Top 5 Film Locations to Travel to for your Next Trip19 January, 2018
Though there is a lot movie magic can give the audience, CG landscapes can only be so convincing. Most of the time, the most magnetic and astounding of movie landscapes are actually filmed on this beautiful planet of ours. Anytime you have felt the urge to travel when watching one of your favorite movies, be sure to take notes on the filming location, because it might become your next destination.
But to get you started, here are the top 5 film locations to explore throughout the world. If you need more inspiration after reading this article on where to travel for other film locations, check out this guide.
Yellow Mountains, China
Want to head to the land where mind-blowing movies like Avatar and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were filmed? Perhaps your Mulan-loving daughter wants to see where her favorite Disney princess calls home? China, or more importantly, the Huangshan region, has been a land of great inspiration for movie and video game settings throughout the years.
Mt. Huangshan, also known as Yellow Mountain, is part of the “Four Wonders” in China. Every angle you view the mountain from has something new to see, and it never gets boring. Plus, the mountain has wonderful hiking and some amazing sunsets. Once you have visited the peak, head to the ancient village of Hongcun (UNESCO World Heritage site) that remains a picturesque ode to Ancient China. You might recognize some landmarks from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon here.
Other places to visit in the Huangshan region are:
- Tunxi Ancient Street – featuring Huizhou-style houses that have been preserved for over 900 years as well as antique stores, souvenirs, and delicious local nibbles;
- Bao’s Family Garden – a once private garden now open to the public. There are over 10,000 bonsai trees and gardens here to mosey through.
Sunbathing, swimming, surfing, luaus, zip-lining through canyons, amazing food, and sunshine. Though you probably don’t need more of a reason, there have been a number of blockbuster hits that feature the beautiful greenery and white-sand beaches of Kauai, Hawaii. In fact, it’s so green, it’s been nicknamed the Garden Isle.
In 1993, Steven Spielberg decided to film Jurassic Park among the actual upland forest landscape of the island, only to deconstruct everything once the filming was complete. Then in 2008, Tropic Thunder, which was supposed to take place in Southern Vietnam was actually filmed in conversation areas on Kauai. You can even visit the location where the famous rolling boulder scene was shot in the Indiana Jones’ Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) film in Huleia National Wildlife Refuge.
One of the best ways to see the island look you would in the movies is to hop on a helicopter tour or boat tour along the Niihau and Napali coastlines.
There have been a great number of movies and TV shows filmed in the fairy tale land known as Scotland, where even the animal mascot is the unicorn. You might know some of the movies that used the landscape of Scotland, such as Braveheart, Highlander, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (and several other movies in the series), and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In fact, so many movies have pieces of Scotland in the setting that it is hard to name them all!
But if you truly want to transport yourself into a movie world, you need to ride the train that takes the route along the Glenfinnan Viaduct through Inverness-shire. Simply hop aboard the Jacobite steam train from Fort William for a taste of the Hogwarts Express.
To see some amazing scenery, and walk where Mel Gibson as William Wallace once walked, take a tour along the West Highland Way. Or you can visit a number of the castle ruins scattered through Scotland. Are you Brave enough to wander the halls of Urquhart Castle? Or perhaps you are more into a Shakespearean setting at Dunnottar Castle?
Monument Valley, USA
John Wayne fan? You will probably recognize the unique rock formations found in Monument Valley, Utah as scenery from a number of western films. Other movies that made use of the jaw-dropping red stones and desert motif were National Lampoon’s Vacation, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Back to The Future III, Thelma & Louise, Forrest Gump, and Mission: Impossible II.
Not only are there views around Monument Valley that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, there is a lot to do. For starters, outdoorsy people will enjoy the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Natural Bridges National Monument and the Wildcat Trail. There are also guided Jeep Tours, where a Navajo guide accompanies you.
On the outskirts of Monument Valley, you can visit the acclaimed Navajo Village Heritage Center, the Chi’ Hoo Tsoo Indian Market, and the Navajo Museum.
Ever since appearing in the recent hit Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and an award-winning document The Island President, the Maldives has come back to center stage. If you found yourself daydreaming about the pristine beaches, cloudless skies, and tropical feel of the islands during that suspenseful battle in Rogue One, then the Maldives is an island paradise for you. After walking the beaches, go diving, swim with whale sharks, hop between the islands, and enjoy a Balinese massage.
Water sports are also very popular in the Maldives. You can spend your days windsurfing, paddle boating, and kitesurfing. If you love a thrill, why not try some water skiing or paragliding over the boundless ocean?
Just keep in mind that the majority of the population on the islands is Muslim; so please be respectful with your clothing choices!
There you have it: the top 5 filmed locations in the world to explore. What adventures await you in any of these 5-star destinations?