007 things for James Bond to do while in Shanghai
Some of the action in the forthcoming James Bond film, “Skyfall,” takes place in China, and Daniel Craig and the production team were filming in Shanghai earlier this year.
Sneak peeks show car chases under the blue lights of the Yan’an elevated road, Bond leaning up against a bar in Lujiazui, and plenty of gorgeous shots of neon-lit skyscrapers. (Watch the movie’s Shanghai clip on YouTube.)
But did the womanizing, hard-drinking, crack-shot super spy miss anything during his whistle-stop tour of Shanghai? We’ve put together a list for Britain’s finest secret agent.
1. Shake it at the Long Bar
Plenty of places claim to make the best martini in town, but for Bond’s preferred variation of the classic cocktail, there is no better place than the Waldorf Astoria.
Here they make a martini using Potocki Vodka, an artisanal Polish vodka distilled without the standard charcoal filtration process. This means the liquor has an exceptionally clean and distinct taste.
In the recent 007 films, Bond prefers a Vesper martini, a mixture of gin, vodka and vermouth. But however he wants his tipple prepared, the experts at this elegant historic bar would shake, or stir, it up to perfection.
Long Bar at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai (上海外滩华尔道夫酒店廊吧), 1/F, 2 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Guangdong Lu 中山东一路2号1楼, +86 21 6322 9988, Monday-Friday, 4 p.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-1 a.m., www.waldorfastoriashanghai.com
2. Run up a new suit
Tom Ford is creating Daniel Craig’s suits for the 23rd 007 film, and last year the U.S. designer opened a store here, so Bond would be able to source a new dinner jacket if a stray bullet punched a hole in his best tux.
However, while he’s here he should take advantage of the city’s homegrown tailors. Top of our list is Stel Lee (历宁), one of Shanghai’s only female suit makers.
Her designs mix classic elegance with contemporary touches and she’s a babe, to boot. We can imagine Commander Bond would just love to have his inside leg measured by Lee.
Stel Lee Bespoke (历宁男装定制), 569 Fuxing Zhong Lu, near Ruijin Er Lu, 复兴中路569号, 近瑞金二路, +86 21 5465 1953, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m., www.hisshanghai.com
3. Squeeze off a few at the pistol range
Shanghai has a couple of gun ranges where, with minimal ID and ditto experience, anyone can rock up and try out an arsenal of firearms.
If Bond wanted to sharpen up his aim, he should head for the East Shanghai Shooting and Archery Club, a discreet underground shooting range that’s used by some of the best marksmen in the city.
The guns available range from competition-grade air pistols to 7.62mm target rifles -- they even have Bond’s preferred Walther PPK … just perfect for showing off that famous dead-eye.
East Shanghai Shooting and Archery Club (东方射击射箭馆), 663 Hongqiao Lu, near Panyu Lu 虹桥路663号, 近番禺路, +86 21 6280 0677, 10 a.m.-11 p.m., www.es-club.com.cn
4. Clock in at Omega
For the first nine 007 films, Bond wore a Rolex. He then switched to a digital Seiko (of all things) before going back to a Rolex for the Timothy Dalton movies. Since “GoldenEye,” Bond has never been seen without his Omega Seamaster.
The secret agent has come to the right city for watch shopping.
Omega opened in Shanghai what was then its largest store in the world in 2005 -- a 450-square-meter shop emporium on Nanjing Xi Lu (the current largest Omega boutique is in Westfield Stratford in London). Prices for Seamaster are around RMB 32,000 and up.
Of course if 007 was caught short he could always grab a bad fake from the “watch-bag-DVD” traders at the crossroads of Shanxi Nan Lu and Huaihai Zhong Lu.
Omega, 1618 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Changde Lu, 南京西路1618号, 近常德路, +86 21 6288 2459, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., www.omegawatches.com
5. Check out the competition at the Public Security Museum
Shanghai has some pretty random museums. Prominent among them is the Shanghai Museum of Public Security (上海公安博物馆), which charts the history of Shanghai’s police force and various militias, and the roles they played during the turbulent history of the city.
If Bond wanted a crash course in the working of Shanghai’s men in black, he should head here.
On show are various historic artifacts and guns, including one made of gold that could have been the inspiration for the former Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga, and a miniature pistol that looks like something whipped up by Q Branch.
Shanghai Museum of Public Security, 2-4/F, 518 Ruijin Nan Lu, near Xietu Lu 瑞金南路518号2-4楼, 近斜土路, +86 21 6472 0256, admission: RMB 8, Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
6. Put his foot down at the F1 track
No trip is complete for 007 without car racing. While in Shanghai, Bond could either have a go with the city’s notoriously fearless taxi drivers, or head out to the Shanghai International Circuit in Jiading.
This 5,451-meter track hosts the F1 Grand Prix every April, but can also be hired out to test supercars.
Right now, Liveit.cn runs a 90-minute track experience tour. It includes 20 minutes driving a Radical SR3 racing car, which can accelerate to 100 kph in 3.8 seconds.
The track days are for drivers with some experience in racing cars and require a cool RMB 30,000 deposit in case you destroy the car -- which Bond has a nasty habit of doing.
Shanghai International Circuit, 2000 Yining Lu,Jiading, 伊宁路2000号, +86 21 6956 8888, www.icsh.sh.cn
7. Break into a super-villain’s lair
Shanghai is home to some of the most extravagant buildings erected in the past decade, many of which would make a suitable lair for a world-class super-villain.
Shanghai Culture Plaza, which opened last year, reminds us of Atlantis, Karl Stromberg’s submarine base in “The Spy Who Loved Me;” and the Oriental Arts Center looks like a giant solar-powered space laser.
But if we were a super-villain plotting world domination, we’d make the new Shanghai Museum of Glass our HQ. Its mix of steel, neon and crystal would make the perfect backdrop for an explosive climax to the next 007 adventure.
Shanghai Museum of Glass, 685 Changjiang Xi Lu, near Jiangyang Nan Lu 长江西路685号, 近江杨南路, +86 21 6618 1970, admission: RMB 20, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., en.shmog.org