8 Well-known Film Places in Asia – From Hong Kong to India!


From ancient jungle-covered temples to swanky bars and splendid beaches, there’s no shortage of cinematic-worthy splendour in Asia. Here are some of those famous movie locations in Asia that have been immortalised in film – from the well-known to the hidden in plain sight. How many have you visited?

Movie Location #1

Hong Kong: Gage Street

Rush Hour (1998)

The action comedy Rush Hour featuring martial arts icon Jackie Chan and comedian Chris Rock sees them causing chaos around Central district’s iconic Gage Street markets, where Chris’s character has a lively encounter with a chicken vendor.

The street is also featured in the background of a scene between Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman in one of the Batman franchise films, The Dark Knight.

famous movie locations in Asia - Hong Kong

Movie Location #2

India: Udaipur

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
Octopussy (1983)

Combine trademark dry British wit from some big-name actors (Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and others), with India’s vibrant, colourful culture, and a 370-year-old property, and you’ve got a mix for a memorable movie. The hotel in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is actually a traditional Indian haveli (manor house, or mansion), named Ravla Khempur. It can be found in the village of Khempur, around 50km outside of Udaipur in Rajasthan. With an open courtyard, canopied balconies and traditionally decorated rooms, it’s as visually arresting in real life as it is on celluloid.

famous film locations - India

The scenery in a James Bond film, meanwhile, can generally be split into two categories: deep, dark prisons – usually featuring a laser with a maniacally laughing villain explaining the plot – or opulent luxury. In Octopussy, it’s the latter, with The Taj Lake Palace Hotel heavily featured throughout. The hotel is used as a “floating palace” for the evil smuggler Octopussy and is mainly inhabited by skimpily-clad women. The character may have wanted to destroy the world, but you must admit he has some style.

film locations in Asia - India

Movie Location #3

Cambodia: Siem Reap

Tomb Raider (2001)

From the time Angelina Jolie swung into frame from a vine at Ta Phrom, the ancient root-riddled city and temples of Angkor have seen a rapid increase in visitor numbers. The film Tomb Raider – based on the computer game of the same name, of which more than 75 million copies have sold – ensured the beauty and history of this UNESCO site area has made it to everyone’s bucket list.

famous movie locations - Cambodia - Tomb Raider

Reportedly, it cost Paramount Pictures US$10,000 per day to use the location. But for a place thought to have taken 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants 35 years to build, that’s a bargain.

famous movie locations - Cambodia

Movie Location #4

Thailand: Krabi Province

The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
The Beach (2000)

Home to some of the most visited beaches in Asia, the waters around Phuket Island are no stranger to filming locations. The James Bond film The Man With the Golden Gun was shot on Khao Phing Kan in Phang Nga Bay. Now known as James Bond Island, it’s a major tourist attraction.

Though there’s no denying Roger Moore’s cool status, it does pale slightly compared to Leonardo DiCaprio’s. He, of course, filmed The Beach in Maya Bay, on Koh Phi Phi Leh, which saw an onslaught of tourists until the government closed it for environmental regeneration, though it’s recently reopened.

So for Krabi, it’s a case of pick-your-flick, from Mortal Kombat to the geographically implausible Hangover II and every genre in between.

Movie Location #5


Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

You knew this one was coming. Unlike Hong Kong or Tokyo, Singapore rarely graced the big screen as a location in its own right until the blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians used the city as its primary location.

While the film flaunts the lifestyles of the super-wealthy, it still does a good job showcasing Singapore’s food, culture and cosmopolitan style to the world. Seared onto celluloid are the hawker centres, the rooftop pools of Marina Bay Sands, the iconic Raffles Hotel, the Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay, and Bukit Pasoh Road, to name a few.

Movie Location # 6

Indonesia: Bali

Eat, Pray, Love (2010)

For the Bali portions of the movie, most scenes were shot in the areas surrounding central Ubud and Padang Padang Beach on Bali’s southern Bukit Peninsula. However, if you go looking for the bar where the main characters meet, you’ll be disappointed, as it was a set created for the movie. But never mind: Ubud’s rice terraces, village life and Padang Padang’s surf-drenched sands are island staples forever.

Movie Location #7

Taiwan: Kenting

Cape No. 7 (2008)

Little known outside of Asia, the Taiwanese comedy Cape No. 7 scooped almost every award going at 2008’s Golden Horse Film Awards, Asia’s version of the Oscars. It also broke all box-office records throughout the continent, making it the highest-grossing film ever made in Taiwan.

Filming took place entirely in the tropical south of Taiwan, around the towns of Kenting and Hengchun. There’s no shortage of scenic locations, from beaches to old streets and traditional architecture ripe for visiting.

Movie Location #8


Blackhat (2015)

To turn a cyber-crime thriller into something that looks good on the big screen takes some talent. Thankfully, director Michael Mann is the, umm, man. And having Chris Hemsworth as your principal actor doesn’t hurt, either!

famous film locations in Asia - Malaysia

Three of the four countries used for Blackhat filming locations were in Asia. “I found Asia a very exciting place to go,” Michael said. “If you can make it real for the actors, it becomes real for the audience. They’re not looking at a green screen and having to imagine.”

The shoot in Malaysia lasted about five weeks, with scenes in Kuala Lumpur, Port Klang, Pulau Pangkor, Manjung, Lumut, Marina Island and Putrajaya.

movie locations in Asia - Malaysia


Like this? See more in our Travel section.

Subscribe to Expat Living now so you never miss an issue!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here