Thailand's not Hollywood, but plenty of popular films have been made here. Can you name the top 10?
Not only were parts of this movie filmed at one of my favorite hotels in Bangkok, Lebua, but the premise is just so funny. Sure, it's not PC and it's totally unrealistic but so what? And, as far as portraying the real Thailand... well, don't get your hopes up. But it's actually a lot more realistic than most films that take place here.
Take a beautiful beach add some psychadelic drugs, a cute guy and a stuffed iguana and you get a scary foreign prison filled with hookers with hearts of gold. Yeah, another not so realistic or PC film. But Phuket sure looks beautiful, doesn't it? And there is an important moral to be learned here if you didn't learn it already watching Brokedown Palace.
Another film about a naive, innocent woman ending up in jail in Thailand for smuggling drugs? Wow, that must happen a lot here. Not really. Foreigners do occasionally get thrown in jail for smuggling drugs though and to this day I get paranoid whenver I pass through the airport. Moral of the story -- when a cute guy asks you to carry something through the airport for him, politely decline.
This is a remake of another film with exactly the same name, made about a decade earlier. I can't decide whether this was Nicolas Cage at his best (as in Face Off), or Nicolas Cage past his prime trying to mimic himself at his best. Hard to say but there are some cool scenes shot in Bangkok's Chinatown. Moral of this story -- watch out for assasins.
This classic James Bond film is one of the first mainstream US productions to feature Bangkok and Phuket. One of the small islands in the Andaman Bay, called Scaramanga's Island in the film, is now known as James Bond Island and is incessantly toured by day trippers from Phuket. As for plot, there are some Thai assasins, hot Thai ladies and a few other stereotypes, but, hey, it's 007. What would you expect?
8. The Beach
Given that Thailand's been a part of the banana pancake trail for so long, it's no surprise that Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the film starts in the infamous backpacker ghetto Khao San Road in Bangkok and ends up on Koh Phi Phi, just like thousands of other young travelers who come to Thailand every year. Of course, since it's a movie, things get a little more complicated. Like, lots more complicated. But in a strange way the film does capture something truthful about traveling in Thailand. Not the drugs though, or the murders. If you've seen the film but have not visited Thailand, keep in mind that the beach featured in the film is as beautiful but is totally overrun.