For those who’ve never set foot in Asia, cinema provides a useful insight to far-away places; an advert if you will, enticing people with stunning scenery and beautiful landscapes helping inspire people to travel. In that spirit, we’ve put together a quick list of our favorite destinations you might recognize from the silver screen:
James Bond Island, Thailand
The Ao Phang Nga National Park in Thailand took a lead role in the 1974 James Bond thriller The Man with the Golden Gun staring Roger Moore as the legendary MI6 agent 007. Koh Tapu in particular captured the imagination of viewers, and since the movie – which used the isle in Phuket as the location for the evil villain ‘Scaramanga’s’ hideout – has been named ‘James Bond Island’.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay was immortalized in the 1992 French film Indochine, a story set during the roaring 1930’s in colonial French Indochina. Key scenes from the love story are filmed around the dramatic bay – scenery which made as much of a moving impact on the emotions of watchers as the romantic tale itself
Many of our overnight cruise tours (such as our Luxury Cruise of Halong Bay) around the ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’ actually include a screening of the iconic classic.
The movie interpretation of the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is broken into three iconic sections of the world, with the latter part ‘love’ set on the idyllic Indonesian island of Bali. The ‘woman out to find herself’ storyline is perfectly played out by Julia Roberts, and her idyllic time in Bali possibly did more for Indonesian tourism than any marketing campaign possibly could.
If you’d like to ‘find yourself’ in paradise, be sure to consider our abundant options around many of the lesser-seen but equally outstanding Indonesian islands – perhaps our recently released Spectacular Flores & Komodo tour might make you fall for Indonesia? Bali is one of our most-requested destinations and you can uncover the breathtaking isle with our Bali Discovery tour.
Crouching Tiger, China
Many plan their visits to China based on the spectacular scenery they’ve seen in popular movies, such as the Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The 2001 movie is possibly the most celebrated of a genre of films set in past eras that utilizes much of China’s iconic landscapes, many of which have remained unchanged since the periods they are used to represent.
Our Amazing Anhui: China’s Filmset takes in several locations used in Ang Lee’s dramatic movie, including the Mukeng Bamboo Forest where the films dramatic flying fight scene took place, high up in the trees. The tour also spends time in the old-world settlements of Hongcun and Chengshitang, where most of the movie’s village-based scenes were shot.
Actor Bill Murray no doubt borrowed from an abundance of personal experience in his role in Lost in Translation as a film star flown halfway across the world to appear in advertising campaigns for the Asian market. His feeling of being totally unable to understand anything going on around him in Tokyo however is something practically any traveler can relate to.
The Japanese capital is a futuristic wonderland but can be a confusing place to visit. Many signs are in English, but if you dare to stray from the well-trodden path you can easily find yourself isolated. All of our Japan tours are fully customizable, with native Japanese guides who can speak many different languages to help you enjoy your vacation without suffering too many ‘lost in translation’ moments!
If you’d like to be a ‘set-jetter’ and experience the magic of Asia you’ve seen on the silver screen, contact our locally based Travel Specialists who will be delighted to help you visit one of these (or any other) iconic destinations in Asia.