As one of the first landscapes in Vietnam recognized as a world natural heritage site, Halong Bay is the most famous tourist site in all of Vietnam. With the expansion of luxury cruise tour, many people have been able to come and witnessed the magnificence of Halong Bay.
In recent years, well-known producers in Hollywood have discovered Halong Bay as an ideal place for filming movies. In the past, the Vietnam War was the main topic that brought producers to Vietnam. “The Quiet American”, “Indochine” and “The Lover” are the most famous movies working well from this topic. However, things have changed. Vietnam in general and Halong Bay in particular are the promised-lands of movies since wild, diverse and stunning sceneries of nature are a huge attraction nowadays.
Stunning scenes of Halong Bay in Hollywood movies
From Pan (2015) …
Pan is a story about 12-year-old orphan Peter spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan. Back to the time that trailer of “Pan” first released, Vietnamese audiences all recognized the super view of Halong Bay appeared apparently.
Hugh Jackman, well-known ‘Wolverine’ actor in the “X-Men” series, said that most of the movie frames were arranged by 3D visual effects. However, frames captured in Ninh Binh province, En Cave (Quang Binh Province) and especially Halong Bay, Vietnam, are all real and not interfered with by any technical effects.
… to Kong: Skull Island (2017)
At the end of October, 2016, “Kong: Skull Island” producers released a brand new 30 second trailer about the brutal fight between militaries and King Kong. The battle becomes chaotic when helicopters crash into a thousand pieces in the sky of Halong Bay. Then, King Kong suddenly shows up with a terrifying roar. He instantly grabs another aircraft and smashes it with his bare hands. Under the light of sunset, the scenery looks like a masterpiece.
Besides, “Kong: Skull Island” makes a huge impressive by delivering to audiences the 30-meter-height King Kong which is also the biggest King Kong version in history of this series. Jordan Vogt Robert, director of the film, said “we are living in a digital world where everything’s mostly created on computer and visual effect programs. I have a desire that actors and viewers are able to feel the nature, non-3d world around us”.
“After coming to Vietnam, we have found that Vietnam, especially Halong Bay has a true beauty, natural and wonderful which never appears in movies before” he share his thought with excitement. Jordan Vogt Robert also promises to bring more and more blockbusters to Vietnam.
Tom Hiddleston also has great impression on Halong Bay: “In my opinion, Halong Bay is the most beautiful place among Vietnam. In Halong bay, there are many caves, gulf of tonkin which are high as the highest buildings, this one I have never seen in my entire life. In the movies, I sail among the water of the bay. Not only me, other actors John Goodman, Jason Mitchell share a same thought as well”
Unfortunate miss with “James Bond”
“James Bond: 007” was a big regret for Vietnamese fans. The producers requested permission from the government and all related departments to film main shots in Vietnam. The main frame was about the chase on motorbikes between Pierce Brosnan and the bad guys. There would also be some side frames captured in Halong Bay. All things were on their way then suddenly producers didn’t have permission to access the area anymore without a reason.
Opportunities to develop tourism in Halong Bay through movies
Director Jordan Vgot Roberts shared in a press conference: “Anyone who comes to the cinema for “Jurassic Park” has a great impression on Hawaii. Similarly, “Lord of the Rings” brings viewers to a one-of-a-kind scenery of nature with large mysterious caves and mighty mountains in New Zealand. I chose Halong Bay in particular, and Vietnam in general for filming “Kong: Skull Island” because I really want Vietnam to appear in our movies remarkably well, as New Zealand did in “Lord of the Rings”. Vietnam can bring the viewer a whole new experience, and I can see people saying something like “Oh my gosh!” “Unbelievable” or “Where is this beautiful place, definitely I’m gonna check this out!”.
Promoting for tourism through Hollywood movies is an extremely effective method. This trend has so far become a “cure” for developing countries like Vietnam to attract more and more tourists, and travelers around the world. For instance, New Zealand’s tourism industry has grown significantly after the success of “Lord of the Rings”. In Thailand, they also have their own filming industry which is quite successful. And you now what means, those movies from Thailand have brought back billions of US dollars for Thailand’s tourism services. Thailand’s government welcome hundreds of movie producers to their country every year.
In conclusion, I cant wait to see more Hollywood movies captured in Halong Bay and Vietnam. This would be great!