3 travel destinations in Southeast Asia where famous films were made


In Southeast Asia, there are crystalline beaches and swaying palm trees up to limestone cliffs and lush tropical jungles as natural scenic destinations. No wonder the region has inspired countless films over the years. There are three travel destinations to visit, which also happen to be the set for several notable Hollywood movies.

BALER, PHILIPPINES – (Apocalypse now, 1979)

Although Francis Ford Coppola’s epic war film is set in Vietnam, it is actually filmed in a neighboring country: the Philippines. The iconic surf scene was filmed in the beach town of Baler since then called Charlie’s Point. The film, along with the film and crew, is even credited for introducing surfing to locals – and Baler is still a popular surfing town today.

TRANG AN, VIETNAM – (Kong: Skull Island, 2017)

Located in Ninh Binh Province, about an hour south of the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, Trang An’s scenic landscape complex has been chosen as the site for the relaunch of the MonsterVerse film. King Kong. Due to this important biodiversity and living ecosystem, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.

Visitors can choose from a number of itineraries that take tourists by boat to explore the complex’s various historic structures, islands and grottoes, including Kong: Skull Island.

KO PHI PHI, TAI – (Rand, 2000)

Rand, The cult classic of Asian backpackers, has become both a warning story for travelers and a very real example of the potential impact of mass tourism. Since 2018, the main island of the Gulf of Maya has been closed due to extensive environmental damage during the most famous moments of the film. But you can still see it by boat around the surrounding Phi Phi Islands.