THAILAND – Bangkok, Chinatown & Soi Nana // Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Chinatown in Bangkok is as Chinese as it gets outside of Mao Country: vibrant and a challenge to all your senses. Here is the spot of Wai Lin’s famous shower scene.
Why Bond was here
Media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) tries to set up a World War III stage between China and UK to be the first to report the news. So James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) teams up with Chinese agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) to cut Carvers headlines.
Both “meet” him at his skycraper headquarter in Ho Chi Minh City – actually the Sinn Sathorn Tower in Bangkok – before getting chased by his henchmen throughout the city. After the escape, Bond and Wai Lin have a shower and prep for round two in Wai Lin’s spy shop. The scenes are set to play in Ho Chi Minh City as well, but had been filmed in Bangkok’s vibrant Chinatown instead.
How you gonna get there
Both the shower scene and the place of the spy shop are filmed in adjoining streets in the eastern parts of Bangkok’s Chinatown. The best option is to start from Hua Lamphong Train Station. Go there either by metro, taking the MRT Blue Line to its final destination or ask a Tuk-Tuk driver to get you there. From there it is just some meters by foot along Rama IV Road.
- The shop scene had been filmed at Soi Nana, an entry to the right from Rama IV Road.
- The shower scene then some meters up north at the end of Soi Nana. Go along Maitri Chit Road and then turn left into small Makham 2 – there you are!
Good to know
Bangkok’s Chinatown is as close as it gets to China, without being in China. The streets are cramped with vendors, fish sellers and guys, who offer everything you never needed. The later the day, the fuller the roads and lanes – and the shinier the huge neon signs above.
Strolling through Bangkok’s Chinatown:
Start your exploration of Bangkok’s Chinatown at Soi Nana and the surroundings. The street is not like the rest of Chinatown, but nowadays a hip joint of small cafés and tapas bars. We recommend “Bed and Brews” for wild coffee soda mixes to get a fresh start.
Then find your way along Yaowarat Road. The road is always crowded and presses through Chinatown like a giant snake. Start at the huge China Town Gate in the south – with a quick visit to the Golden Buddha Temple – and then head west. The markets get confusingly narrow at Guan Yu Shrine and Soi Wanit. Try to find the small Wat Chakkrawat temple behind Maha Chak Road – it is one the last temples in Bangkok that keeps living crocodiles.
From Chakkrawat it is only a small way further west to the Flower Market, a covered market where vendors sell fresh flowers and chaplets. The whole hall is filled with a beautiful smell, all around you, you’ll see the rich golden color of the Marigold Flower – the one, worshipers get to offer at Buddhist shrines. If you then want to head back, just take a longtail boat at Chao Phraya river – the closest station is Yodpiman right outside the Flower Market.
Getting around at Bangkok’s Chinatown can be very challenging – from heat to smell to absolute chaos. If you want to relax a bit after a long walk through the beautiful alleys, enter “Floral Café at Napasorn” opposite the Flower Market. It is a small and quiet café, not that cheap, but definitely worth it.
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