Enter the Dragon - 1973 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Enter the Dragon - 1973

I figured I should start off with my favourite film because it's also the film that got me interested in Chinese culture and, ultimately, has led to me being in Hong Kong - albeit indirectly.

It was made in 1973 as a joint production between Golden Harvest and Warner Bros and was the first such international co-production. It cost US$800,000 to make - making it one of the highest grossing films of all time (relative to cost). It was eventually released in August of 1973 and shot Bruce Lee to international stardom, though he had actually already died in July 1973.

The film starts off with a shot of Ching Chun Koon temple in Tuen Mun and pans left to a (still unidentified) location where Bruce is squaring up to a long- haired Samo Hung Gam Bo with Roy Chiao officiating as the head monk. Then some scenes where Bruce talks fighting philosophy at Tsing Shan Monastery in Tuen Mun.

The opening credits are of the 1973 skyline taken from the hills above Central and various street shots in Kowloon.

As a nice side-story to this, I have been helping a Canadian film documentary maker film a Bruce Lee locations-related doc this week but the one scene that remains to be identified is the location of the fight with Samo Hung. After interviewing a fellow called Tung wai - who played the young student 'Lao' in the Tsing Shan scenes - he has given the name of the place as "The Rose Garden" but can't remember where it was. No one else seems to know. Yuen wah - a famous local actor and Bruce's acrobatic stunt double in the film - has forgotten and Samo Hung is currently unreachable.

So perhaps one of the local experts can recognise the place and tell us whether it is still intact.


shows Ching Chun Koon before panning left to the next location at Ho Sheung Heung (nr Sheung Shui).

Ching Chun Koon - Enter the Dragon

The next shot has only just recently been identified as being in the woods behind Ho Sheung Heung village in the northern NT. This scene was also the last one shot by Bruce Lee before he died and this sequence was actually done by him independently of Warners.

Ho Sheung Heung

After giving Samo a thorough kicking, the film moves on to a location which is still intact, Tsing Shan Monastery. It still looks as it was back in 1973, give or take a tree or two.

Tsing Shan Monastery - Enter the Dragon

The scene below, called "Lao's Time" starring a young Tung Wai (now a famous local director) is situated about twenty feet below the location of the monk scene. Both these locations are situated on the hill behind the main monastery buildings.

Lao's Time - Enter The Dragon

The opening credits start with the required city view taken from somewhere above Admiralty. I am sure I have seen this tree in many other programs but I don't know the exact location. Anyway, we get to see the 1973 Jardine House and Queens Building as well as quite a few others.

Central - Enter the Dragon

Followed by a rickety looking building somewhere in Kowloon City perhaps. I've been told that many of these opening scenes were filmed around the Kowloon City area - Nga Tsin Wai Road.

Enter the Dragon - opening credits old building

And some old shophouses. There is a street name in this scene but my technology is limiting me from getting a clearer screen shot.

Enter the Dragon - opening credits Kowloon shophouses

Next we get a market, or perhaps some sort of waterfront wholesale market given the number of boxes.

Enter the Dragon - opening credits market

Then we move to TST and a shot of John Saxon in a rickshaw. You can see the Red Lips bar on the left which should tell you its exact location in 1973. Famous, but I don't know where it is/was..Hankow Road?)

Enter the Dragon - opening credits Rickshaw ride

and finally I've included a shot which I think is Hankow Road because it has the CoPaCaBaNa sign in the background.

Enter the Dragon - opening credits street

Can anyone give more specific locations to these photos?

the next portion of the film shows the fighters meeting up on a junk in Aberdeen Harbour before heading off to Han's Island. The scene is interspersed with flashbacks but only Bruce Lee's are HK location related. So I'll post these next, but for now we see various shots o Aberdeen as it was in 1973.

Aberdeen Harbour - Enter The Dragon

Aberdeen Harbour - Enter The Dragon

Aberdeen Harbour - Enter The Dragon

Actually the next one doesn't look like Aberdeen Harbour proper but perhaps was filmed in part of the outer harbour? I think it is the hillside that has the seminary at the top. No obscured from this angle by the road bridge.

Aberdeen Harbour - Enter The Dragon

The next shot is a good view over the harbour showing the Tai Pak and Sea Palace restaurants, Ap Lei Chau, some reclamation, the power station that became South Horizons development and Lamma in the far background.

Aberdeen Harbour - Enter The Dragon

Finally the boat on open sea. Is that Aberdeen in the background?

Aberdeen Harbour - Enter The Dragon

the main scene involves a chase filmed at Golden Harvest studios, but there is also a scene where Lee visits his parents' grave. This was filmed high up in the Muslim Cemetery in Happy Valley but there are recognisable (I hope) buildings in the background.

Enter the Dragon - Muslim Cemetery


the next scenes showing the arrival at Han's Island, was filmed in Tai Tam on the coastline between what is now the American Club and Pacific View apartments complex.

The concrete jetty below still remains intact but the tennis courts in the bottom photo were absorbed into the construction of  said developments.

Enter the Dragon - Tai Tam jetty

Enter the Dragon - M W Lo grounds

The long shot of Han's fortress is actually King Yin Lei in Wanchai.

King Yin Lei

Incidentally, I havew recently come into possession of an aerial photo of Tai Tam showing Lo's house (Palm Villa) and its tennis courts - as well as Stanley Ho's old villa two doors away. Don't know whio owned the one stuck in the middle but they have all been removed to make way for the American Club. Lo's tennis courts (all three of them it seems) were all taken over by Pacific View.

Aerial view of Tai Tam, circa 1970

the red lips bar was in a corner walk through alley between peking road (this shot) and lock road.  institution which, amongst other nasties sold san mig to intrepidous schoolboys in uniform in those days - urban myth? unfortunately not!

post refers to previous set of pics - sorry

copacabana was at bottom of hankow road near the intersection with peking road just a bit further up than bottoms up

Hi there,

I believe it was taken somewhere around the Cameron Mansion area.  I have compared the line of site using Google Earth and it appeared to be right.  I'll have to get hold of a copy of the DVD in order to have a better picture of it though.

Best Regards,


Definitely not an urban myth as can be seen in this article:


Hi there,

I think I could identify some of the buildings there.  I'll try to list them out from left to right:

1.  Tang Shiu Kin Hospital

2.  The then Morrison Hill Technical School (Now VTC)

3.  SKH Tang Shiu Kin Secondary School (the long building with the same facet)

Best Regards,


Han, the evil baddy from "Enter the Dragon" (played by Shek Kin who passed away this year) lived on an Island Fortress that straddled the HK maritime border therefore taking part of it out of British jurisdiction (that's the plot, not real life).

In the film it is shown, via a map, at the south-western part of the border. There is also an island on the map that did actually match a real island in 1973 although you would be hard pressed to find it now. Look carefully on the screen shot below and you will see the distinctive outline of Chek Lap Kok. The top of which straddles the "border".

Han's island map - Enter the Dragon

When they were doing location hunting for the film one of the films actors, Roy Chiao (very famous HK actor who died in 1999), who was qualified as a pilot, took the production crew out in his plane and the following island shot is a result of that trip.

Han's island - Enter the Dragon

I'm not sure this is a real island because this photo is a composite made up of at least three items: the island, the 'fortress' and the tennis grounds. It's possible the island itself is also a mixture of several locations. Unless someone can recognise it.

Look closely and you will see that the production crew did quite a good job at using another angle of King Yin lei as Han's fortress (though you can't really see this cleary in the film) and MW Lo's tennis courts for the tournament fields. The following shot shows this.

Han's island close up - Enter the Dragon


if you want some first-hand info on this film you could always contact anders nelsson - long time resident, he had a half minute shot in it, i include a link to his website with several clippings-  some of which talk about hk films and tv


Hi Vanessa

Thanks for the reminder. Actually he was in "Way of the Dragon" filmed in 1972. I have some friends who interviewed him yesterday (coincidentally enough) for a US/Canadian documentary.

Unfortunately most of that film was shot in Rome and in the Golden Harvest studio. There is only one outdoor scene filmed in HK and it was shot at the (now) tennis courts behind Woodland Crest in Sheung Shui near Wa Shan Tsuen.



ok sorry phil! - way of , enter, saw both and more!  also was a mourner in-loco when bruce lee´s coffin was driven up nathan road - a sad day. didnt see much but had some grainy b/w cuttings which have lost along the years. fortunately these gems crop up when you least expect them :) on more recent sites!

I suspect that the Han's Island idea may have been lifted directly from John Le Carre's great book The Honourable Schoolboy which has an island south of Hong Kong inhabited by the 'Baddy' in the climax. Can't find my well read paperback copy to check the publication date. But it was published around the same time in the 70s. Also plenty of Hong Kong coverage in it.



I think that book was published in 1977. Didn't it climax on Po Toi Island?

However, most people seem to agree that the plot of Enter was pretty much lifted from James Bond's Dr No (1962) with a bit of kung fu thrown in for good measure.



The topography and general coastline is of Chek Lap Kok:


However, it looks like the finger-like northern peninsula has been airbrushed away to create the cove!

Hi there,

The map was Chek Lap Kok alright.  However would this captured from Google Earth ring any bells folks?

Best Regards,


Good work T on the google maps. Looks like you have located the right island (Kau Yi Chau) for the composite photo.

Nothing very useful was in the film other than these couple of shots. But even then, not much can be seen.

Enter the Dragon - Kai Tak

Enter the Dragon - Kai Tak

T - excellent find. I matched the angle used in the film and it looks perfect.




Phil's found the location of the opening scene, though it wasn't easy. Read about the detective work here.

the location of the bruce vs samo scene is quiet famous...you can see the exact same spot in snake in the eagle's shadow and several shaw brothers films.

The last one is Hankow Road

For the 6th photo: It is not Nga Tsin Wai Road but Yau Ma Tei where Yau Ma Tei Jockey Club Specialist Clinic and Yau Ma Tei Police Station are at the background.

For the 7th photo: It is the junction of Shanghai Street and Man Ming Lane where the tong lau 313 Shanghai Street is still remained.

For the 8th Photo: It is the Ya Ma Tei Fruit Market viewed from the east of Reclamation Street.


Hi Richard. It's been a while since I put these up and have subsequently discovered where #6 was, but #7 was proving elusive so many thanks for bringing it to my attention. Cheers Phil

I found that my photos in flickr can be organized into Bruce Lee's Historical Trail