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Saturday September 22nd 2018

The Beach | 2000

The Beach filming location: Hat Maya, Phi Phi Leh, Thailand
The Beach location: the perfect beach: Hat Maya, Phi Phi Leh, Thailand | Photograph: haveseen / iStockphoto

Danny Boyle’s film of the Alex Garland novel was filmed on Hat Maya, the main beach of Phi Phi Leh Island, near Phuket, Thailand, amid allegations of ecological vandalism when imported palms were planted to make the ‘perfect’ beach even more perfect. The area was, of course, damaged by the terrible tsunami of 2004, but has now recovered from the disaster.

Phi Phi Island is reached by a daily passenger ferry from both Krabi and Phuket Pier (the journey time is approximately 90 minutes). Return tickets cost around 600 Baht. For 1,200 Baht per person, you can take a round-trip by speedboat.

Naïve traveller Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio) sets out to find the fabled beach from the bustling backpack melee of Khao San Road, downtown Bangkok.

The Beach filming location: Haeo Suwat Falls, Khao Yai National Park, Thailand
The Beach location: the waterfall: Haeo Suwat Falls, Khao Yai National Park, Thailand | Photograph: Ivanushka / iStockphoto

The water fall is Haeo Suwat Falls in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand’s second-largest park. You’ll find the waterfall at the end of Thanarat Road in the center of the park. The park itself is about a three-hour drive from Bangkok, or there’s a bus service from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) for Pak Chong and Nakhon Ratchasima about every half-hour. From Pak Chong and Nakhon, you can take a songtaew (a two-bench pick-up truck) to the park headquarters.

More scenes were filmed in Krabi and Phuket.