Above: Koh Tapu in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand.
From pristine, white sand beaches and mysterious temples in the jungle, to world-class hotels, Asia is full of picture-prefect settings. With movie tourism on the rise, we decided to revisit some of our favorite film locations.
Koh Tapu, Thailand
The surreal limestone islet of Koh Tapu [Nail Island] in Thailand’s Phang-nga Bay posed as the lair where James Bond’s (Roger Moore) nemesis Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) stashed his deadly laser weapon in the 1974 film “The Man with the Golden Gun.”
Parts of the movie were also filmed in Hong Kong, where Bond takes the ferry across the bay to Kowloon where he follows Scaramanger’s mistress Andrea Anders’ green Rolls-Royce to the Peninsula Hotel (the hotel is famous for its fleet of Rolls-Royces); and Bangkok where Bond is involved in a boat chase through the klongs, or the city’s network of canals.
Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand
Koh Phi Phi Leh gained in popularity after Maya Bay was used as the setting for the screen adaptation of Alex Garland’s novel “The Beach.” Relive some of the film’s most famous moments as you relax on the white sand or take a dip in the azure waters of the Andaman sea.
Lawsuits against 20th Century Fox were filed following the filming for causing irreversible damage to the island’s ecosystem. Fox apparently altered the beach to make it more “paradise-like” prior to filming, failing to restore the area to its pre-filming condition. In 2006, Thailand’s Supreme Court upheld the ruling that the filming had harmed the environment.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The Cambodian temple complex of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap was used as a setting of the 2001 Angelina Jolie film “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.” The most spectacular temple backdrop in the film is Ta Prohm, where the jungle freely intertwines with the temple ruins.
Angelina Jolie was so taken by Cambodia during the filming of the action blockbuster that she adopted a Cambodian boy Maddox from an orphanage in the country’s capital Phnom Penh.
Check out a stunning visual portfolio of the temple complex here.
Sirroco at The Dome at lebua hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
Those wishing to relive some of the moments of “The Hangover Part II” can head up to he 63 rd floor of Bangkok’s The Dome at lebua hotel. The entrance to Sirroco restaurant was the site of several key scenes in the movie.
The film, released in 2011, became the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time.
Read our review of Sirroco here.
Almost entirely shot in Tokyo’s colorful districts of Shinjuku and Shibuya, “Lost in Translation” takes in the neon-lit buildings at the entrance to the city’s notorious entertainment district Kabukicho, as well as the busy intersection in front of Shibuya Station’s Hachiko Exit, among others. Many of the film’s scenes have also been shot at the Park Hyatt Tokyo in Shinjuku where Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) stay and meet each other; many of the scenes have been filmed at the hotel’s 52nd New York Bar.