Our 5 favourite Hollywood movies set in Thailand

  • Posted onMarch 3rd, 2014

Hangover Pt2Even if you’ve never visited Bangkok or Thailand before, there’s a good chance you’ve seen it on the big screen. From Hollywood blockbusters to indie classics, the charm and exoticism of Thailand has been the backdrop to a number of great movies. Here 5 or our favourites:


THe Hangover 2

The Hangover 2

For some Bangkok was the obvious setting for the 2nd Hangover movie, and the only ‘anything goes’ city which could compete with the wild nightlife and mad adventure served up by Las Vegas. A monkey side-kick, exploding gogo bars, and horny ladyboys, all meant that Bangkok delivered!

After waking up in a sleazy Bangkok hotel room, minus one, the hungover gang go on a wild (and humorous) ride around Bangkok city, from seedy bars and backstreets to hiso rooftop hangouts and peaceful temples, trying to find their new friend Teddy, in time for the wedding.

The Man with the Golden GunThe Man with the Golden Gun

A classic Bond film, The Man with the Golden gun follow 007 on his pursuit of the world’s most dangerous hitma, Scaramanga, whose trademark weapon is his gold-plated gun. The Man with the Golden Gun isn’t just one to watch because it is partly set in Bangkok, it’s also one of the best Bond films there is.

Covering several locations around with world, the movie’s two most iconic scenes and locations are the canals of Bangkok, which features a memorable car and long-boat chase, and the Thai island of Koh Phi Phi (in the movie it is said to be in China), which is home to the super villains stunning lair. Such was the popularity of the island in the movie, it has since become one of Thailand’s biggest tourist attractions, with the island often referred to as ‘James Bond island’.

Bangkok DangerousBangkok Dangerous

Ignore the Nicholas Cage remake, and instead try to get a copy of the original version, released in 2000. Much deeper and far more fascinating than Hollywood’s dull edged take on the tale, the original movie features a death and mute anti-hero who must enter Bangkok’s underworld and perform a hit on a major crime boss.

Not only does the story take place on the bustling streets, alleys, and coyote bars of Bangkok, but it also has several flashback sequences to our protagonists childhood, growing up in rural Thailand. It may not sell Thailand as a vision of paradise, but it is an extremely stylish and engaging movie.

The ImpossibleThe Impossible

Despite a lot of controversy surrounding the movie, it is without doubt a fascinating and engaging story, covering events in Thailand during the horrific tsunami of 2004. Such was the reception of the film it received several Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.

The story follows that of a young family (Mother, father, and three children), who were swept away and torn apart by a ferocious tsunami that hit their Thai beach resort. The story is not only true, but it also gives insight into the immense damage caused by the tragic events, the many hundreds that were killed, and the difficulties of rescue missions.

Only God ForgivesOnly God Forgives

The long anticipated sequel to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, like many I had very high hopes for ‘Only God Forgives’ and was even more excited when I discovered it was to be set in Bangkok. For many the film was a disappointment and failed to live up to the cool 80’s vibe and chilling thrills of the first movie.

The story centers round Ryan Gosling’s character, Julien, who searches Bangkok seeking revenge for his brother’s death. Critics and audiences alike dismissed the movie for its lack of emotional engagement, but it’s still a very stylish offering and brings with it lots of kitsch Bangkok street scenes, some gory Muay Thai, and even a glimpse into the world of Thai karaoke!


Please do tell us about your favourite moviesset in Thailand.



  1. Gary Bolitho says:

    This movie probably doesn’t qualify because it isn’t a Hollywood movie but I enjoyed it immensely and have watched it many times, it’s a French movie called ” Ladybar “. It’s a story about a Frenchman in a failing marriage who is persuaded by his friend to go to Thailand for a holiday, his friend has been to Thailand many times but this is his first time. While there, he meets and falls for a bargirl. His world is turned upside down and he must make some tough decisions about his life.

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