Ninh Bình among 12 coolest movie filming locations in Asia

The scenic Ninh Binh, that was used for the blockbuster ‘Kong: Skull Island’ (2016) and a number of other Hollywood fims, is situated 90km – around a two-hour drive – from Hanoi.

Viet Nam News

Viet Nam News



Ninh Bình Province's Tam Cốc-Bích Động were shooting locations for the Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island in 2016. VNA/VNS Photo

August 5, 2022

HÀ NỘI — The US travel magazine Travel + Leisure has listed Việt Nam’s Ninh Bình Province as one of Asia’s 12 “coolest movie filming locations”.

The magazine’s Southeast Asian edition admired the beauty of destinations across the region, from ancient jungle-clad temples to swanky bars and splendid beaches and there is no shortage of cinematic splendour in Asia.

At least until the metaverse takes over, films provide the most immersive experience. Classics, blockbusters and regional favourites have captured the beauty, history and culture of countries across the continent.

Among these locations, some are well-known and some are secret, while others are simply hidden in plain sight.

Ninh Bình, which was used for the Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island in 2016, is a highly recommended destination for tourists.

The northern province is the nation’s sole representative to make the list, with the locality rising to fame for being the setting for the US$190 million movie which was shot in Tràng An limestone complex, Vân Long Lagoon and Tam Cốc, where limestone karst mountains rise out of the waters.

A scene in the movie “Kong: Skull Island”, shot in Ninh Bình. Photo courtesy of Waner Bros

“As the largest production ever shot in Việt Nam (US$190 million), Kong: Skull Island demanded filming locations as expansive as the budget. Tràng An, Vân Long and Tam Cốc (Ninh Bình Province), the iconic Hạ Long Bay, and the entrance of the Tú Làn Caves were all featured,” the magazine wrote.

“The Ninh Bình area is known as the inland cousin of Hạ Long Bay. Scenically similar, though significantly smaller, it has far fewer visitors. The Tràng An area where scenes were shot is listed as part of a UNESCO World Heritage area, which has several unique Buddhist pagodas and temples,” it continued.

Apart from Kong: Skull Island, Ninh Bình was chosen as the setting for different famous Hollywood movies such as The Lover (1991), Indochine (1992), The Quiet American (2002), The Chinese Botanist’s Daughters (2006) and Pan (2015).

Situated 90km, around a two-hour drive, from Hà Nội, Ninh Bình was home to the ancient capital of Hoa Lư during the reign of the Đinh and early Lê dynasties (968-1009). It is famous for its rich historical culture, majesty, pristine beauty of mountains, rivers and stretching rice fields.

Other locations mentioned in the Travel + Leisure include Siem Reap in Cambodia (Tomb Raider), Busan in South Korea (Black Panther), Kenting in Taiwan (Cape No 7), Khempur in India (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Singapore (Crazy Rich Asians), Bali in Indonesia (Eat, Pray, Love) and Tokyo in Japan (Tokyo Drift). VNS

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