Big Boss’ Location Thailand - Sites RevealedMay 6 2017 at 8:40 AM
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Response to Question about Jason Hart's Big Boss article
Further to the filming locations found in John Little’s “Pursuit of The Dragon” documentary, I’ve included some additional details, photos and places where filming crew left their traces on.
1) Don Mueang Airport (originally called Don Muang Airport in 1971)
Address: 222 Vibhavadi Rangsit Rd, Khwaeng Sanambin, Khet Don Mueang, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10210, Bangkok.
This is the Bangkok airport where Bruce and TBB crew landed and departed Thailand. It is about 20km away from the hotel where TBB crew stayed during filming. The airport was opened in 1914 and is considered to be one of the world's oldest international airports and Asia's oldest operating airport. After the new Suvarnabhumi Airport is opened for commercial flights in 2006, the spelling of “Don Muang” was changed to "Don Mueang" and it was closed before reopening on 24 March 2007 after renovations. In 2015, it became the world's largest low cost carrier airport and a regional commuter flight hub.
2) Hotel De Moc (originally called The Thai Hotel in 1971)
Address: 78 Prachatipatai Rd, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
This was the hotel Bruce and the crew stayed while filming TBB. “The Thai Hotel, Bangkok” was being mentioned in Letters of The Dragon where Bruce sent his letters to Linda in 1971.
Built in 1962 with a total of 90 rooms and with wooden flooring, the former Thai Hotel is renamed Hotel De Moc. "De Moc" stands for Democracy Monument. This family-run hotel that features 60s retro ambience is about 20km away from the Bangkok Don Mueang Airport.
According to the hotel controller, he still remembers the famous guest, Bruce stayed in room 401, the first room right at the corner of the 4th floor, opposite the fire exit as there is a big escape doorway right outside which was convenient for Bruce to stretch his body and practiced his martial arts. There are not many changes to the room decorations and facilities after 4 decades. Bruce liked sun tanning besides the hotel’s swimming pool but Maria Yi said she never saw him swim. Maria also mentioned that Bruce was really good in dancing when the crew went dancing in the bar and she was flabbergasted when Bruce sang with his rich, deep low vocal.
3) Rimtarninn Hotel (originally called New Wanchai Hotel in 1971)
Address: 430 Mittraphab Highway, Pak Chong 30130, Thailand
Bruce stayed in room 407 while filming TBB in Pakchong. “New Wanchai Hotel, Pachong” was being mentioned in Letters of The Dragon where Bruce mailed out his letters to Linda in 1971.
Set in a prime location of Khao Yai, Rimtarninn Hotel is near to the TBB’s location shooting of the ice factory, brothel, workers hostel, ice drink stall, big boss’s house etc. The hotel lady housekeeper remembers that Bruce told her to remove the mattress from the bed and laid it on the floor because he had to sleep on the hard floor due to the pain he sustained from his back injury. She also witnessed Bruce rehearsing the fight choreography near the hotel lift lobby on a "daily basis" and she even saw him practiced his martial arts in an open space right outside the hotel ground floor. This was the hotel where Maria Yi celebrated her 18th birthday on 29th Jul 1971 with the crew in its restaurant.
4) Fainam Koh Kaew Riverlake (200 yards behind the Rimtarninn Hotel)
This was the place where Chiao Mei washed her clothes and was harassed by Boss Mi’s son. Cheng Chiu-On came to her rescue and in the later part, they strolled along the lakeside. In the last lake scene, Cheng Chiu-On sat at the lakeside, trying to sort his thoughts out before throwing his baggage into the river and swore to take revenge for his loved ones.
5) Brothel at Khet Rodfai (“Train Area”)
The brothel at Khet Rodfai Street was actually a real brothel where TBB shot the brothel scene. It was very dirty and smelly. The hookers who played the extras were paid $10 for the shooting. According to the residents there, the wooden building and some houses along the street were burnt down to ashes in a big fire several years after TBB's filming. Now they have been replaced by residential houses. However, the old street sign, "Khet Rodfai"(“Train Area”) still stands there after 4 decades.
6) The Big Boss’ mansion: Sirisamphan Temple
Address : Mittraphap Frontage Rd., Tambon Pak Chong, Amphoe Pak Chong, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Needless to elaborate on this site as many of the familiar fight scenes with Cheng, Hsu, Boss and his gang were all shot here. The site still remains the same as it was 4 decades ago. Now, it has become a temple that host Buddhist monks.
7) Thamrongthai Ice factory
Also located at Pak Chong district, 30130 (about 1km away from the Sirisamphan Temple, turn in the south direction and then towards the left)
Also, needs no further elaboration, the famous ice factory scenes and fight scenes were all shot here. Today, it is still operating as ice manufacturing factory. The factory boss said the bell where Bruce rang was still at the same spot, the only difference is that it was being replaced by a newer one.
8) Nora Miao’s ice drink stall (New discovery!)
According to the local residents who witnessed the filming there, it was shot along the road of the ice factory just about 200m away.
Nora’s cameo appearance as the ice drink seller was a memorable one. No one would forget her sweet smile and how she and the little boy were being bullied by the thugs and then Hsu Chien came to their rescue while Cheng and his third uncle stared upon. Today, there are not many changes to the original scene and the spot where Nora Miao’s character sold ice drink is being occupied by a real ice drink selling stall with a lady also selling ice drinks.
9) Hsu Chien & workers’ hostel (New discovery!)
According to the local residents who witnessed the filming there, it was shot at one of the rented houses (actually 1 big bungalow type of residential house with another smaller hut behind) which were also just about 500m away from the ice factory. This was where all the workers including Cheng, Chiao Mei stayed in the Pak Chong village. The wooden house was already long abolished and being replaced by new blocks of buildings.
10) Prapradaeng Chao Phraya River
Address: Chao Phraya River City Pier, Bangkok 10310, Thailand
There are many interesting piers found along the 21km Chao Phraya River. Bruce shot the opening pier scenes during the later part of the filming in Bangkok as Pak Chong is in the inner part of the mainland and there isn’t any big rivers and piers suitable for shooting.
In movie making, the film is usually shot according to various required locations and thus not necessary in sequence as the film will be edited according to the script upon completion of the shooting.
The pier is actually quite far away from their stay in Hotel De Moc. Today, even the Chao Phraya Express boat is still quite a distance from this Hotel - though the western terminal pier for the Khlong Saen Saeb boat service is about 15 minutes' walk away.
WOW thank you very much for this additional trivia! NT - Anonymous on May 6, 2017, 11:21 AM
Re: Big Boss’ Location Thailand - Sites Revealed - shaolinguy on May 6, 2017, 1:09 PM
A correction (picture placed wrong) and more information about the two locations - JPB on May 6, 2017, 3:57 PM
another street in Pakchong - lazemby on May 6, 2017, 6:59 PM