I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with a mad crazy German Bruce Lee fan (who shall remain nameless to protect his shy nature – although he did blame me for the bombing of Dresden…I didn’t really feel I could let him know that my home town was Coventry) and we headed up into the norther part of the New Territories to catch a few of the Bruce Lee-related locations. Now, sadly the day was a bit of a rush so we didn’t have time to do all we could have done but anyway I figured it may be useful to other people who fancy venturing a bit further out of the way and are keen to spend as little time doing it as possible. So here is what we did. It took around 4 hours.
Archive for Bruce Lee
Not so long ago I was contacted by a film maker who was interested in me taking him up to the location where Bruce fought Samo at the beginning of Enter the Dragon. I believe it was for another documentary. You can read my original post on that long (but ultimately very satisfying) search here. The film maker asked me what the condition of the place was like and I had to admit that I had no idea because I hadn’t been there for nearly 3 years (it’s not exactly on my local bus route, let’s just say that). Well, it turns out that I had some spare time not so long ago and thought it may be worth heading back for a look-see.
This post is long overdue. It was conceived around the same time I wrote this one regarding Fist of Unicorn filming in Pak Tam Chung but despite only taking a few weeks to solve, it has been sitting on my shelf gathering dust as I have struggled to find the time to get to the location and confirm for myself.
When I wrote the Fist of Unicorn post, a locally based journalist – Simon Parry – caught sight of it and wrote a story for the SCMP. During our talks I had made a throwaway comment about wanting to find the Sai Kung location seen in the small amount of outdoor footage and publicity snaps for Lee’s original Game of Death concept. Read more »
I think enough time has elapsed that I can put this one up on my blog.
If you have read my post (loooong time ago) about the Tai Pak Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen Harbour, then the name of the Sea Palace should also be familiar.
The Sea Palace was for a time, the only other floating restaurant in Aberdeen before the Jumbo appeared and eclipsed them all. Now I don’t know when the Sea Palace eventually disappeared, but I have been told that it was moved to another country (in bits surely? I can’t imagine these things could be towed, they don’t look seaworthy enough) – either the Philippines or Australia, I don’t know. Read more »
Following on from this post a couple of years back when it seems as though the makers of Enter the Dragon inadvertently captured a corner of Golden Harvest’s main studio building on camera, I’ve finally managed to grab an aerial photo – snapped in October of 1973 from a height of 1700′ – showing the studios site. I thought it would be interesting to compare to a modern day Google view to see how the area has been redeveloped since the studio was closed.
Seeing as short and sweet seems to be the mode at the moment (the long stuff takes me too long to do sometimes) then here is a quick one about a place I’ve only just got around to visiting courtesy of another planned Bruce Lee walking tour.
It’s the location of his Hong Kong funeral service.
The Lung Wah Hotel is a veritable Shatin institution that has been around for an age. It’s an odd looking place resembling something like the lovechild from a one night stand between firestation and a Chinese temple – bright red plastered walls with ornate roof tiles – and it sits in a location that really makes it a bit of a pain to reach. That said, once you understand a little about its history, and indeed that of the surrounding area, its location makes more sense.
The other week I had a few hours to kill whilst my kids did their badminton stuff at school and so I wandered off towards Shatin to go and explore a place I have been to a few times but never done any blog stuff on before. The result was a nice and sometimes depressing exploration of Po Fook Shan and I will publish an entry on that later, but until then I thought it would be nice to look at a few other places in the vicinity, one of which being the West Forest Monastery (西林寺 Sai Lam Tsee).
Well, here we go, the last post…of 2011. I’ve been putting this one together for quite a while simply because I don’t have the time to walk the whole thing in one go but I trust the route is the most efficient, makes sense and that people find it useful. Not only is this a great way to see some Lee related sites in YMT, but it’s also a good solid walk taking you through a large part of Kowloon that wouldn’t necessarily be on the usual tourist/visitor itinerary.
As before it’s mainly Bruce with some local interest thrown in for good measure and, like #1, you can get the route from Googlemaps where I have plotted out the main sites listed below. This walk involves a lot of crossing roads so make sure you have your best walking shoes on and, seeing as this is HK, it will be hot. Even a HK winter can be warm and a bit sticky, especially if you are traipsing around Kowloon with all its poor air flow and heat-radiating concrete.
Here is a man who has been much in the news over the past few years thanks to the rather large number (relatively speaking) of films that have been made about him recently – so far 4 and counting (the most recent effort is Wong Kar Wai’s contribution to the whole saga).
I am of course talking about Yip Man (sometimes spelt Ip but I feel the Cantonese is closer to Yip with an initial Y) – the man who has gone down in history as one of the most skillful (and now very famous) proponents of Wing Chun kung fu. Aside from his obvious Bruce Lee connection – which arguably is behind the recent surge of interest in him – he produced a stable of highly proficient Wing Chun pugilists including the likes of Wong Shun Leung, William Cheung, Duncan Leung, Moy Yat, Leung Ting and many many more – Yip Man is really the centre point for the global expansion of Wing Chun, an expansion that really started with the kung fu craze that Lee kick started in 1973.
Everyone seems to be into walking tours these days – personally I blame Spurrier and his excellent books – so I figured it was my turn for once. Bear with me, I am a complete amateur but after spending quite some time researching Lee-related locations for no other reason than my own curiosity, I have got a bunch of places on my Bruce Lee’s Hong Kong entry that need consolidating into a more useful/logical form. So here is the first part, apologies in advance for the huge amount of piccies included but I’m hoping they will make up for whatever clarity I lack in my written directions.
Tsim Sha Tsui seems to be the perfect starting point for this series of walks (more on the way) because there are a cluster of places – some already gone, but many still around – that make it an easy walk. Hopefully I can get started on similar walks for other areas such as Yau Ma Tei, Mongkok and Kowloon Tong as well as HK Island and the NT, but it’s going to take some time to get organised.
It seems that this is now old news now, and that it was a done deal even by the start of 2011, but unfortunately a lack of reporting in Hong Kong means that it has completely gone under my (and everyone else’s) radar until just now and I am, to be honest, pretty astounded that it has been brushed under the carpet after the blaze of publicity we saw in 2008 and then again in 2010. Anyway, shock over, I thought I would round off the whole 41 Cumberland Road saga with a final post on the subject so as to vent a bit and add some speculation as to what happened (in the absence of any official press releases).
Perhaps the first thing I need to do is point out the distinction between Tai Po Market railway station and Tai Po railway station. The former exists in two forms: 1) as the current MTRC East Rail station that serves the south side of Tai Po, and 2) the old Chinese style station (built in 1913) that closed down when the line was electrified in 1983 and turned into the small, but very excellent, Railway Museum.
Whoops! I accidentally hit the publish button a little too early on this entry and a half-completed version was visible for a while, so many apologies for that. All done now though, hopefully you’ll find it a bit more coherent this time.
A while back I wrote an entry about Palm Villa (now demolished and redeveloped, in part, into the American Club) in Tai Tam, ‘owned’ by M.W Lo. You may remember that the house had several adjacent tennis courts stepped down the hillside towards a small cove and this location served as the on-screen representation of Han’s Island in Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon.
Since that post, and because they knew my interest in the place, I received an invite to the club from a friend who is a member. Of course I jumped at the chance to take a visit, sample the lunchtime buffet and take a good old wander around the grounds to see what remnants (if anything) of the old estate still exist. The answer is: more than I thought, but not as much as I’d like
Whoops! I’ve done it again.
Flushed with my success at nailing down the location for the fight scene between Sammo Hung and Bruce at the beginning of Enter The Dragon a couple of years ago now (whoosh! doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun), I figured I would turn my hand to some other places that people (BL fans I mean – only some of them could be classed as ‘people’…just kidding) no longer know where they took place. One of them being the forgotten and rather anonymous location seen in the opening and closing credits of Unicorn Fist (aka Unicorn Palm/Fist of Unicorn).
I recently had the good fortune to be asked to pen a short article for Time Out HK magazine. The topic, as you may have guessed already, was the various locations used in Enter The Dragon for which this blog has slowly started to become a valuable source of information – I don’t just mean me finding stuff but also the various people who have left helpful comments that have also pointed me in the right direction. Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, and because it didn’t seem to have made the online version of the magazine, I have scanned it in and with Time Out’s permission, you can view it here for yourself.
It’s been a bit of a kung fu week for me this week, first with the awesome Jon Benn leaving a comment on the blog, followed by also awesome James Lew following my blog posts on Twitter and then another opportunity I may expand about at a later time. Anway, it’s put me in a bit of Bruce mode and I figured I could post something useful as well as interesting for the Bruce Lee contingent and do more detail on the Enter The Dragon scenes filmed at Tsing Shan Monastery. Read more »
I’ve been aware of Kom Tong Hall for quite sometime, mainly because of its modern day incarnation as the Dr Sun Yat Sen Museum. But it’s also a great example of the type of grand splendid private residences that used to be all over the Mid-levels before high-rise property became the de rigueur mode of development.
However, about two years ago I was able to make what I thought was a solid connection between Kom Tong Hall, its owner Ho Kom Tong and Bruce Lee. The connection seemed strong enough to mention it to John Little when he was over filming his documentary, and as a result he spent some time up there getting some shots with the movie camera.