It can be said that there are two ways to travel: via books, movies and other forms of popular culture and by travelling to the actual destination itself.
Imagine doing both at the same time. Movies are filled with exotic locations, which is part of what makes them so appealing.
In that spirit, we present to you five movie-themed locations included in Nezasa’s treasure trove of itineraries:
1. The Beach (2000)
Directed by Danny Boyle, starring Leonardo DiCaprio
Remember that beach? The exotic, far-away slice of Utopian paradise that glowed on the movie screen in Danny Boyle’s post-Trainspotting, pre-Slumdog Millionaire adaptation of Alex Garland’s novel? Yes, that beach actually exists, and yes, it’s every bit as spectacular as you can imagine. Go to the Koh Phi Phi Islands just off the coast from Phuket in Thailand, and revel in its natural majesty and know that you can walk in DiCaprio’s very footsteps.
2. Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Directed by David Lean, starring William Holden and Alec Guinness
This fictionalized account of the building of the infamous bridge – based on French writer Pierre Boulle’s famous novel – was actually filmed in Sri Lanka, but the featured bridge indeed exists in Thailand. It’s part of the notorious Death Railway built by the Empire of Japan to support its forces during the Burma campaign of the Second World War. Sure, the bridge was renamed by the Thais in the 1960s to capitalize on the popularity of the book and film, but movie buffs – and history buffs too – will still find this a phenomenal experience.
3. Octopussy (1983)
Directed by John Glen, starring Roger Moore
James Bond fans will revel in the Lake Palace in Udaipur, India, which served as the home lair for the titular “bad guy” character in this 007 film from the early 1980s. Remember Roger Moore disguising himself as a crocodile and swimming up to that magnificent floating white palace and finds it populated by gorgeous women? Yes, that’s the Lake Palace which is featured quite prominently in the clip below. You can even stay here for a few nights.
4. Darjeeling Limited (2007)
Directed by Wes Anderson, starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray
This tale of a spiritual journey by three brothers travelling across India after their father’s death had a mixed reaction, but fans of the quirky style of Wes Anderson swear by this one. It’s a phenomenal peek into the surreal experience of travel in India, boosted by a top-tier rail experience called what else but the Darjeeling Limited. Although the train itself doesn’t exist in real life, those who want to replicate their experience can do so on the Maharajas Express. “It’s a fine advertisement for luxury train travel in India,” David Gritten, the film critic, wrote for Telegraph Travel back in 2012.
5. Lost in Translation (2003)
Directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson
This beautifully shot film has been defined by many as spot-on in depicting the surreal and otherworldly experience of foreigners visiting Japan – or any other country for that matter. Unlike the other examples, this movie doesn’t feature a single moment or single location in Nezasa’s list of destinations. Rather, it can be described as a love letter by Sofia Coppola to Japan. There’s a tender montage where Johansson goes to Kyoto on her own for the day to take in the understated beauty of a Japanese garden and Buddhist temple, watching people go by, soaking up the environment. It really captures the sense of surreal wonder a visitor feels when exploring this fascinating country.