Thailand is one of the world’s most glamorous countries, from its exciting capital of Bangkok to its stunning coastline and steamy jungle. It’s little wonder then that so many Americans choose to vacation in Thailand or even move there, but it’s also a place that film directors love to visit. Some of the greatest films in history have been shot at least partly in Thailand, so as you explore the country you can follow in the footsteps of Hollywood legends. Here are just five of the iconic movies that were filmed on location in Thailand.
1. The Beach
Alex Garland’s cult novel became a smash hit movie, and while the movie databases might say that Leonardo di Caprio was the star, we all know that the real star was the golden sandy beach. It was filmed on Koh Phi Phi Leh, but environmental concerns mean that tourists are no longer encouraged to visit it, but if you want an equally spectacular Thailand beach, head to Chaweng Beach on the island of Koh Samui. You can also enjoy luxurious accommodations Koh Samui at great value prices, making it an ideal place to stay on a Thailand vacation.
2. The Hangover 2
Thailand has something for everyone, from culture vultures to party lovers, and this last demographic were represented in the hilarious movie ‘The Hangover 2’. Even funnier than the original film, this comedy sequel makes the most of its Thai location, even including the country’s most beloved animal in its action: the elephant.
3. The Man with the Golden Gun
There have been 26 James Bond films, and counting, but one of the favorite entries in this long running series is ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’. Roger Moore is on Bond duties this time, and while we get the usual mix of action, suspense and intrigue, we also get the striking sights of Koh Tapu, renamed ‘Scaramanga’s Island’ in the film. Incidentally, Bond returned to Thailand 23 years later in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies.’
4. The Deer Hunter
The Vietnam war has provided the background for many classic award-winning films, but many weren’t shot in Vietnam at all but in Thailand. First among these was ‘The Deer Hunter’, which won five Oscars at the 1979 Academy Awards. The jungle scenes shot in Thailand show just how geographically diverse the country is, and how beautiful it is whether you spend time on the beaches of the south or among the mountains of the north.
5. Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason
This Bridget Jones sequel doesn’t show Thailand in the best light, our heroine does end up in jail after all, but it’s certainly hilarious. Renee Zellweger is in fine form and she helped the movie take over $262 million at the box office, showing that there’s a big appetite out there for films featuring Thailand.
The five films above show many different areas of Thailand, but it’s even more enjoyable to discover the real Thailand by visiting yourself. A vacation in Koh Samui or Phuket will stay long in the memory, and the golden sands and clear blue skies will make you feel like you’re in a movie yourself.