In the last few years, American film companies have been traveling to Thailand to film movies in much bigger numbers than ever before. American producers are choosing to film movies in Thailand because of it’s exotic location, gorgeous beaches, lush jungle, beautiful Thai women and handsome Thai men, incredible temples, a fascinating history, and amazing wildlife (elephants, monkeys and tigers anyone?).
Plus, Thailand can be used as a stand-in for countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar; countries that are often more difficult to get permits to film in. Oh, and did I mention, Thailand is cheap???
In fact, filming in Thailand is so cheap for American movie companies, they can travel here first-class, stay in some of the world’s best hotels, pay thousands of Thai extras to stand around on set for months, eat fine cuisine at top international restaurants, be chauffeured all over town in Mercedes limos and still film their movies for one twentieth the cost of filming in the US.
For popular American movies that have been filmed in Thailand, check out this list:
The Beach – One of the most famous movies filmed in Thailand is Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘The Beach’‘. The movie is mediocre at best, but its scenes in Bangkok are fascinating and the beach scenes filmed around Koh Phi Phi are gorgeous.
The movie was controversial in Thailand, as the movie crew ecologically damaged some phenomenal Thai beaches that never recovered. But, one good thing that came from the 2004 tsunami that hit Koh Phi Phi and other areas of Thailand, was it actually cleared away much of the movie damage. According to Thai locals, The Beach looks a lot better now.
The Man With the Golden Gun – One of the best James Bond movies, this was so popular it even spawned a tour in Thailand “The James Bond Island Tour”, where you can visit the famous island and buy tacky mementos.
Filmed mostly in Bangkok (one of the most incredible car chase scenes ever filmed anywhere) and Phang Nga Bay, ‘The Man With the Golden Gun‘ gives you a good idea what Thailand was like in the 1970s. In some areas, not much has changed.
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason: In this Bridget Jones sequel, Bridget takes a trip to Thailand, gets drunk, really sunburned and arrested for carrying drugs. While in a Thai jail, she teaches the Thai female inmates about wearing bras and make up and eventually gets released when they discover she’s not guilty.
The movie is pretty lame but, if you’re a fan of Thailand, the scenes filmed in the Land of Smiles are fun. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was filmed in Bangkok and on the Thai island of Phuket.
Bangkok Dangerous – This 2008 American remake of a Thai classic movie, ‘Bangkok Dangerous‘ is one of the worst movies ever made in Thailand. Bangkok looks dark, seedy and dangerous (its not) and the storyline is strange.
In the original Thai movie, the hit man (played by Nicholas Cage in the American movie) is the one who is a deaf mute. In the American version, the Thai woman the hit man meets is the deaf mute, which doesn’t give the storyline the same depth.
Plus, why would the directors hire a Chinese actress to play a deaf Thai woman? If you know anything about Thai women, it’s pretty obvious she’s not Thai and there are many beautiful and talented Thai actresses who would have been more authentic.
Bangkok Dangerous is only worth seeing if you like seeing movies filmed in Bangkok. It is famous in Thailand, however, as the movie had only been filming a month when Thailand had its last military coup and ‘Bangkok Dangerous’ had to delay filming.
There are many movies filmed in Thailand, but are portraying places in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar or Vietnam instead.
These four American movies are actually filmed in Thailand, have storylines about Thailand and, in most cases, feature Thai actors and actresses.