Hollywood films are not a bad way to get an idea of where to go on your next overseas vacation. In order to craft the most fantastic scenes possible for the big screen, Hollywood film crews travel all over the world to find perfect locations. Here are some of the most gorgeous Southeast Asian sites that were used by some of the biggest films in recent years.
Although the live action version of Ghost in the Shell was filmed at various locations, a lot of it was shot at “secret” Hong Kong locations. This includes areas like the Tsim Sha Tsui Cultural Centre, the North Point Waterfront, Quarry Bay, and the Tsuen Wan Cemetery, all of which were overlaid with CGI images to complete the movie’s futuristic aesthetic. In case you want to see them all, Coconuts Hong Kong has the full scoop on all of Ghost in the Shell’s filming locations around the city.
Ubud in Indonesia
The small and lovely town of Ubud in the heart of Bali, Indonesia proved to be the perfect backdrop for a large part of 2010’s Eat Pray Love. In her quest to find herself, Julia Roberts’ character traveled to India, Italy, and eventually made it to the lush valleys and rice terraces of Indonesia. The movie’s influence on Ubud’s local tourism is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that there are now Eat Pray Love tours offered to those who visit the town of Ubud.
Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 movie based on the classic story of the giant ape King Kong. In order to provide the perfect otherworldly background to the tale of American soldiers finding giant animals in the wild, the filming crew shot across various unspoiled locations in northern Vietnam. Set in the Vietnam War era, they could not have picked a better country to shoot this movie. Vietnam Tourism has a list of the locations used, including Ha Long Bay, Quang Binh, and the stunning Ninh Binh.
Maya Bay in Thailand
Locally known as Hat Maya, Maya Bay was the main shooting location for the thriller The Beach. Based on Alex Garland’s novel, the film became a cult hit for backpackers, and made Maya Bay the ultimate traveler destination. The constant tourist numbers, driven by the film, have had a big effect on the beach. Time reported that the beach is currently closed for four months in order to protect the environment. Ironically the star of The Beach, Leonardo DiCaprio, who is a prominent environmentalist, is a big reason for the influx of visitors. In 2000, DiCaprio was the biggest star on the planet after his role in Titanic. The second highest grossing film in the world was a global phenomenon that is still celebrated today. FoxyBingo’s game based on Titanic shows how the global obsession has gone beyond the big screen and expanded into digital media, which has helped introduce new audiences to the film and the star. Following the film, Leo-mania gripped the world and many people saw The Beach, despite negative reviews, following in the actor’s footsteps to make Maya Bay one of the top destinations in South East Asia.
Angkor Wat in Cambodia
When Hindus in Cambodia constructed Angkor Wat in the 12th century, they couldn’t have possibly predicted that it would eventually be world-famous for being Lara Croft’s stomping grounds in Tomb Raider. While Angkor Wat has been globally famous since it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, 2001’s Tomb Raider pretty much secured its place as one of the most visited ancient sites in the world. When we visited the place, the three-day pass cost $62 while the tuk-tuk rides that let us explore the site cost less than $30 combined.
Any of these Southeast Asian Hollywood filming locations deserve to be on your travel bucket list. The next time you’re stuck wondering where to go next, visit your local cinema.
This post was written in partnership by Kim Addington. This post originally appeared on www.fulltimeexplorer.com