Movies have the unique ability to take a life of their own in our imagination. They are visually appealing and stimulating and more so when shot in exotic picture perfect locations. Many a time I have been so enamored by a Bollywood song shot in a beautiful location that I just had to add it to my bucket list of places to visit. Thailand, over the past decade, has become a favourite with Bollywood.
Thailand has all the attributes to make it a captivating visual treat for film goers, making ordinary movie sequences look like a dreamy escapade. White sandy beaches, amazing rock formations, limestone cliffs, and mountains carpeted with lush green forests overlooking the playful blue waters of the sea, Thailand is truly blessed with extraordinary natural beauty. Is it any wonder that Thailand is the new favourite of movie makers?
If you, like me, make your travel plans based on whims borne out of devouring movies, here is my list of Bollywood movies shot in Thailand that have captured the beauty and essence of the country.
Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai
The title song of Kaho Naa Pyar Hai captured the romantic side of young Indians perhaps like no other. The camera dwells long and lovingly over the breathtaking beauty of the island. The ethereal white sand, calm water and picturesque desolation of the island has every feel of that first love. When I first saw the movie, as a bubbly preteen, I longed to be shipwrecked. As a grown up now, with more sense and less frivolous fantasies, I saved up to travel all the way to Thailand just to be at this one place. The place is Phra Nang beach in Thailand. By no means, desolate or lonely, the beach is every bit as stunning as it is in the movie. A flip side to the exceptional beauty of this island is its very popularity. It seems to draw an endless crowd. That, however, was no sacrifice to me, considering how I was surrounded with absolute and spellbinding beauty.
Student of the Year
Big Bollywood banners are well known for shooting their movies in exotic locales. Like Yash Raj’s Switzerland of yesteryear's,Thailand is the new muse of filmmakers. Karan Johar’s chic and stylish young film Student of the Year was shot extensively in Bangkok, Koh Samui and Khao Yai. The wedding scenes of the movie and the foot-tapping song Radha was shot at Banyan Tree Hotel, Koh Samui. The grand hotel with its classy galleries and luxurious villas overlooking the Lamai Bay provided the idyllic backdrop for the lovelorn students and their song and dance routine. The hotel reportedly gave fans a chance to live the idyllic lifestyle depicted in the movie during the time of its release. The resort is set on a private hill cove amidst cascading hills and overlooking the rolling waves of the Lamai Bay. The setting is as awesome as it can be and the hotel itself is world class in luxury and service.
Yet another movie to have its glamorous scenes shot at a plush hotel in Thailand. The scenes preceding and following the Do You Know song were shot at Sheraton Krabi Beach and Hotel. Our damsels in distress are marooned on a gorgeous island of white sands and blue waters. Our macho heroes sweat it out in a muscle packed fight sequence in the mysterious wilderness and rocky waterfalls of Krabi Wildlife Reserve Park. The sidekicks are lounging in the uber classy resort amongst cocktails and blonde women in swimwear. Doesn't it make you yearn for that lifestyle? As it happens, that dreamy life is not so beyond our reach. The Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort has a private beach perfect for lounging on a hammock or going for a swim. It also offers all the luxuries of a five star hotel with fine dining and a rejuvenation centre. Far away from the commotion and crowd of a public beach, this place is ideally suited for a quiet vacation. Krabi offers many such experiences and more.
The popular song from the movie Tera Mera Rishta Purana was shot at The Ancient City or Muang Boran near Bangkok. Muang Boran is shaped like the map of Thailand and houses over hundred replicas of Thai architectural marvels with majestic pavilions and massive structures. The song has three different versions all shot around Muang Boran in front of different replicas. The beautifully landscaped gardens give the Muang Boran an otherworldly charm captured effectively in the song sequences. An injured Emraan Hashmi is seen seeking solace before an impressive idol of Buddha and among the saffron clad monks. Solemn monuments stand in silent testimony as our hero gives vent to his pain. There couldn't have been a more appropriate yet unheard of location. Considered Thailand’s best kept secret, The Ancient City is one of a kind.
It is not just the pristine beaches of Thailand that attract filmmakers. The glittering skyline of Bangkok as well as the historical architecture has been the setting of many a film. The Salman Khan and Asin starrer Ready, was shot extensively in various locations around Thailand. The Dhinka Chika song was shot in Bangkok at Don Mueang International Airport and Rama VIII Bridge. Humko Pyar Hua song was set against the backdrop of the architectural marvels of The Ancient City. And did you know the Marriage Registrar office is actually Pattaya Exhibition And Convention Hall!
Bollywood’s fascination with foreign locales is nothing new. Where the story is absent, a beautiful locale lifts up the mood. But hey! who’s complaining? With MakeMyTrip's Thailand packages you can explore the best of this beautiful country and relive the scenes from your favourite movie.