The Beach

Following from last week when I featured the place in Bergen where the movie The Witches was filmed, I started to think about other places I have visited that have featured as backdrops for movies.


This is Koh Phi-Phi, a short boat ride from Phuket (not as short as they tell you though; don’t attempt it with a hangover).  This is where they filmed the movie The Beach, with Leonardo DiCaprio in 2000.

It doesn’t look so much like it did in the movie.  In part that is because the movie was digitally re-mastered to show the mountains as closer and make the island appear more ‘idyllic’.


The place has now become a magnet for tourist boats, which descend on the little island in their droves, covering it in a nonstop swarm of people.


Once again, IMHO, the book by Alex Garland is much better than the movie.  In the film the protagonist was British rather than American, there’s this air of sexual tension where he fancies the girl but can’t separate her from her boyfriend (in the movie, obviously Leonardo DiCaprio has to get the girl). The book ending was more satisfying too.


The book was set in the far more picturesque Ang Thong archipelago, which is a boat ride away from Koh Samui, and makes a far better trip than Koh Phi Phi.

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