR Station – just a small rural platform at the time but featured on many family photos – possibly snapped at the same time as the Fung Yin Sin Koon pictures (the temple is next door to the station).
10000 Buddha Temple, Shatin – turns out Bruce used to spend a lot of time in Shatin and used to run up the steps for fitness training. Just a rumour, needs investigation. It’s not beyond belief given that he use to spent time at Lung Wah Hotel just a few hundred metres away.
West Forest Monastery, Shatin – lies next door to 10,000 Buddha temple and although once a popular tourist destination, fell into disrepair and abandonment before being recently resurrected as an illegal/unlicensed columbarium. Apparently a similar connection as its neighbour i.e. Bruce used to come here and train etc.
Perth Street – in Kowloon Tong where La Salle College was temporarily based when Bruce attended the school. The temporary huts have long gone but KGV school is also nearby – a favourite place for Bruce to scrap with expat kids. The photo below shows the temporary sheds that Bruce attended. Unfortunately I have no idea where I got this photo (perhaps on FLICKR?), I found it a while ago and neglected to note the source – if it is your picture please let me know and I will credit below. I believe the row of houses above the sheds ran along the south side of Argyle Street.
Ma Tau Chung Road Ambulance depot – the ambulance station from where ambulance A43 was dispatched at 22:30 to go and pick up Bruce from Ting Pei’s Beacon Hill flat on the night of his death (many thanks to Paul Li for this information).
Mau Lam Street, Yau Ma Tei – the former home of Bruce’s parents before they moved to Nathan Road. In fact according to the recently released documentation in the US, Bruce’s siblings were staying there when he was being born in the US. The street is still there but, as expected, the building is long gone. Many thanks to Paul Li for correcting my initial belief that it was called Man Lam St.
Cadet’s Naval School, Stanley – apparently featured in “The Orphan” – I have yet to see the film but HKscot has confirmed that this building still exists – although I was under the impression that the dating of this building meant it was not around when “The Orphan” was filmed. It needs more investigation but I’ll grab some shots next time I’m in Stanley. The problem is I believe the current building wasn’t built until 1964 which rules it out of being featured in any of Bruce’s early films. Watch this space.
YMCA Cityview, Waterloo Road – I knew Bruce attended English lessons at a YMCA prior to leaving for the US, I just didn’t know which one. Again, thanks to HKscot for filling in some details and telling me it was this one. Unfortunately, the current one is not the one Bruce attended.
Kom Tong Hall and Chiu Yuen Cemetery
Kom Tong Hall is now the Dr Sun Yat Sen museum and was built by Ho Kom Tong. Chiu Yuen Cemetery, next to Mt Davis is a well established Eurasian Cemetery that is the final resting place for many of the prominent Eurasians from HK. I put these two locations in with a disclaimer because I have since found out that there is some areas of Bruce’s family lineage that are not clear. Essentially both are locations related to Bruce’s supposed grandfather Ho Kom Tong, but it turns out the family link is possible via adoption and therefore more tenuous than first thought.
Ho Tung Garden – In a similar vein, although we now know that the blood relationship (between Grace and the Ho Tungs) is disputed, or at least not as straightforward as most people assume, but she did spend part of her life growing up in Ho Tung Gardens with Clara Ho Tung. It’s been in the news recently because the owner (a Ho Tung descendant) wants to knock it down to replace it with multi-million dollar housing development. I think Sir Robert Ho Tung is probably spinning in his grave at the thought.
Ming Tak Yuen (Sunlight Garden), 2 Man Wan Road – location of the initial apartment Lee and family were living in on their full-time move to HK. They lived on the 13th Floor.
Soares Avenue – Just around the corner from Sunlight Garden on the opposite side of Waterloo Road is this small road where Linda used to do her grocery shopping.
~~~~~~ Additional Macau ~~~~~~
Lou Lim Leoc Garden – used in scenes from G.O.D but only featuring a lookalike.
Bela Vista Hotel – this place has cropped up on the recently leaked Ahna Capri Enter The Dragon outtakes/behind the scenes film. Just for the record it’s not in HK. Any Lee connection? Nothing direct but obviously Capri must have stayed here when she visited Macau during the filming of ETD and I’ve included it to clear up confusion regarding its location.
~~~~~~ Gone but not forgotten ~~~~~~
9 Cox’s Road – Former site of the HK scout association at which Bruce was once photographed with his brother. Now demolished and replaced by apartments.
Miramar Hotel, Kimberley Rd – yes, I know it’s now The Mira but the building that was familiar to Bruce was the original wing on the north side of Kimberley Road, not the current Mira building. The north block was replaced by the Miramar Shopping Centre a while ago and it was in this demolished block that Bruce had the Unicorn Fist press conference, where he was supposed to meet George Lazenby on his fateful last night and where one of his favourite restaurants was – the Kanetanake.
Lei Tat Street, Yau Ma Tei: Yip Man’s school address, the street became a victim to redevelopment a while back. According to HKScot the road was located approximately where today’s Arthouse Broadway Cinematheque now stands. Interestingly, TVB actor Stephen Au had a shop/display dedicated to Bruce Lee at the cinema’s bookshop for a while. It was called “Dragon Pavilion” and consisted of various memorabilia.
Queen’s Theatre – Demolished in 2007. It was the location for the world premieres of Fist of Fury and Way of the Dragon. See some photos on Nat’s Hong Kong Hustle blog here: http://www.hongkonghustle.com/movies/232/queens-theatre-hong-kong-movie-theater/
Golden Harvest Studios – demolished circa 2003/2004. Now a housing development called Kingsford Terrace.
Golden Crown Court – 68 Nathan Road, one of Bruce’s favourite restaurants and where he had a high profile dinner with Chuck Norris and Bob Wall during a break in filming for WOTD. The restaurant was eventually turned into the Banana Leaf Curry House, but is now just another branch of the Standard Chartered Bank. If the following photo is yours please let me know so I can credit you.
Old GH office at Tung Ying Bldg, 100 Nathan Rd – only recently demolished and turned into another unsightly mall called “The One”. Also in the Tung Ying Building was Bank of America, Bruce’s personal HK bank account, and Oliver’s, where Bruce used to snack sometimes.
Lee Theatre, Causeway Bay: Bruce attended a Sergio Mendes concert there in April 1973.
Hyatt Regency, 67 Nathan Rd – The famous Hugo’s restaurant was inside where Bruce first met Raymond to discuss films. The Hyatt is also rumoured to be the first place Bruce met his mistress – Betty Ting Pei – on the vehicular slope that used to be on Lock Road. The site has been redeveloped into the iSquare Mall.
Hak Keung Gymnasium: the good chaps on Gwulo.com have helped me find the former address at 749 Nathan Road. Famous exercise sheets from 1965 – one of Bruce’s return trips – show us he went here.
Below is a pic of what #749 looks like today – thanks to Paul Li again for filling in some of the details. This building, now standing at #749, is called the European Asian Bank Building and was built in 1982 – so definitely not the one that contained the gym in 1965. Still, like many other vanished sites, sometimes fans just like to be in and around the space that once was. Now all I need to do is track down a photo of what used to be here – donations welcome.
218 Nathan Road: family home in 40′s/50′s and 60′s. The photo below is the only one I can find that features what was Bruce’s old house (albeit a distant glimpse). Photo credit is eternal1966b on FLICKR. I’ve ringed the house – until I’m informed to the contrary, the modern day numbering of the block starts at 216 which puts #218 one house up from the side road (Tak Shing Street).
Yucca De Lac, Ma Liu Shui – A famous restaurant on Tai Po Road behind what is now University Station on the East Rail line. Frequented by Bruce and his family (as well as many famous stars). Sadly demolished in 2006 and currently being redeveloped into luxury low-rise housing.Below is an old postcard picture of how it looked.
Below is a shot of Bruce sitting on the railings.
Tai Hom Village studios – Diamond Hill area used to contain many small film studios – with whom Bruce made his childhood films. All that stands today is the Stone House of Tai Kuen Yuen studios. In an interesting link, Roy Chiao – Bruce’s co-star in Enter The Dragon, rented this house for a time in the 50′s & 60′s.
Bruce Lee Cafe – originally a place called the Rickshaw run by Jon T. Benn, Bruce’s co-star from Way of the Dragon. Jon was in the food and beverage industry before he came to HK so he was no stranger to this kind of venture. Even now he runs an F&B consultancy from his current base in Shanghai but still finds the time to act as well.
63 Broadcast Drive, Kowloon Tong – thanks to Paul Li for mentioning this. Bruce took part in several TVB shows in the early 70′s – in particular the famous “Enjoy Yourself Tonight” and the Po Shan Landslide fundraiser. Both were filmed at the TVB studios – located here until 1984 after which they were moved to Shaw’s Movietown in Clearwater Bay. The site was demolished and turned into a development called “Peninsula Heights”.
81 Broadcast Drive – former site of ATV (formerly known as Rediffusion and RTV) studios. Building was recently demolished and has been turned into a very expensive apartment block. I still need to identify the various ATV show(s) he took part in. If anyone can enlighten me please feel free.
4/F, 211 Prince Edward Road – Betty’s home after she moved from Beacon Hill and whilst she was giving evidence at Bruce’s inquest. Demolished quite recently.
Fourseas Bowling Alley – there is a (now) famous anecdote from Jackie Chan about when he once met Bruce in Kowloon and took him bowling. It turns out the bowling alley in question was the famous Fourseas Bowling Alley which stood at the site of the former hotel that gave the bowling alley its name. The hotel was the Fourseas Hotel on Waterloo Road – made famous by Martin Booth in his memoir “Gweilo”/Golden Boy – and the site is now occupied by the Kowloon Metropark.
Bruce Lee Walking Tours
I’ve cobbled together a few walking tours around Kowloon that tke in many sites listed above but in a more useful order. You can find them on the following links (more on the way).
All my other Bruce Lee stuff can be found here.