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Top 10 Movies Filmed in Thailand


Thailand's not Hollywood, but plenty of popular films have been made here. Can you name the top 10?

1. The Hangover 2

copyright Warner Bros Pictures

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.

2. Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason

copyright Universal Studios

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.

3. Brokedown Palace

copyright 20th Century Fox

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.

4. Bangkok Dangerous

copyright Bangkok Dangerous Inc.

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.

5. The Man With the Golden Gun

copyright MGM Studios

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?

6. Tomorrow Never Dies

copyright MGM Studios

The 18th James Bond film is the second to be filmed in part in Thailand. There's nothing particularly Thai about the plot but there's plenty of eye candy to look at, including a few scenes taken right from The Man With the Golden Gun.

7. Rambo

copyright Lions Gate Entertainment
The fourth installment in the John Rambo series takes place in Thailand and Burma and is surprisingly political and... humanitarian. It's also intensely violent. The beginning of the film has John Rambo in the jungle of northern Thailand catching snakes for a living. I'll just leave it at that.

8. The Beach

copyright 20th Century Fox

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.

9. Air America

Remember when Robert Downey Jr. wasn't an ex-con and Mel Gibson wasn't a crackpot? Back in 1990 the duo made a film about civilian pilots in Laos during the Vietnam War. It was mostly filmed in Thailand.

10. Vinyan

This weird and creepy film is about two parents who lost their child during the 2005 Tsunami. Or did they? See what I mean? Creepy.
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