When Chris Hemsworth aka Thor aka Every-Girl’s-Dream-Come-True was in Asia lately for the filming of Michael Mann’s movie, fans traversed from Hong Kong to Singapore to Malaysia chasing after the chiselled Adonis for a glimpse of him. Asia is fast becoming filming hotspots for blockbuster movies, so it’s no surprise that Asia is deemed to be the next ‘Hollywood’. Get your popcorns ready for our favourite movie spots in Asia!
Words by: Shafiqah Shafie
#8: ANNA AND THE KING (PENANG, MALAYSIA)
Directed by Andy Tennant, whose works include Sweet Home Alabama and Fool’s Gold, the 1999 film starring Academy award winner Jodie Foster and Hong Kong megastar Chow Yun-Fat was mostly shot in Malaysia, particularly in Penang, Ipoh and Langkawi. One of the most recognised scenes in this movie is the beautiful courtyard at the famous Khoo Kongsi temple in Penang.
#7: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (KYOTO, JAPAN)
Kyoto is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to film, and Memoirs of a Geisha exemplified it perfectly! The mesmerising torii gates in Fushimi-Inari Taisha are one of the many famous scenes that was shot in the 2005 award-winning film starring Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Gong Li and of course, Japanese heartthrob, Ken Watanabe.
#6: THE BOURNE LEGACY (MANILA, PHILIPPINES)
Fans of the rogue CIA assassin Jason Bourne have seen his super sleek moves in Zurich, Paris, Goa, London and all the way in Mykonos. In 2012, The Bourne Legacy’s cast and crew spent almost two months touring the streets of Manila to complete their fourth instalment of the much anticipated action-thriller film.
#5: TOMB RAIDER (ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA)
Located in the complex of Angkor Wat (one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites), channel your inner Lara Croft at Ta Prohm! This was where Angelina Jolie showcased her sexy acting chops in the 2001 adventure and fantasy film. Angelina Jolie is not included in this tour, but let your imagination run wild!
#4: THE KARATE KID (BEIJING, CHINA)
The latest Karate Kid film was budgeted at a whopping USD40 million! Among the places that Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith were filmed include the Forbidden City, Great Wall of China and the Wudang Mountains. An inspiring place to practice your kungfu chops whilst immersing yourself in one of the world’s greatest wonders!
#3: EAT PRAY LOVE (BALI, INDONESIA)
Ever since Julia Roberts came to Bali to shoot the very famous book-turned-film romantic movie, people from all over the world have flocked to this beautiful ‘island of gods’ to get their own piece of romance, tranquillity and enlightenment. Now, if only we could find Javier Bardem in Bali’s green paddy fields too.
#2: THE HANGOVER PART II (BANGKOK, THAILAND)
Note to ladies, Bradley Cooper was here! From Chinatown to Sukhumvit, relive the wolf pack’s trail as the boys from Hangover took Bangkok to centre stage in their second movie sequel. If you’re planning to host a wild bachelor(ette) party, then this is the place to be! The Sirocco sky bar where the boys were almost captured by Interpol is at Lebua State Tower, with panoramic views of Bangkok’s astounding skyline.
#1: TRANSFORMERS 4 (HONG KONG & CHONGQING)
What appears to be the most anticipated film to watch this 2014, seems to be the most epic filming experience for the cast and crew too. Earlier in October this year, director Michael Bay was assaulted by four men while filming a scene in the Kowloon area in Hong Kong!
Right after the filming in Hong Kong ended, the production crew moved to Chongqing in China and it was reported that this scene will appear for about two minutes. On-set photos also exposed some shots of fireworks and explosions at the Wulong county area. During an opening ceremony for the shoot, Michael Bay revealed that this area will play a special role in the movie and the scene will be a “critical heroic turning point”. Sounds promising!
Now that you’ve seen our top picks for the best filming locations, it’s time to put on your travelling pants and go off on a ‘Hollywood’ adventure across Asia!
GETTING THERE Fly to Penang, Osaka, Manila, Siem Reap, Beijing, Bali, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Chongqing from various destinations via AirAsia. For flight information and the lowest fares, go to www.airasia.com.
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