On this episode of Talk Travel Asia it’s Famous Thai Film Locations. Producer Chris Lowenstein shares his experience working for decades on films shot in Thailand, including The Hangover II, about which Chris shares his opinion on Bill Clinton’s infamously redacted cameo!
Over the last few decades, with many Southeast Asian nations traditionally being unstable or run by overly sensitive and restrictive governments, Thailand became the ‘go-to’ location to film movies when the script required. Whether the movie was supposed to take place in Thailand or Vietnam or Myanmar, the Land of Smiles often doubled as neighbouring countries. As a result, today Thailand has a robust, high-quality filming industry for commercials, TV shows, and feature length films. Today we’ll talk with a veteran of the industry, American Chris Lowenstein about his experience shooting in the region.
Trevor and Scott talk about movies they knew were filmed in Thailand before they lived here. Scott’s favorites are The Bridge on the River Kwai and The Man With the Golden Gun.
Trevor: I don’t know that I was ever really aware of movies that might have been shot in Thailand before I moved here. I do know about some of the films that have made Thailand a travel destination for film lovers, most notably the biggest box office film of all time in China: Lost in Thailand. As if that didn’t quadruple the number of Chinese tourists in Thailand, now I hear there is a Korean soap opera set in Thailand that are bringing in lots of Korean TV location tourists!
Here are some other Famous Films Shot in Thailand:
- The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957): Kanchanaburi, Thailand
- The Deer Hunter (1978): Bangkok, Thailand
- The Man With the Golden Gun (1974): Bangkok, Phuket, Thailand
- Good Morning, Vietnam (1987): Bangkok, Thailand
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997): Bangkok doubled as HCMC I believe
- The Beach (2000): Bangkok, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
- Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason (2004): Phuket, Thailand
- Rambo (2008): Chiang Mai, Thailand
- The Hangover Part II (2011): Bangkok, Thailand
Today’s Guest: Chris Lowenstein: Originally from Portland, Oregon in the United States, Chris Lowenstein first came to Thailand in 1991 to work on an Oliver Stone film. He soon thereafter made it his home. In his roughly two-and-a-half decades in the kingdom, he’s worked on numerous TV shows like Survivor to feature films like Bangkok Dangerous and The Hangover II with his production company Living Films. Chris joins us by Skype from Chiang Mai.
- So you came here in 1991 to work on which Oliver Stone film?
- How did that end up coming together and what was your role?
- What made you decide to come back to Thailand and live/work here full time?
- What was the film industry like here at that time?
- Why has Thailand been a hotspot for filming for so long?
- What do you love about living/working in Thailand?
- What other countries have you worked in?
- What are some of your favorite locations you’ve filmed at?
- How does location scouting work?
- What is the toughest part about filming here?
- Is there somewhere in the region you’d really like to shoot?
- For travelers, what are some of the best places to visit in the region that have also been film locations?
Links about Episode 71: Famous Thai Film Locations with Chris Lowenstein
To learn more about Scott & Trevor: