7 movies that were filmed in Chiang Mai

 |  January 1, 2017

Thanks to The Beach (2000) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) Hollywood and the whole world knows that Thailand offers some marvellous locations to shoot a good movie. Our humble Chiang Mai has also had a taste of Hollywood and became home to many different national and international film sets. So here are 7 movies you may or may not know were shot in Chiang Mai.


1. American Gangster (2007)
This crime film follows the thrilling true story of American gangster Frank Lucas, who successfully smuggled heroin from Vietnam to New York and rose to Harlem’s crime boss. Instead of filming in Vietnam the producers decided to shoot in wonderful Chiang Mai. So yes, Denzel Washington and Ridley Scott walked on the streets of Warorot Market and possibly even sat on your favourite spot in John’s Place which was renamed to ‘Blue Bros Bar’ in the movie.

2. No Escape (2013)
This movie starring Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan is about westerners escaping a non-descript Southeast Asian country during a bloody coup. A lot of the scenes were filmed in Lampang, the Imperial Lotus Hotel and Chiang Mai Airport. Our very own Tom Clegg even appears on the back cover as a bedraggled extra.

3. Rambo III + Rambo (1988 + 2008)
Sylvester Stallone seems to be quite fond of Chiang Mai as two sequels of Rambo were partly filmed in Chiang Mai and he was a regular at The Duke’s during his times here. You may have noticed that the opening scene of Rambo 3 in 1988 was taken along Mae Ping and famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. 20 years later Stallone decided to come back for Rambo 4, which was shot in the gorgeous surroundings of Sri Lanna National Park and Mae Taeng.

4. Into the Sun (2005)
Another action veteran, none other than Steven Seagal, found his way to Chiang Mai in Into the Sun, a film about a man protecting his family from the Yakuza. Most film locations were set in Tokyo and Bangkok, but a few greener location shots were filmed right here.

5. Beyond Borders (2003)
Chiang Mai replaces Cambodia in this love story where Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen play as a beautiful socialite and a doctor who found his passion in aid work. The vacant housing sites outside of Chiang Mai and the Thai part of the Golden Triangle were the sets for this charity-romance film. She even met our editor and graced our Citylife cover in 2002!

6. Beautiful Boxer (2003)
This drama portrays the life of Parinya Charoenphol and is one of the few Thai movies that received international recognition. Parinya became famous as a very talented transgender Muay Thai fighter. Since she grew up and started her fighting career in Chiang Mai, it was just unavoidable to film in our city and soak up the unique atmosphere. And again, interview and cover story on Citylife!

7. Twilight over Burma (2015)
Twilight over Burma is based on the life-story of Inge Sargent and an unresolved history. Sargent unknowingly fell in love with a Shan Prince and married him in the 1950s. Only a few years later the nightmare began when the military took over Myanmar and imprisoned the Prince. This touching drama was filmed partly in Myanmar, Austria and of course in beautiful Chiang Mai. The Dara Dhevi Hotel for instance became one of the film sets.