Every year hundreds of foreign films and productions are shot in the Thailand including documentaries, commercials, TV series, music videos and of course, feature films.
With so many movies made in Thailand over the years it would be impossible to list them all, finding original posters and trailers etc. So I went with 15 of the most popular Hollywood movies for this list.
Filmed around Bangkok and Phang Nga Bay near Phuket. The famous car chase was shot in Bangkok and Bond also attended a boxing match at the Ratchadamnoen Boxing Stadium.
One of the islands seen in the film is known as the “Nail” island (Koh Tapu) and is now commonly called “James Bond Island”. The hideout of Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) is actually Khao Phing Kan. Both islands are now popular tourist attractions.
The Academy Award winner was filmed on locations in Hua Hin and Phuket standing in for Khmer Rouge-era Cambodia. Actor Spalding Gray recounts the film’s shoot in his monologue, Swimming to Cambodia.
Thai actress Jintara Sukapat portrayed the love interest for Robin Williams’ character. Filmed on location in Bangkok (standing in for pre-1975 Saigon).
Brian De Palma’s Vietnam War saga was filmed around Phuket and Kanchanaburi.
As a backdrop for some of the training scenes, Kurt Sloane (Van Damme) trains near the temples in Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Wat Ratchaburana, part of the ruins of Ayutthaya. Principal photography lasted 56 days on location in Bangkok, between June 28 and August 23, 1988.
Mae Hong Son Province in northern Thailand stands in for Secret War-era Laos. The film later attracted tourism to the region. The production was plagued by two earthquakes and a typhoon. The producers also rented 26 planes from the Thai military.
Oliver Stone’s Vietnam War-era drama was made in Thailand as the Vietnamese government wouldn’t allow Stone to film on location due to the script’s unflattering depiction of the Viet Cong.
Another Bond film and another Bond. Michelle Yeoh co-stars, as Bangkok stands in for Ho Chi Minh City. Some scenes were planned to be filmed on location in Vietnam and the production had been granted a visa. This was later rescinded, two months after planning had begun, forcing filming to move to Thailand. The movie returned to Phang Nga Bay where they search for Carver’s stealth boat, previously used for The Man with the Golden Gun.
Controversy arose during the making of the film due to 20th Century Fox bulldozing and landscaping the natural beach setting of Ko Phi Phi Leh to make it more “paradise-like”. The production altered some sand dunes and cleared some coconut trees and grass to widen the beach. Fox set aside a fund to reconstruct and return the beach to its natural state. Nevertheless, lawsuits were filed as many believed the damage to the ecosystem is permanent and restoration attempts failed.
In 2006, Thailand’s supreme court upheld an appeal court ruling that the filming had harmed the environment and ordered that damage assessments be made. Defendants in the case included 20th Century Fox and some Thai government officials.
The waterfall scene, where DiCaprio and others jump from a high cliff to the water below, was filmed in Khao Yai National Park, at the Haew Suwat Waterfall.
This family-friendly story about two tigers had some scenes made in Samut Prakan Province, at a tourist site called Mueang Boran (Ancient Siam formerly Ancient City), which has scaled-down replicas of many of Thailand’s important structures. Some of the tigers used in the film were from the Si Racha Tiger Zoo near Pattaya. The film was set in neighboring Cambodia.
Oliver Stone’s epic starring Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great was filmed along the Mekong in northeastern Ubon Ratchathani Province and in Saraburi Province. Royal Thai Army soldiers were used as extras. Thai actors Bin Bunluerit and Jaran Ngamdee portrayed an Indian king and an Indian prince respectively.
Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, the story of an American heroin smuggler was filmed in November and December 2006 in Chiang Mai.
The remake of Bangkok Dangerous by the Pang Brothers, starring Nicolas Cage and Charlie Yeung, started shooting in Bangkok in August 2006. Production was delayed by a coup d’état in September 2006.
From the Phulay Bay Ritz Carlton, Krabi to the Sky Bar at Lebua via Soi Cowboy and a half dozen other locations around Bangkok.
The movie adaptation of the bestselling autobiography of the same name by Eric Lomax, starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Jeremy Irvine had senes filmed at Bangsue train yard in Bangkok plus various locations around Kanchanaburi including the war cemetery.