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Post-MCO Travel List: 10 Stunning Destinations Inspired By International Movie Scenes

stunning travel destinations

You’re welcome! Travel to these beautiful beaches, historical monuments, and stunning scenic landscapes that guarantee to spark your wanderlust.

Get ready to explore the beautiful destinations around Asia as soon as you are ready to travel. Better yet, I have something interesting to make your vacation, a trip to remember. Instead of choosing the typical travel destination, check out my must-visit list, which includes mind-blowing locations inspired by International movies. A hint? You get to reenact a few scenes from one of the most popular Hollywood movies, Lara Croft: Tom Raider. So either you are planning for a romantic getaway or a self-discovery journey; my stunning travel destinations are a perfect choice! 

Let’s start with places around Malaysia that you can visit in no time, shall we?

#1
Penang City Hall, Pinang Island

Have you ever watched Anna and The King movie backed in the year of 1999? I’m sure 90s kids like me have watched it before. Never have I thought that it was filmed in our very own city, Pinang Island. The ‘Royal Court Room’ scene was actually recorded in the Grand Ballroom of the City Hall, situated at the center of George Town’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Basically, it was owned by a merchant, named Thomas Halyburton, back in 1815. Now, the City Hall has become the headquarters of the Penang Island City Council. 

travel destinations
Photo by Jatin Shah on Flickr

Beautiful and rich in history, it is definitely one of the most must-visit landmarks in the city. So why not pay a little visit here? Whether you are a tourist or a local, include this place in your itinerary for the full experience of Penang Island’s culture. You will also get to enjoy many amazing museums, shopping malls, restaurants and more somewhere nearby too. Not to mention, the endless luxury and affordable hotels that will make it hard for you to leave the city. 

#2
Petronas Twin Tower, Kuala Lumpur 

A weekend of a staycation in Kuala Lumpur city sounds amazing, isn’t it? Explore the city like you never knew before. You can try to visit the world’s tallest twin tower, Petronas Twin Towers for a start. A beautiful landmark that was featured in an international movie, Entrapment starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery in the year of 1999. One of the scenes was actually filmed at the bridge of the towers, overlooking the stunning view of Kuala Lumpur city.

travel destinations
Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

#3
Batang Ai Longhouse, Sarawak 

For a true Borneo adventure, explore Iban’s oldest settlements in Sarawak surrounded by a breathtaking setting of nature. Expect to witness beautiful rainforest, orangutan, clear rivers, and the vibrant culture of Iban communities. In the year of 2003, Hollywood movie The Sleeping Dictionary starring Jessica Alba took place in Sarawak as well, which includes a constructed longhouse at Batang Ai. For someone who has never been to East Malaysia before, this new discovery excites me. Better yet, this can be a trip to remember where the only way to visit this area is by a traditional boat. So adventurous!

travel destinations
Photo by Thomas Wanhoff on Flickr

There’s more! Be prepare to be mesmerized by the Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary and the Batang Ai National Park available there. These places are habitat provider for protecting catchments, providing a source of jungle produce for the communities and a variety of wildlife, which includes orangutan. Like seriously, so beautiful!

#4
Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi

If you’re planning for an unforgettable all-ladies trip like Araminta the heiress of Lee’s Billionaire Hotel Chain did in the Crazy Rich Asians’ (2018) movie, consider your search is over. Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi is the place you need to be. From an all-ladies trip to a self-discovery journey and romantic getaway, this tropical paradise awaits you. You will be pampered by the excellent service of the hotel throughout your stay, the incredible selection of gastronomic experience, mind-blowing view, and many more. Enjoy a long walk at the private beach, sweating it off at the available yoga classes and full-service spa while you’re there. So exciting!

travel destinations
Photo by Cameron & Zoe Manderson on Flickr

#5
Carey Island, Selangor

A famous Bollywood movie, Kabali (2016) starring Rajinikanth, was filmed at several locations in Malaysia including Carey Island. As a way to attract more Indian travelers to Malaysia, Tourism Malaysia together with AirTravel Enterprises India Limited (ATE) offered the Malaysia Kabali-package back in the year 2016. Guess what? Now you can too!

Photo by Nick Chiam on Flickr

I’ve honestly never heard of this island before. So this really excites me! Enjoy your road trip by exploring the beautiful Kelanang beach, visiting the Mah Meri cultural village, and indulging the ultimate Seafood feast while you’re there. Who’s with me?

As the list goes on and on, I’ve included some stunning travel destinations that were filmed by international movies around Asia countries as well. 

#6
El Nido, Palawan (Philippines)

Why settle for less when you can enjoy an unspoiled setting of unique geological formations? El Nido, Palawan is famously known for its limestone cliffs, white sand beaches, and crystalline waters. Hence there is no better place to get your sun-kissed adventure to your heart’s content. If you have watched The Bourne Legacy (2012) before, then you could be wondering about the beautiful location filmed in the movie. Well, now you know! 

Photo by Cris Tagupa on Unsplash

Due to the filming, it has boosted the country’s local tourism instantly. On the other hand, with or without the filming happening or not, I believe that the island deserved to be explored at least once in a lifetime. I mean just look at the stunning view! Expect island-hopping, hiking up cliffs, scuba diving and just lounging around on the beaches. So what are you waiting for? Plan it out and explore the beautiful island.

#7
Mehrangarh Forts, Jodhpur (India)

Another movie that puts majestic culture on the map is the Dark Night Rises (2012) movie starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, and Anne Hathaway. Maverick filmmaker Christopher Nolan shined the spotlight on the real-life of Mehrangarh Fort by filming Bane’s prisons for his enemies at the beautiful towers there. So if you appreciate history and unique architecture as much as I do, then get yourself to the wonderful city of Jodphur in India real soon. 

historical travel destinations
Photo by Nomad Bikers on Unsplash

What’s so special about this location? Built-in the 15th mid-century by Rao Jodha (founder of Jodhpur), the unique feature has been listed as a National Geological Monument by the Geological Survey of India. Over 500 years, it has expanded with palaces and museums, with Maharaja Ajit Singh’s additional forts during the 17th century. Many famous personalities, photographers, and tourists have traveled far just to witness the beautiful setting. Oh, and it makes the perfect backdrop for your images and videos too. 

#8
Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Bali (Indonesia)

Here’s the place for the ones who want to go for a self-discovery journey like Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) did in the Eat, Pray, Love (2010) movie. From enjoying the sandy beaches to surrounding yourself with the amazing mountains and witnessing the streaming volcanoes, Tegalalang Rice Terraces is also a must-see place in Bali. 

nature
Photo by Radoslav Bali on Unsplash

It has been listed as part of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Gilbert discovered inner peace and self-love. Surrounded by the beautiful green rice paddies, which produced through the traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system calls the Subak. Basically it is a system that was passed down by Rsi Markandeya, a respected holy man back in the eighth-century for the success of the plantation. Thanks to the local farmer in Ubud’s shared region, tourists and locals get to experience the splendid terraced landscapes until this very day. It’s a no brainer why Gilbert fell in love with the lush green of this location instantly. I know you will too!

#9
Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi Leh, Phuket (Thailand)

Travel is indeed a necessity. Especially when it includes traveling to a majestic destination like Koh Phi Phi Leh in Phuket. This beautiful island was once filmed for an action movie Stealth in the year of 2005 starring Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, and Jamie Foxx. Trust me, you will be amazed by 100-metre vertical high cliffs and green foliage sheltering the bay. Not to mention the beautiful tropical coral seas too. 

beach
Photo by Evan Krause on Unsplash

Imagine soaking yourself in the saltwater, reading your favorite storybook on the beach, and enjoying a few glasses of chilled white wine–basically everything you need and more. Also, get ready for a mind-blowing discovery journey as there are endless activities that can be done; snorkeling and diving throughout the bay. Trust me, you will enjoy every second of your time accompanied by brightly colored fishes and corals. There’s more! Sea kayaking is also available. Be sure to try everything there, okay?

#10
Ta Prohm Temple, Siem Reap (Cambodia)

Thanks to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie in the year of 2012, it has helped to boost the local temples in Cambodia. The key scene of the movie took place at the iconic Ta Prohm temple and is called as the Tomb Raider Temple by tourists, which is situated around Angkor Archaeological Park. While Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) travelled to Cambodia to retrieve an ancient talisman with an advantage to control time, you have the opportunity to enjoy the treasure trove with your loved ones. 

historical travel destinations
Photo by Daniel Lienert on Unsplash

This is not the average temple design that we often see. The towers and walls are covered with a scenic setting; hundreds of years old tree roots, moss, creeping plant, and lichen. As stunning as the picture shown, you need to witness it yourself. So don’t forget to add this to your post-MCO travel destinations’ list. 

Create lifetime memories for yourself is priceless, even more, when it is with someone you love. So travel to your heart’s content while practicing good hygiene and social distancing. 

Ezza Zainal

Be the storyteller that everyone can’t get enough of. Period!

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