Most people know him: The Beach, the film version of the book, which plays completely in Thailand. We have a few facts and interesting things about the film together!

The Beach with Leonardo di Caprio is based on the actually much better book The Beach by Alex Garland from 1996.

English teenager Richard travels through Thailand as a backpacker. He is obsessed with it real adventure to discover off the beaten tourist track. A mysterious roommate is found by Richard after a suicide together with a map that should lead to a secret beach. Together with the French couple Etiénne and Françoise, he makes his way to this island, which the three finally reach. Richard believes he has found paradise: white sand, turquoise water, and pristine, tropical jungle.

The three join a community of dropouts living there and enjoy the idyllic life there. But the island is not as peaceful as it seems and the dream vacation turns into a nightmare ...

Arrival at "The Beach"

Arrival at “The Beach”

The film adaptation was realized by director Danny Boyle in the year 2000. However, extensive changes have been made to the original plot. Noteworthy is the love story between Richard and Françoise, which does not occur in the book at all.

Of course, the character of di Caprio is given much more prominence in the film, which leaves some situations in a different mood.

Locations and locations in The Beach

Pretty much everyone who has watched the movie and ever been to Thailand may well know that The Beach was mostly filmed on the Phi Phi archipelago. The named beach is represented by today's world-famous Maya Bay.

In the course of the story, however, the protagonists go to Koh Phangan to run errands. A quick glance at the map makes it clear that this does not make much sense. Now that Thailand has so aggressively commercialized Koh Phi Phi with the movie, many are unaware that The Beach is not playing on Phi Phi or Maya Bay. This location was chosen solely because of the natural nature of the bay and the advantages in terms of infrastructure. Actually, the action takes place on an island (not specified) in the Gulf of Thailand, more precisely in the Angtong National Park! Koh Phangan would actually be the next gateway to civilization. Incidentally, the scenes playing on Phangan were filmed in Phuket.


The true scene of the story: Angtong Marine Park

Effects of filming

Protests broke out during filming as environmental activists claimed that the Twentieth Century Fox film crew had massively intervened in nature, destroyed corals and left a lot of garbage after filming was over. For the most part, however, it was false rumors. Of course, such a mammoth project always has an impact on the destination, but the crew seems to have behaved in an exemplary manner documented here. Much more dramatic for the Phi Phi archipelago and especially Maya Bay were the crowds of tourists that have been lured there since the film was released ... Maya Bay is now clogged with speedboats and tourists, the lonely, once idyllic bay is no more much visible. So we can actually be happy that The Beach not was filmed in Angtong Park and there are still uninhabited, uninhabited islands and beaches to discover!

... by the way: Shark attacks are still very unlikely in both Angtong National Marine Park and the Andaman Sea around Phi Phi 😉