Thailand’s Beach from The Beach

Danny Boyle’s 2000 flop The Beach isn’t very good, but you’ve gotta admit that the scenery is pretty (the message of tourism killing the country is also frighteningly accurate, but that can only be appreciated if you’ve actually been there).  While the secret island paradise in the film is located in the Gulf off of the southeastern coast of Thailand, the actual shooting location is on a small island in the southwest Andaman Sea.  The island of Phi Phi Don is a popular tourist stop; a road-less, resort-covered haven with a thriving nightlife and an endless parade of locals looking to make a quick buck.  Its uninhabited sister island, Phi Phi Leh, served as the shooting location for Leonardo DiCaprio and company and is located about two miles out to sea.  Long-tail boats are able to reach the secluded beach through a break in the rocky cliffs, which was digitally sealed for the film.  The production caused a commotion amongst the locals when they mowed down the vegetation that borders the narrow sands, most of which returned following the 2004 tsunami.  As you can see, the actual beach is just as beautiful as it was in the film.  The end.


Author: Eric Bresler

Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He’s served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.

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