Discovering Thailand through ‘The Beach’ movie!

Discovering Thailand through ‘The Beach’ movie!

2008 April 20th
Kartik had gone to a DVD rental shop near his house to watch a movie with his friend. He picked a couple of DVD’s of which one caught his fancy. It was a movie (THE BEACH) about an intrepid traveller called Richard, who lands in Bangkok and discovers about the existence of a secret beach and then finds friends to travel to this beautiful beach which is amidst a lagoon hidden amidst hills in an island. I thought the place was graphically created


2009 June 15th
My friend Deepak had posted pictures of an island with similar green waters, and then I figured out that this is where they shot the movie. I was dumbstruck and wanted to visit this place. I had till then never gone out of India


2009 July 10-17
I was shifting from Bombay to Chennai, and I suddenly realized that I had a week before joining the new job. I was itching to go visit this place, and I was there a couple of days later at ‘THE BEACH’. I loved Thailand and the friendly people there. I researched a bit more about the movie and the book (THE BEACH) and I realized that the trail shown in the movie was actually on the east coast around the Gulf of Thailand, but only the filming of the main scene was done in Phi Phi islands which are between Phuket and Krabi on the South West Coast. So it took 8 years to research about the movie, plan the trail, find the right friends and then just relive ‘Richard’s journey’


2017 April 7th  #TheBeachTrail2017
Here I was, ready to get into Alex Garland’s world. I put away the arm-rests, switched on music from ‘The Beach’ on my Air-Asia flight from Chennai and then mentally transitioned into becoming ‘Richard’. We called our trip  #TheBeachTrail2017 and were planning to do some of the same things as the movie like

a) Travel between Bangkok-Surat Thani on a Train
b) Pick a waterfall and do a dunk into it.
c) Swim in the green colored waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
d) Discover a desolate beach and sleep on it by the waters
e) Sample the local cuisine and learn more about Thai Culture
f)  Meet Travellers and listen to their stories from the life at hostels and at the Full-Moon Party
g) Play Songkran like in the movie ‘The Beach’
h) Travel in a ferry and with the wind hitting my hair and Moby’s Porcelain track playing in an infinite loop
i) Do a Road Trip in Thailand, helping traveller discovering beautiful places and experiences.


We ended up making a photo documentary and a video documentary of the same. Read the first part which talks about  our experiences on our flight into the Don Muang Airport, traveling to the World War bunker of Champhon by Road right into a national park and sailing from there on the beautiful Gulf of Thailand all the way to Alex Garland’s ‘The Beach’

Discover the series of blog posts here and hop over to the initial part. You could also watch our trailer here

Kartik is a Travel Writer and Photographer who enjoys the spirit of travel through knowing people, places and customs. Kartik does Product Management Consulting with Indian Tech Start ups, photographs events/weddings and plays dad to a naughty 5-year-old Nandan.

Kartik writes at



  • Lisa Krisman Crapper

    Such a great series of stories! The Beach movie was always on my list of favorites, so reading this series was so much fun! Great adventures and pictures to demonstrate!

    September 20, 2017 at 8:24 am
    • Kartik Kannan

      Thanks Lisa. If I had to do a next movie trail as travel, what would you recommend?

      September 20, 2017 at 7:07 pm
  • Karen Schelinski

    This is lovely. It makes me want to journey there.

    September 20, 2017 at 9:10 am
    • Kartik Kannan

      Thanks Karen! It’s never too far away 🙂

      September 20, 2017 at 7:06 pm
  • Kasia

    This is such an amazing journey. I wish I could’ve joined in. I love the movie The Beach and it made me want to go to Thailand even more. Such a great experience.

    September 20, 2017 at 9:12 am
    • Kartik Kannan

      Sure! Just keep watching #TheBeachTrail2017 documentary for visual appeal 🙂

      September 20, 2017 at 7:06 pm
  • Tahnee Flack

    I loved that movie!! Also have always wanted to visit Thailand. Looks gorgeous and sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing a great post

    September 21, 2017 at 2:14 am
    • Kartik Kannan

      Thanks Tahnee

      September 21, 2017 at 8:25 pm
  • Chiimmiii's Happy World

    Thailand has beautiful places to visit. Thanks for sharing, would Love to go someday!

    September 21, 2017 at 7:37 am
    • Kartik Kannan

      It sure has. The south east asia is a great treasure trove

      September 21, 2017 at 8:25 pm
  • Sheerin Siddique

    Beautiful pics and it sounds lovely. Will definitely want to visit one day. Thanks for sharing!

    September 21, 2017 at 10:03 am
    • Kartik Kannan

      Sure, do watch the movie, you will find reading this photo documentary more interesting

      September 21, 2017 at 8:26 pm
  • Kristal Xavier

    Thailand is on my places to visit. I have not looked into a lot of different places but the beaches was not on the list surprisingly.

    September 21, 2017 at 11:00 pm